How Do You

Get A Novel Published?

by W. Terry Whalin

I know a number of people who are attempting to write a novel. They are determined to put the story and characters dancing in their head on paper for others to read. Maybe you are one of those people. You've actually completed this 100,000 word novel. Congratulations. It took a huge amount of discipline and perseverance to complete this task.

Currently, I am an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing.. I'm a former literary agent and for five years, I was a book acquisitions editor at two other publishers Howard Books and David C. Cook. Either as an editor or an agent, each week I receive a number of submissions. My personal challenge is to read this material carefully and search for the best of the best. It is a daunting task and one that I take seriously. For more than 15 years, I have been reading, reviewing and writing about fiction. I've written about fiction for a variety of print publications. I've also judged fiction for more than 10 years for the Evangelical Christian Publishers. This experience has provided an ever widening look at the marketplace for fiction.

This page will provide a number of resources and helps for the novelist. It doesn't matter if you are published or unpublished. I invite you to read the articles, use the resources on this page.

I encourage you to mark this page on your list of favorites so you can return to it often as it will change, have additions and be updated.

Also use this search tool to easily locate specific articles.



Agents and Editors and Contracts
Character Development & Story
Conferences Are Important
Marketing & Promotion


It is a secret that many fiction writers need to learn:
Writing Natural Dialogue.

What is the key to move your story ahead?:
Wheels of Motion -- Dialogue That Propels The Story Forward

Write What You Know is a common starting point for many writers but there are some cautions along the way. You can get some seasoned advice from best-selling author Stephen Coonts at:
Start With What You Know

Are you surrounded by non-writer want-to-be-writers? How do you:
Find the Writing Life Right for you?

Have you given up your dream of writing and fallen for the "Big Lie?" Read how this best-selling novelist took care of:
Putting the Big Lie to Sleep

After you write your manuscript, how do you pitch the editor with your novel idea? Here's some advice from a published novelist:
Make the Perfect Pitch: The Novel Query

One of the important areas for novelist to understand is Point of View. Here's some important insight from a best-selling author:
Understand the Effects of Your Point of View

Are you thinking about the point of view as you write your novel? Here's why it's critical to excellent writing:
Watch the Camera Angle

Are you stuck in a rut? Then follow this seasoned advice:
How to Get Out of A Slump

Most novelists want to say something with their story yet many have forgotten one of the key rules when they are:
Writing A Meaningful Story

Begin With A Bang

It's Okay to Tell—Sometimes

Show me! Show me!

Good writing takes practice, and practice makes perfect! Use this disciplined approach to write your very best:
10 Disciplines for Fiction Writers

Don't bore your readers with your writing but learn to:
Keep Them Active

Writing A Novel Is Like A Marriage

Six Points About Character, Plot and Dialogue You Wish You'd Have Known Yesterday

Top Ten Reasons to Write with a Partner

Finding the Right Writing Partner

The Thriller

Writing the Blockbuster Love Story

Tips for Interview Phobia

Are you stuck in a marketing rut? Then use the valuable counsel in this article:
10 Ways to Cultivate New Markets

Additional articles will be coming soon.

Agents and Editors and Contracts

If you have a contract, here's a thorough document of wise advice and valuable information from a professional writer/ lawyer:
Publishing Contract Checklist

Have you learned how to handle the editor words "no"? Take a difference stance with your writing:
Rejecting Rejection

The Safest Way to Search for an Agent

The Three Hard Truths About Agents

The Editor and the Author have a special relationship. You will gain some insight from:
Understanding The Editor-Author Relationship

If you want to alienate literary agents or editors, follow this tongue-in-cheek advice. It teaches what not to do:
Seven Ways to Alienate Agents and Influence Rejection

Here's a question you may have asked yourself:
What's an acquisitions editor? How can I help this editor?

Five Magic Phrases: Tips for Negotiating Like a Pro

Why You Get Form Rejection Letters

Character Development & Story

What is driving ahead the plot of your novel? Award-winning novelist James Scott Bell gives step-by-step insight about:
How to Keep Your Story Engine Running

Be A Story Weaver -- NOT a Story Mechanic

Why Story Structure is the Key to Success

The Essence of Story

How The Great Story Does Its Work

Beyond Theme: Story's New Unified Field (Part One)

Beyond Theme: Story's New Unified Field (Part Two)

Beyond Theme: Story's New Unified Field (Part Three)

Pretense, Pratfalls and Silly Walks: Why Characters make us Laugh

Great Characters - Their Best Kept Secret

Conferences Are Important

Four Keys to Writers Conference Success

Here's a skill every writer should learn:
Networking: The Writers' Conference Edge


Many writers are easily sidetracked. Seasoned writer Kristi Holl gives some valuable lessons for:
Dealing With Distractions

When All That's Left Is Writing: Turning Anxiety Into Creativity

The Three Cosmic Rules of Writing

Want to be more productive? Then this article is loaded with great advice:
Unleashing Your Creativity: Becoming a Better, More Productive Writer

Marketing & Promotion

For any author, marketing is a part of the process. This section will provide articles to help you learn more about this aspect of the business.

What's your feeling about self-promotion? It's part of the writing life and here's some valuable insight:
I'm Not Shameless

Today's book market is highly competitive. If your book isn't getting enough attention from the various media outlets, then read this article from publicity expert Lissa Warren:
Ten Things To Do If Your Book Is Not Getting Enough Media Attention.

Writing books is more than writing. Learn from this seasoned author, Robin Lee Hatcher, about how to handle the interview process with the media:
What Did You Say?


In this section, Terry provides insight to some common writer questions.

Additional resources will be coming soon.

Go to for more publishing info

If you have a question about fiction, feel free to email Terry Whalin using the form below. Because of time constraints, Terry is not always able to provide a personal answer but look for the answer to possibly appear on this page.

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