Agents WILL look you up online.

If you’re trying to get published, remember that anything you put on the internet may be used against you in the court of public opinion. Heck, that’s good advice even if you’re not trying to get published.

A survey of agents, editors, and art directors finds that not only do most of them look up potential clients online, but a large majority of them have rejected someone because of what they found (!). Okay, it’s admittedly a small sample, but very informative.

(Thanks to Debbie Ridpath Ohi for the survey, and Richard Sutton for the tip.)

“There is no secret ingredient”

A basic truth on getting published from Krista Van Dolzer.

I’ve done enough research into the history of best-sellers myself to confirm how much being in the right place, at the right time, with the right amount of luck, has to do with publishing success.

But before you sit back, get comfortable, and say “okay, so it’s not in my lap, it’s in somebody else’s,” remember this: it doesn’t mean you can get away with making your “Secret Ingredient Soup” out of crap.

You still need to write a good book.

Waiting for lightning to strike (pardon the metaphor jump) works better if you’re on the top of the hill to start with.

“Loved your book, can’t publish it.”

Lynn Price at Behler Blog explains why even a good book can have trouble getting a publisher.

The part on market trends is important. The time delay between submitting a manuscript and getting it on the bookstore shelves — often measured in years — make it almost certain that the bandwagon you’re trying to jump on won’t be moving by the time you’ve gotten on board. It’s a lot like the stock market in some ways.

So you don’t really lose out on market opportunities by writing what you want to write, and what you’re best at writing. Who knows? Many of the hot trends got started by authors who struck out on new paths. Maybe you’ll be one of them.