Hi everyone, I'm working on my second novel (my first just keeps getting rejected by agents) and I was wondering exactly how to go about securing an advance to finish a novel? I thought all writers had to finish their book, then submit to an agent, wait to hear back, then the agent would send it to publishers. But I've read a few times now about first-time authors who, before their work was finished, approached publishers directly with a book proposal and got paid to finish their book. Some have never even had an agent. How exactly does this work? How exactly do I know which publishers to send a book proposal to? If a publisher says 'no unsolicited manuscripts', will they still accept book proposals? Do many first-time authors manage to snag a deal before they've completed their book? I've researched publishing before but it all sounds very confusing and I very often come across information that conflicts with something I'd previously read. Thanks for replying!