If you’ve already written a manuscript, and you are not self-publishing, then chances are you’re looking for agent representation. Before you send your manuscript to prospective literary agents or publishers, take the time to get it right by reviewing the GETTING PUBLISHED checklist.

By Robin Van Auken the Wholehearted Author

Did you know that 200 million Americans want to write a book? Yes, that’s right: at least 200 million.

According to William Dietrich, novelist, naturalist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, “Pollsters report more than 80 percent of Americans would like to be an author, and in 2011 statisticians counted 329,259 books published in the United States, and 2.2 million books published in the world. Google estimates 130 million books have been published in human history.”

That’s a lot of books, and a lot of writers.

Some people think these books should never be written.

Joseph Epstein writes in “Think You Have a Book in You? Think Again,” published in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times, that he would like to discourage people from writing books that “add to the schlock pile.”

“There is something very American in the notion that almost everyone has a book in him or her,” Epstein writes. “Misjudging one’s ability to knock out a book can only be a serious and time-consuming mistake. Save the typing, save the trees, save the high tax on your own vanity. Don’t write that book, my advice is, don’t even think about it. Keep it inside you, where it belongs.”

I say, “Pooh! Write if you will, write if you must.”

Many people write because they can’t NOT write. If you’re one of “us” then don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop. Keep working until it’s the best you can do, then hire someone to help you improve. There’s a story in everyone, so tell it.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!