Most major publishing houses claim to have policies that prevent them from even considering unagented/unsolicited submissions. “Unagented” means that a literary agent did not make the submission. “Unsolicited” means that no one at the publisher asked for the submission.
It’s possible that you, or people you know, have already run into this frustrating roadblock. You may also be familiar with the rumor that it’s more difficult to get an agent than it is to get a publisher—or that no agent will even consider your work until you have a publisher. On the surface, these negatives make it seem that you would have a better shot at becoming a starting pitcher for the Yankees or living out whatever your favorite improbable fantasy might be.
But, as you will soon learn, these so-called policies and practices are often more false than true, especially if you develop creative ways to circumvent them. I have dubbed the previous obstacle course, the Battle of the “UNs.” If you’re presently unagented/unsolicited, you’re one of the UNs. Welcome! You’re in good company.
Nobody is born published. There is no published author who wasn’t at one time, an UN. Thousands of new books are published each year, and thousands of people are needed to write them. You can be one of them.
In this blog of publishing secrets, I’ll reveal how to win the Battle of the UNs and much more. But first, let me clarify an important distinction. When I use the word “win” here, I don’t mean to say that you’ll necessarily get your work published. What I mean is: You’ll gain reasonable access to the powers-that-be for your work, and you’ll learn how to increase the odds—dramatically—that your work will, in fact, be acquired.
Please be realistic. For every published writer, there are, at minimum, several thousand waiting in line to get published. “Many are called, but few are chosen.” It’s completely within your power to maximize your chances of getting published. It’s also within your power to minimize those chances. There are reasons why some highly talented people habitually underachieve, and those reasons can often be found within them. If you fail, fail, and fail, you should look within yourself for possible answers. What can you do to turn it around? If you find some answers, you haven’t failed at all, and the lessons you allow yourself to learn will lay the groundwork for success in this and other endeavors.