Jodi Picoult Has the Answers to Your Publishing Questions

“Writing can be healing, as you must 
know by now, and perhaps you can inspire 
another kid who was just like you.

Used with permission from Jodi Picoult.

“Writing can be healing, as you must know by now, and perhaps you can inspire another kid who was just like you.

Ask any teenager what their dreams consist of, and most will either answer with uncertainty or with irrational haste.  Some will say they desire to travel to faraway countries, to become famous actors, or to simply survive high school.  Others may not know what they want to do with their futures yet—a perfectly acceptable answer.  However, there are those select few who know exactly what they want to achieve.  Emerging from this group of people will be the world’s newest and finest authors—those individuals who posses the innate ability to inspire, teach, motivate, entertain, and move readers around the world through their words.  Though these undiscovered authors are more than capable of dreaming up, developing, and creating countless literary masterpieces, not all of them understand how to publish their pieces; some of them may not even know how to begin to understand the publishing process.

While this may be true, Jodi Picoult, a world-renowned author, personally offered to advise me over the course of my own publishing quest.  In an effort to assist my fellow writers in discovering and walking the road to success, I have decided to share some of her advisory guidelines for transforming yourself from a budding writer to a nationally recognized, published author.

As recommended by Picoult, an agent is first and foremost.  Nothing can be accomplished in the publishing world without first hiring an agent to do the dirty work; any manuscript that is sent directly to a publisher without the involvement or approval of an agent will be immediately discarded.  Picoult suggests purchasing a reference book called the Literary Marketplace.  It includes a list of agents who are currently accepting new clients to help an author get started.

Secondly, write a query letter to the listed agents along with three chapters of the manuscript; they can be from any part of the novel.  Send all of these things to the agent.  To learn how to write a query letter, read through copies of Writer’s Digest.  Next, wait for a response.  Unfortunately, the first will probably be no.  And so will the next one.  And the one after that.  Even Jodi Picoult, the unbelievably famous and unfathomably successful author who has won numerous awards for her writing, experienced the sting of dismissal.  “I had over one hundred rejections before I found an agent,” she explained.

However, this business “rewards those who persevere,” so remain confident and send it to other agents until one expresses interest.  In the closing words of Picoult, “Tenacity is EVERYTHING in this business,” so with the right resources and the correct attitude, becoming a published author will no longer seem like such a far-fetched concept.


Click on the links below for more information regarding a few of Jodi Picoult’s best reviewed books:

The Storyteller details the troubled life of a retired Nazi officer and the guilt he suffers from subsequently. Years later, after starting a bakery business, emotional conflict arises when he decides to share a dark secret from his past with the young woman that he has befriended and employed.

My Sister’s Keeper tells of a family’s struggle to stay together after one of their children, Anna, requests medical emancipation from her parents in response to the pain she is put through on a regular basis. She is expected to give up anything from her body for her sister who has cancer, and her family is changed forever the moment she decides to take legal action.

The Pact is the story of two life friends.  They were born together, they played together, they fell in love, they struggled together, and then one killed the other.  Is it true?  What, if anything, went wrong with their relationship?  How far will one go to satisfy the one they love?  Read The Pact to find out.

Mercy begs the question: Would you kill your spouse just because they asked you to?  What if they begged?  Cameron killed his wife out of love, or so he says, and now it is the court jury’s job to determine whether he deserves to pay for what he has done.