Ten Tips for First-time Writers

Once you’ve written that novel you’ve been dreaming about for so long, the important thing is to focus on building a partnership with your potential publisher based on goodwill and mutual respect. There are ten rules to help you make this a reality:

1. Be positive. Show your enthusiasm. You will be working together over a long period, so present yourself as a willing and passionate partner. If you disagree with the editor’s thoughts,at least express a willingness to make changes.

2. Have a vision. If this is your first published book, convey your plan for the future. Most publishers are not looking for a one-hit author. You both need to believe you have a future.

3. Be aware of the big picture. If you can, explain why you are the right person to write this book and what else you can bring to the table. For example, if you are qualified in a specific field, tell who your potential readers will be.

4. Be honest. Don’t say you have a mailing list of a million people if you are talking about the phone book. Don’t give the publisher expectations that are not realistic. You can boast about your real connections and accomplishments, but be truthful.

5. Respect your publisher’s time. He has an enormously busy job. Be patient and not offended if your calls aren’t always returned promptly. And they don’t always have time for a chat.

6. Pick your battles. Sometimes the publisher knows best and is aware of things that you are not. Don’t get
pegged as a difficult author.You can be sure that the publisher has your best interests at heart.

7. Treat the assistants well. Learn their names and remember them. Ask how they are when they answer the phone before requesting to speak to the big boss.You’d be amazed at what an assistant can accomplish when you need something quickly.

8. Give them enough information. When the book is published, tell them if you are going to appear or reviewed in a magazine; if you are going to lead a seminar, speak on a panel or write a feature. Use every opportunity to promote both yourself and your book.

9. Don’t overdo the information. Don’t overwhelm them with details – that you won an award for creative writing in high school. Provide the names of people who might endorse your book, but they don’t need to know how you met each one. Don’t flood your publisher with e-mails.

10. Say thank you Appreciate their hard work – it means a great deal to them. So always thank them in the Acknowledgements plus his or her assistant too. Thank the publicist who writes a fabulous press release.
For your publisher, as with everyone you know, a little appreciation goes a long way and they will be happy to work with you again in the future.

I have just started work on a new novel (my 14th) which I am excited about. Tentatively I am calling it
“Searching for Sarah” and it revolves around a portrait. There is no excitement comparable to writing the words “Chapter I” in a new exercise book – like setting out to sea at the beginning of a voyage full of promise. Hard work, but oh! so thrilling. My e-book “Autumn Blessing” was released in September by Prism Book Group in USA and you can find it by clicking on the following link:



One thought on “Ten Tips for First-time Writers

  1. David Herman says:

    Dear Dvora, Hope you like my article attached. Very much enjoying your writing tips. Best wishes to your huband. Chodesh Tov, David

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