You know what, a question for all of the aspiring authors out there.

Do you know how to get traditionally published? Do you know what a literary agent is? A query letter?

I ask because I get so many messages from people who don't seem to know these things.
There is so much mystery when it comes to publishing. People genuinely don't know how it works and don't know that it's more accessible than it seems.
Should I do a thread? Well, looks like I'm already doing a thread. Fellow published authors, feel free to chime in.

Alright. You have an idea for a book. You think it's pretty good. Step 1 is the most important: Write the dang book.

Don't just think about it. Write it.
Now, the thing about writing a book with the hopes of getting published is that you must revise said book.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT, send out an unedited first draft.

How do you edit, you ask?
I suggest taking a week or two away from that first draft, reading it again, and revising. Also, find critique partners. Edit, edit, edit that book.

You can also hire a freelance editor if you have the coins (this is different from an editor at a publishing house)
You may go through multiple drafts, and that's okay. Buckle up, because even if you get a publishing deal there will be more edits.

Once you've gotten the book to the point where you feel it's ready to be seen by a literary agent, it's time to query.
Wait. Do you know the categories your book falls into?
Young Adult?
Middle Grade?
Chapter Book?
Picture book?

Then what genre? Fantasy? Contemp?
If these terms are unfamiliar to you, research. At least know what category your work falls under
Why, you ask? Because that will determine the literary agents you send your query letter to.

What's that, you ask?

Here is a great summary:…
Now, literary agents.

YOU DO NOT PAY THEM UP FRONT. Anybody who asks for money up front is a scammer. Run.

Agents get paid when you get paid. They submit your book to publishers. Traditional pubs do not accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors for the most part.
Your agent will handle your contracts and other business things. They take 15% when you get paid.
Research agents who rep books in your category and genre. There are lots of websites that list them. Also, read acknowledgments in your favorite books. The agent is most likely named
(My agent @byobrooks reminded me to point out that if you're writing non-fiction, you don't have to have the whole manuscript. A proposal will do. Smaller publishers and local presses may accept submissions from non-agented writers as well)
Make a list of agents you're interested in querying. Research them. Follow them on social media. Don't send mail to their home or other stalkery things. Read their submission guidelines. Work on your query letter.

Edit that query letter too. Get it critiqued, too.
I highly recommend reading the Query Shark Blog in its entirety. It's run by a literary agent, @Janet_Reid, and I can personally attest that she knows her shit. Submit your query letter to the blog if you're brave.

Now, it's time to start submissions
Follow agents' submission guidelines. I repeat: FOLLOW AGENTS' SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.

If they want the first 3-5 pages, don't send the last 10-20. If they want a query letter only, don't send the query letter and the whole manuscript.

Also, they usually hate attachements.
Also, don't mass query them aka cc 50 agents on one email. Send individual query submissions. Don't bend their guidelines because you think it'll make you stand out. Chances are, it'll send your submission to the trash can.

Now, here comes the hard part.
Watch. The. Rejections. Roll. In.

There is a 99.9999% chance that the first query you send out will get you an agent. It's not impossible but damn near.

Don't fret though.

I was rejected hundreds of times. Most authors experience it. BUT YOU KEEP TRYING
Revise that manuscript some more, revise that query letter, start a new manuscript.

You may get a thousand nos but all it takes is one yes. That's it.
I think I'll stop here (for now at least) but someone brought this website to my attention, and it's super helpful. Check it out:…
You're also welcome to ignore all of this and self-publish. There are pros and cons to both 🤷🏾‍♀️
Oh! Definitely not done. Be sure to check out Pitch Wars. It's a great opportunity for writers. Twitter pitch events like #PitMad and #DVPit are also excellent.

Don't know what any of these are? Google is still your friend, I promise. 😊
Oh! I forgot to add - I wrote a book about how to write a book. Find Your Voice is available now 😊…

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More from @angiecthomas

25 May
Waiting for the reality show where 10 stressed-out kidlit authors on deadline are thrown into a house and must finish their books while surviving one another. Guaranteed drama. I mean the second that house runs out of coffee or tea...
Each week, there would be a reward up for grabs - a deadline extension.

Blood. Would. Be. Drawn.
I just know I’d bring all of my sneakers to stunt on y’all on camera.

Still thinking about this show. Want to make it happen now 😂
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep 19
I paid off student loans, set aside for retirement, made investments I was comfortable with, (via financial advisor), and set aside for future house downpayment. Also I immediately set aside money for taxes before I spent a penny.
Oh! I paid off my car note, too. My finances are WAY better now (earning royalties) but I still follow that same basic format - set aside for taxes, investments, retirement.
Having a financial advisor I trust was the best decision I made in this journey. It’s literally paid off
Read 10 tweets
15 Jun 19
My mom is about to watch Us for the first time, and I feel like I should document this.
"You were supposed to stay with your daddy. Hard-headed behind!"
"She still ain't ate that candy apple. Wasting folks' money."
Read 24 tweets
6 Jan 19
It's after midnight here in Mississippi. Why does my mom pick this time to tell me about some creepy shit? A few months ago, she was here home alone, while I was out on the road. Came in the family room and a young man was sitting on our couch. Nobody lives here but the 2 of us
She says she yelled at him, "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!" And. He. Disappeared.
Just poof, disappeared. Did she tell me? No. She didn't want me to be scared, she says. THE HELL?! AND YOU WEREN'T?
Read 16 tweets
20 Aug 18
On this Sunday evening, I want to give a huge shout-out to the educators and librarians who have shared with me how much their students love #TheHateUGive (and about all of the copies they've lost to said students 😂). Thank you providing my book to your students ❤️
I bring this up because yesterday at my keynote at the @msbookfest, an older older woman came up to me afterwards with the hugest smile. I immediately gasped. It was my elementary school principal.
She framed my face with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm prouder of you than you will ever know. I've been keeping up with you and telling every person who crosses my path about you."
Read 8 tweets

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