All posts tagged publishing

10 Ways to Increase your chances of being published

Published 30/06/2014 by Lily Crussell

This is a newbie list I wrote for an article for a website (which they never used) of ways to ensure your MS is more likely to be noticed.

It is harder than ever to become a published author, and whilst the likes of ‘Twilight’ and ’50 Shades of Grey’ seem to fly off the shelves, many talented authors have hard drives over flowing with amazing new ideas.
Being a failed author myself, I hope these tips will prevent you from making the same mistakes.

1. Get known BEFORE submitting your manuscript

Publishers and agents want a guaranteed hit on their hands, and this is easier to achieve with an author who already has several credits under their belt. This can include a popular blog, writing credits for local magazines or websites, or winning writing competitions. Writing magazines and local literary groups often run competitions that may appeal and though some may not have a tempting prize just having placed is always a benefit to your profile.

2. Ensure your manuscript is finished.

Often non fiction books can still be in the planning stages whilst being submitted due to their needing finance for research etc. This is not the case with fiction. Your manuscript must be polished and ready before sending it out to agents because of…

3. The Slush Pile.

Your manuscript has taken years to write, you’ve edited, polished, pruned and perfected it. Unfortunately so have most of the other authors who submit work. Agents have a derogatory term for all the submissions they receive; The Slush Pile. They are looking for any excuse not to use your work and it can be something as small as not spelling their name correctly. Agents are sent hundreds of queries EVERY DAY. It is infeasible for anyone to read every word sent to them so they are often quite brutal in rejecting work to make their lives easier. 

4. Beta Readers.

Friends, family and writing groups can be essential for critiquing your work, but you need to be sure that they’ll be honest. There are websites that offer Beta reading and critiquing on the condition that you offer the same to them. Having an outsider with no emotional attachment to the author or manuscript means that you are more likely to get the truth rather than empty compliments that friends or family will give as they try not to offend you.

5. Keep Writing.

Expect to be waiting months to hear back from agents, and during that time you must keep writing. It could be a follow up to the book you are currently sending out (agents will love the concept of a series as it means more money) blog entries…it really doesn’t matter as long as you keep at it to improve your skills and keep your mind active. Enter competitions, write articles for local papers…just keep writing.

6. Spelling and Grammar

Whilst the internet is awash with ‘experts’ on grammar and spelling, it is difficult in the real world to ensure that your work is perfect. Computer spell checkers are wonderful, but they won’t pick out words that are used out of context. They also won’t spot missing words or sentences that make no sense. There is also only so useful you will be at noticing errors as you will know the story and will fill in blanks without even realising. There are companies that specialise in such work, or you can find a buddy on the net you can trust to read it in exchange for your help.

7. Social Networking.

Admittedly there are so many different types I find it hard to keep up, but learn which ones are used the most by your target audience. If you’re writing for teens LinkedIn isn’t the way to go. Twitter or Facebook would serve you better. If your work is more academic, search for forums and sites that are better suited for your material. Always think audience!

8. Blow your own trumpet.

No one likes an arrogant self promoter as a friend, but when starting out in this industry, you’re the only one who can make yourself known. Tell the world about your achievements; if you are involved in something that is covered by the media, ask to be listed as ‘author John Doe’ or ‘teen fiction writer John Doe’ anything that alludes to your work as they will lead to people looking you up. Put links to your website or social media in the signatures of all your profiles and email addresses.

9. Network.

Authors are often anti social or suffer from social anxiety (I speak of those I know including myself) this makes any communication harder, but trying to break in to this industry is hard work. Make friends, be generous with your time, hand out business cards in as many situations as you can get away with. Be useful to people so they want to help you via promotion or introductions they can make.

10. Have things in place.

You need a website. It doesn’t have to be beautiful as long as it has contact details, information about yourself and what you write. A biography is always helpful as you can list previous work and link to it (this can be your blog etc) to ensure anything connected to your career is able to be found in one place. Use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals. Email, social networking, promotional items…anything that will show agents and publishers that you are ready and eager to break into this medium.

My new Hero!

Published 09/12/2012 by Lily Crussell

OK, I think we all know that Norman Reedus has my heart, BUT, I have a new hero. She doesn’t use a crossbow, she doesn’t kill zombies (that I know of lol) but the only weapon she needs is the truth! Check out her blog!

All self publishing authors need to follow her as she is brutaly honest – just as we need her to be.


Here’s a gif of my boy so we don’t all get withdrawal symptoms due to the mid season break 😦


Love and hugs y’all!

Lily x

Endings! Booyah!

Published 19/08/2012 by Lily Crussell

Ok, the topic was a bit of a lie, there will be no Booyah included in this post…possibly. I need to stop saying and writing it along with ‘AWESOME!’ which I say waaaaay too much.


