Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers by Hope Bolinger, Linda Fulkerson, Rowena Kuo, and Carrie Schmidt (Excerpt & #Giveaway) #nonfiction @justreadtours

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Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers
By Hope Bolinger, Linda Fulkerson, Rowena Kuo, and Carrie Schmidt
Nonfiction, Writing
Paperback & eBook, 298 Pages
October 11, 2022 by Scrivenings Press LLC


Remember when Dorothy finally reached the Emerald City only to be halted by the Gatekeeper, blocking her hopes of seeing the Great and Powerful Wizard?

The path to publication is like that. Agents, and Editors, and Publishers, oh, my! Each one is a barrier between you and a publishing contract.

But what if you understood what agents, editors, publishers, and readers really want?

If you’re struggling to get past the publishing gatekeepers, this book will give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how to win the heart of each type of publishing professional. In fact, Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers won’t just give you a peek—it will give you a guided tour. In this book, four publishing professionals—an agent, a publisher, an editor, and an influencer—share what it takes to unlock each “gate” within the publishing industry.

Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers is a must-have resource for all aspiring authors, and it offers insights to help multi-published authors as well.

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Subscribe to the Publishing Gatekeepers newsletter and receive a tip sheet on 12 ways for getting past the gatekeepers.

From the section on editors, written by Rowena Kuo

At writers’ conferences, I expect to see rough drafts, as that is a big part of the experience. Authors go to conferences to learn and receive help with their manuscripts. However, before you submit your work to an agent or a publishing house, I recommend that you get your manuscript edited and polished. A freelance developmental or content editor can help with that  process. They point out loopholes in your story, may suggest rearrangement of chapters, or strengthening of your plot, conflict, and characters.

Where do you find freelance editors? We come in all genres and all budgets. You can find us on social media, through referrals from other writers, and you can find us at writers conferences. A developmental edit can cost you between $300-$2500, depending on word count and the time it would take to edit your book. If writing your novel takes you a year or more, having it edited could take just as long. Be patient. Before you obtain the help of a content editor, a way to improve your manuscript would be for you, the author, to become a Master of Firsts.

How many numbers are there between 0 and 1? As there is an infinite number between 0 and 1, so, too, are there infinite word combinations to consider before you even write your first sentence. A Master of Firsts recognizes the gift of infinity to lift the limits off how the story comes to life. What separates failure and greatness fall to just one word: and.

What is your and? With what content will you fill your pages? There is infinity between failure and greatness. “And” equals infinity. Decide now that failure is not an option.

You have only one chance to make a first impression, so the opening lines of your work need to have impact. The first sentence intrigues the reader, must be compelling enough to hold the reader’s attention, and may or may not be its own paragraph. The first sentence introduces the author’s voice. The first line, which sets the tone, can be a quote from a character, and may be in the middle of an action. A Master of Firsts draws the reader in by the first paragraph. Every word matters, so don’t waste any. Use strong, active verbs.

An ideal first page has between 100-300 words. You are developing a relationship with your reader. With your words, you are painting a picture of what your characters are experiencing. This establishes a dialogue between you and your reader. Your first page should also establish your Point of View (POV) character.

About the Authors

Hope Bolinger is an acquisitions editor at End Game Press and the author of 21 books. She's contributed to 10 other books, in addition, including Getting Past the Gatekeepers. She loves to model, do theater, and get lost in the woods.

Connect with Hope by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

USMC veteran Linda Fulkerson began her writing career as a copyeditor and typesetter at a small-town weekly newspaper. She has since been published in several magazines and newspapers, including a two-year stint as a sportswriter and later the online editor of a midsize daily. Linda also served as the director of digital services for the largest media outlet in central Texas. She is the author of two novels, two novellas, and several nonfiction books. In 2020, she founded Scrivenings Press LLC, a traditional publisher of clean and Christian books.

Linda and her husband, Don, live on a ten-acre plot in central Arkansas. They are part of an RV ministry group and travel the country volunteering at various entities. Linda and Don have four adult children and eight grandchildren. In addition to kicking back in her recliner with a good book, Linda enjoys photography, travel, and spoiling her two dachshunds.

Connect with Linda by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Rowena Kuo is the CEO and Executive Editor for Brimstone Fiction, Brimstone Books and Media, and Brimstone Fire. With over 15 years of ministering to children, youth groups, young adults, women, and family groups, Rowena advocates for writers to build God-centered support systems consisting of people, perseverance, practice, and most of all, prayer. She has written for Christian Devotions, Written World Communications, Splickety, and the 168 Write of Passage. When not working on words or films, she is a full-time mom with secret aspirations for spaceflight.

Connect with Rowena by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie started the popular blog in 2015 and since then has had the honor of co-founding the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours. In addition to these endeavors, she is a regular contributor to Seekerville and has written for magazines such as RT Book Reviews and Christian Market. Carrie now lives in Georgia with her husband, though her roots range from East Tennessee to Central Kentucky and northern Illinois.

Connect with Carrie by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Tour Schedule

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a $40 Amazon gift card.

Full tour schedule linked above. The giveaway begins at midnight October 5, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 12, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


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