• Janette Johnson Melson

Step 2 - So You Want to Publish a Novel

Updated: Mar 22

Now that you’ve decided to overcome your fear of failure (or even success)—see my previous blog—you probably figure that the next logical step is to actually finish writing a novel. Well, in my opinion, it’s still not quite time for that. Should you have some ideas? Of course! Should you at least be working on a novel? Definitely! But does it need to be completely finished before you even begin thinking about the next steps? I don’t think so. In fact, I think you can save yourself time and heartache if you begin familiarizing yourself with the publishing world and educating yourself on what editors look for in your genre.


For example, I recently learned that editors want to read romances with a great storyline, during which two characters happen to fall in love. The romance still takes center stage, of course, but there must be more to the story than just the romance itself. I discovered this by hiring a professional writer to critique the first chapter of what I hope will be my debut novel. Confession time: I spent hours and hours editing and revising, and yet when I got my critique back, there was still so much for me to improve! Talk about humbling! But it’s good to be humbled sometimes. In fact, God says that the humble will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12, Luke 14:11). He doesn’t say that it will be painless, though, and it isn’t! But I don’t want to scare you, especially not when you’ve just now decided to overcome your fear. As fellow author Hunter S. Thompson stated, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right;” therefore, I recommend that you start educating yourself about the process—both writing and publishing. Of course, tons and tons of articles, blogs, podcasts, etc., exist online. I particularly enjoy and find useful the blogs on the website of literary agent, Steve Laube, https://stevelaube.com/blog/.


Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below or email me at Janette@jjmelson.com, and I’ll try to help. Also, continue to follow me through this blog and my newsletter (click to sign up https://www.jjmelson.com/sign-up-for-my-e-newsletter-1), and you can witness my journey in real time (well, almost), right along with me. In the meantime, though, don’t just sit there wishing you could write a novel. Figure out what your next step should be and take it!

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