Publish Your Novel on the First Try

Rejection. This scary word plagues virtually every writer this side of John Grisham. It stops many writers in their tracks and often leads them to a new line of work. If your one of the millions of Americans who have a passion for writing and dream of seeing your novel on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and Borders Books, don't let fear of Rejection scare you off. Follow this simple formula, and you can publish your novel on the very first try.

The secret to getting published is both simple and complex. The simple part is two-pronged. First, you need a modicum of writing skill. Now, you don't have to be William Shakespeare, but you do need to know how to put sentences together, while tossing in a few nifty adjectives on occasion.

The second prong of the simple part of the secret to publishing on your first try is undeniable persistence and work ethic. Most writers fail, because they are defeated by the plague of rejection; they don't have the necessary work ethic to succeed, even if they have the skill and the idea. Oh, speaking of the idea, this is the complex part of the simple formula to being published on your first try.

You don't need the amazing characters of an S.E. Hinton or the grace of Ernest Hemingway. What will get you published is a unique plot that appeals to a large audience. Let's face it, publishers are in the business of making money -- not authors. In most cases, publishers don't care how popular you become or if your work becomes the next Oscar winning movie (unless they have a piece of the pie). What they do care about is lots of sales. If you don't have name value, which you don't until you become a selling author, publishers want ideas that attract a large audience.

Take my first-ever novel, The League, for which I received a publishing contract the first month I began sending it to agents and publishers. Is it because it's the next Tom Sawyer? No, rather, it is because of the unique nature of the plot. The League is suspense with a back drop of fantasy football. It is the first of its kind, and fantasy football has over 15 million participants in America alone.

Now, I was turned down by at least 50 agents and probably 40 publishers. But I didn't let rejection defeat me, because I knew I had a remarkably unique story that would appeal to a gigantic audience. In fact, this is exactly what my publisher said when he contacted me. He told me my writing was clean and the idea was incredibly unique. So, get yourself an amazing idea. Put it together neatly and clearly. Make it fast-paced, and send it to as many agents and publishers as possible. The electronic age makes it very easy to do.

Learn more about the process and The League at

Mark Barnes has published several how-to books on real estate finance, Internet business, and self-publishing. Recently, he has expanded his horizons into the fiction world, with his suspense-thriller, The League, presented by DNA Press. The League is available at, DNA Press, and will be in book stores this summer. Mark is currently working on his second novel, another sports-related suspense thriller. Mark Barnes resides in a suburb of Cleveland with his wife, Mollie and two small children.

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