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Finding a publisher

5 February 2018

'What you have to remember about the publishing business is that a young editor or small publisher makes a fortune by finding an unknown writer and making the book into a best seller. That is how you get on in the publishing business. And so if you do write something good, they will be crazy about it and they'll publish it with great enthusiasm. They will also spend money advertising it.

So although people say, "it's terribly difficult for a first novelist to get published," in fact, if you are good it is not that difficult.

My first novel was not very good but it still got published. It wasn't good enough to be a bestseller, but it had something and a publisher read it and thought, "this guy could be going somewhere". He published it because he thought I might write something better one day.

Your job is to show them what you can do. To start with, you will need an outline because the publisher will want to know what the story is about and how it develops. They will also want to know whether you can write and if you have got the power of words.

For that, you will have to write at least some of it...'

Ken Follett, author of The Kingsbridge Series and The Century Trilogy from the Masterclass on his website