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Ep 51: From First Draft to Book Deal with Novelist Neely Alexander

When Neely Tubati-Alexander started working on her first novel (Love Buzz; HarperPerennial, May 2023), she wished someone could give her a straightforward understanding of the steps she'd need to take, from writing her first draft to properly querying agents to getting that often-sought-after publishing deal.  

In this episode of the Write the Damn Book Already podcast, she illuminates the path from draft to deal---at least the one she took---so that other aspiring authors have more of an understanding of what to expect, what to avoid, and how to keep going when things seem go awry.



  • The #1 way to piss off a literary agent (don't worry, it’s easy to avoid).

  • Should you have a manuscript edited (and to what degree) before querying a literary agent?

  • How to develop a strong query plan (and choose the best agents to query for your book).

  • The 3 most important things to know about your book before querying a literary agent.

  • What agents and editors look for beyond a great book.

  • The submissions process from agent to acquisitions editors.



Neely is the author of women’s fiction with rom-com feels you can escape into with a smile. And if you like seeing women pursuing love AND careers, you'll love her writing! If she's not tucked away at the little desk in her bedroom writing, you can find her at some kiddo activity (so many activities), drinking wine, or watching reality TV, usually the last two together.



Instagram: @neelyalexander


Love Buzz (debut novel):



Carly Watters: @carlywatters

Cece Lyra: @cecelyra

Bianca Marais: @biancamarais



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