Yep, I have my name on a book. What I've been finding is that there are some folks who ask how it can be done. The best I can do is tell you what I have done / learned over the past three years. At the core, know what you want to write. Make fairyland your reality. Wake up each morning and put on that starship admiral outfit. Know the right place to strap on that steampunk gear so that it isn't too binding...
1. Hawk the sites. The big publishing houses / group have pretty good sites. It doesn't matter if they are nearby. With the internet, your office will pretty much be your corner writing station wherever you live. Make that writing station your zen-focus-battlezone-writing studio. Hang posters, white boards, stack books, and load up on notepads. Oh, and this zone should be a no-surf / no-social media zone as well!
1a. Hawk the conventions. There are conventions where publishers go. They are going for three reasons: First, to sell their stuff. Second, to meet / greet / assess other folks in the field. Third, to see if there are any new contacts to be made (this is where YOU come in). Go in calm, professional, and know their goods. See the below 'Conventions' listing on this site for a few good ones.
2. Write EVERYTHING like you are on a one-month deadline. Every day you should be writing or researching something. Play the games you write and hand them out to your friends to play as well. You never know who they are going to network with.
3. Expect that anything that has been submitted will get stripped down to its bare bones and handed back for at least one (if not many post-playtested) rewrites. My work in Hooks began after a 2 month research into a German town (reconstructing it to 1200's historical standard) after two playtests, it had evolved into 'drop into any saga location' buildings and characters. The town write-up was mothballed. That is just the nature of the business. David Chart, the line editor said it best:
"I'm (Chart) the king, each of you writers are nobles in my court. Each of you are important to me, because of what you bring to the table, but at the end of the day; my Word is Law. Only take on what I say if you can prove that it is worth my time."
4. Until you end up on the New York Times bestseller list, don't plan on quitting your day job. We are talking about a penny per word, on the average. Early on, you are in the 'prove thyself' stage of the game.
Finally, tattoo words like 'tenacity' and 'regimented' across your psyche. It will help muck through the doldrums.