We all recognized that your chance of getting “found” in the slush pile was small, but it was a tiny candle of hope. Now most publishers (not counting small, regional or university presses) won’t read anything that doesn’t go through an agent, not even book proposals.
Part of the reason is that publishers were getting so many over the transom manuscripts, they were spending too much money hiring reader to cull through them. Part of the reason is also publishers having to fight plagiarism suits. Now you have to find an agent to represent you and be the go-between between you and a publishing house.
But today, writing talent isn't necessarily enough. It helps to have a big-media affiliation, or be effective on TV....The article gives 5 pieces of advice in this era of the dead or dying slush pile:
"These days, you need to deliver not just the manuscript but the audience," says Mr. Levine. "More and more, the mantra in publishing is 'Ask not what your publisher can do for you, ask what you can do for your publisher.'"
1. Find an agent who's hungry—and "monetize."Are any of you still submitting directly to a publisher? Are you getting responses? Or does it feel like tossing paper into a black hole?
2. Don't be a barista waiting for someone to stumble upon your genius.
3. Find another way in
5. And buck up.