More on what I learned on the writing course I went on (not much unfortunately, I think it was aimed at people who haven’t even started their books!) I was sat next to a lady called…I think Helen…who was proudly telling me she had written 8,000 in six months. I smiled, nodded and congratulated her. She asked how many words I had managed in the last six months. I told her that in two weeks I managed 100,000. I wasn’t trying to boast (though I am slightly proud) but I don’t like lying. Her mouth dropped. Everyone then spent the rest of the session teasing me for each exercise that we did as I was scribbling away madly, churning out four hundred words in 10 minutes or less. My point to them was, that doesn’t mean it’s any good. One woman had been going to writing courses and groups for 55 years and STILL hadn’t started her work. What?!? She must have spent a small fortune on classes in her life, and they obviously weren’t doing her any good because she was yet to put pen to paper- or fingers to keyboard.

Anyway, we did a small bit about Endings. Some authors struggle with endings. An example the tutor gave was with ‘The Lovely Bones’ (I haven’t read it) which is apparently an amazing book that should end a long time before it actually does. Some people are intuitive of when it is time to end the work, others struggle.

We were given a list of the different types;

1. Closed – Self explanitory, the ending happens and that’s it. There isn’t much room for interpretation because we have been made aware of what has happend.

2. Open – The ending is left unanswered in the sense that we are given some details, but we decide what we think has happened to the characters.

3. Cliff Hanger – Often used for the first in a series of books, or sometimes just used in single volume. This can often be unsatisfactory though in the case of the single book.

4. Circular.

5. Deus ex Machina (God of the Machine) – Having done Classics at school, I can tell you this was frequently used in Greek theatre as a way of coming to a conclusion, often in a way that’s a bit too convieniant. In the case of one play, gods come down and fix everything, the end. It can be used well in comedy though, especially if it is mocking others works that have tried to use this seriously.

Love and Hugs y’all

Lily x

Reedus Gif of the day! Little bit of the Saints for you! (If you haven’t seen Boondock Saints, go now! Now! It’s AWESOME! Booyah!)

Murphy has mad skills.

Nearly at 1000 Likes

Published 31/07/2012 by Lily Crussell

Crazy! Utterly unimaginable previously, but I’m very excited! I will be doing more giveaways when I hit the big 1000, only about 20 more people to go, yay!

What have I been up to recently? Not much if I’m honest. I’ve been signed off work for a few weeks and have just been trying to get my head together, which isn’t going so well. Turning 29 makes you wonder what it is you’ve done with your life so far and I just don’t have a whole lot to show for it. I’ve started two new books in two days as my thoughts are so scattered! I’ve also been watching a lot of movies to try to not ‘think’ so I have been drowning in Norman Reedus, which is pretty much every girl’s dream right? What do you mean you’ve never heard of him!?!

Anyhoo, the newest book is with the Beta readers, so hopefully once they’re done with it, I can get to work on it again and make changes and get it out to agents etc. Urgh, such a long, drawn out process. There are still queries out from my last set I sent out over six months ago! There’ll be another ice age before they’re all back no doubt.

I’m going though a popcorn and ramen noodles phase at the moment, I can’t get enough of either! Not good as neither are particularly nutritious, but there we go. I’ve been binging on cherries as they seem to be in season right now and have overkilled slightly lol.

Sorry about the random post, but my head’s all over the place at the moment.

Love and hugs

Lily x

Season Two of The Walking Dead is out on DVD soon! SO EXCITED! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! lol

Caption Comps

Published 18/07/2012 by Lily Crussell

I’ve gone caption comp crazy on my fanpage;!/pages/Lily-Crussell/229502913788140

You can choose the prize if you win the one today (I’ll be drawing it tomorrow morning!)

Go take part and win some swag!

Lily x


This is the picture we’re using; (mmmmmmmmm Norman Reedus…….)

Caffeine Addled Brain

Published 10/07/2012 by Lily Crussell

Urgh! Just recently I can’t stop drinking tea! I’m thinking part of it is due to the weather being so like winter, that my body has shifted into ‘give up on cold drinks, ice, strappy tops and shorts’ mode. The heating has been switched on for goodness sake! Every day the weather is rubbish and grey and it’s either raining or looking like it’s about to. The only way us Brits make it through the winter is by thinking about Summer, and now that we’ve been cheated out of it, I think people are going to start hibernating!

I did something to my shoulder at pole last night, so struggled to sleep and am depending on tea to get me through the day! I’m working on edits for a NEW novel which I’m desperately trying to get finished so I can send it out to my Beta readers, but it’s a real struggle. I’m not feeling remotely inspired by it at the moment and I’ve hit a dead end…again. The ending sucked so needs rewriting and there are threads that don’t work out properly. Grrrr! I was hoping to get this one out to agents and publishers asap as I haven’t had anything new to send out for ages! ‘Of Darkness and Light’ is making the rounds….AGAIN with the info of how many downloads I’ve had etc, but some of those I sent out at the beginning of the year and I’ve not even had half of them back yet!

Please could you go Like my fanpage if you haven’t already! I’d love to get up to 900 by my Birthday (Next Wednesday)!/pages/Lily-Crussell/229502913788140


Love and Hugs