by Matt Lynn
Over on the terrific Crime Time website, The Curzon Group have been jointly explaining how we came to get published. It's an astute choice of subject. Every writer will know that the question you get asked most frequently is how you interest a publisher in your book.
The answers are revealing - and you can read them on the site, so there is no need to repeat them here.
But there are, I think, some common themes.
One is to know the market. Publishers are commercial operations, and they publish what sells.
Next, know their list. You might have written a great military thriller, but if they've already got one of those on their list, they won't want to publish you as well. Look for their gaps, then fill them.
Finally, persevere. Don't take no for an answer.
Of course, that said, it's a completely chaotic industry, in which no one really knows anything. So as soon as you set down any rules, they are likely to be broken.