I’m often asked: “How do I get published?”

Maybe you have a literary gem or fabulous idea that would benefit the world.

After publishing thousands of books and articles by a wide variety of writers over the years at Group Publishing, I have a few hints for how to get started.

1. Have something fresh and unique to say. Nobody wants to read the musings of someone who “can write on anything.”

2. Condense your thoughts to a central idea. Write a short description of your concept. Just a couple of paragraphs will do.

3. Research publishers that publish work similar to your concept. Here at Group Publishing we publish practical ministry resources. But I’m always astonished at the proposals we receive, such as “Pretty Poems for Sassy Sissies.” Not really a fit for us.

4. Refer to the publisher’s writer guidelines. Many publishers provide detailed instructions for what and how to submit writing to them. Most publishers place their guidelines on their websites. Find Group’s guidelines here.

5. Send your proposal to one or more publishers that fit you. Keep it to a page. Include a bit about yourself, your experience, and why you’re the one to write this masterpiece.

6. Wait for a request for more details. If publishers are interested they’ll likely ask for more information, perhaps a table of contents and a sample chapter.

7. Get to work. If your proposal is accepted, the publisher will offer a contract that defines writing specifications, deadlines, and compensation details. You sign, then go to work writing.

The publisher then takes your work, edits it, markets it, distributes it, and compensates you. Of course, you also have the option of self-publishing, which will require more time, expertise and financial investment on your part.

What are your questions about getting published?