2. Don’t hold back. You can’t be worried about what your family or friends will think. You have to be true to yourself and the work, and don’t worry about offending people. In fact, if you offend people that’s a good sign you’re doing something right.
3. When you finish your first book, write your second book. Too many new authors finish their novel and think their work is done, and stop writing while they search for an agent. The reality is that writers are always working, have new deadlines, so you have to get into this rhythm.
4. Get used to rejection. There isn’t just rejection from agents—there’s rejection at every level. I’m sure Lee Child still feels a sting when he gets a bad review, so build up that thick skin now.
5. Be persistent. My past as a telemarketer has telemarketer has helped me with this one. I believe if you have a good product, somebody will eventually buy it. If there is a great unpublished masterpiece sitting in a drawer right now it’s not because a publisher didn’t want to publish it—it’s because the writer gave up. If your book is good, and you try hard enough, I guarantee you’ll have success.