If you're an aspiring author, congratulations on following your heart and starting out on this journey! Getting published can happen lightning fast or it can years of hard work and dedication. Most of us (including me!) fell into that second category, so don't despair if it doesn't happen overnight. Here's a collection of information that was helpful to me along the way.

Getting an Agent

Writers Digest offers an extensive list of successful queries.

Ex-agent and now-author Nathan Bransford gives basic information on how to write a query letter. If you're just getting started, Nathan Bransford will be a wealth of information.

Here's a fabulous list of questions to ask during the call by agent Mary Kole.

Finding Critique Partners

Working with critique partners made a big difference in the quality of my work. Here's author Beth Revis' take on finding a good one.

Writing

Don't know how long your book should be? Agent Jennifer Laughran's take on word count should help.

25 things you should do before starting your next novel, according to author Chuck Wendig.

Author Nova Ren Suma's thoughts on outlining.

Author Courtney Summers' take on writing.

When NOT to begin your novel.

Revising Your Work

A simple approach to revisions.

Janice Hardy's advice on "spit shining" your work.

Submission

The Lucky 13s give an inside look at the submission process - if you're looking for statistics, here they are.

Author Natalie Whipple on what to expect when you're submitting.

Editor Martha Mihalick guides us through the process from submission to acquisition.

Agent Jennifer Laughran on keeping quiet about the submission process.

Author Dahlia Adler has compiled a wonderful list of anonymous submission details.

Agent/author Mandy Hubbard's submission story.

A variety of submission stories, compiled by author Mindy McGinnis.

Author Michelle Krys guides us through the submission process.

Author Natalie Whipple discusses books that don't sell.

A submission survival guide from the Publishing Hub folks.

Author Kiersten White discusses going on submission with a book that doesn't sell - and later selling.

A Story of the Unsold - by author Caroline Richmond.

Author Andrea Hannah tells her story of a very long submission process that ended in her book's sale.

Post Book Deal

In defense of the one book deal - by agent Kristin Nelson.

Author Natalie Whipple on the pros and cons of the option book.

Agent Joanna Volpe discusses royalty statements.

Agent Kathleen Ortiz on foreign rights.

Agent Sarah Greenhouse on rights.

The nine things author Alison Cherry wishes she'd known about publishing.

YA

Sex in YA.

Quoting lyrics in YA.

Author Chuck Wendig's list of 25 things you should know about YA.

Why YA is Important

For the Love of Teenage Girls

A moving article by author Matt De Le Pena.

When You Need Encouragement

Author Beth Revis' gorgeous post on being thankful for dreams.

Author Nova Ren Suma discusses dreams and writing the book of her heart. This meant a lot to me on my writing journey.

Author Jo Case on the possibility of failure.

General

The wonderful folks at YA Highway created this amazing publishing road map. If there's a specific topic I didn't cover, this is the place to go.