Monday, January 7, 2008

Things I Know About Writing and Getting Published

Very often, a writer sits for days, weeks, maybe even years writing their memoirs. They believe they are very good and that their writing will be snatched up by the first publisher that reads their works. They imagine having the option to say "Hmmmm, I think I will wait for another offer. A better offer. Not to say this is a bad thought but it is normally an unrealistic thought. If it should happen to you, then I am thrilled for you. I truly am. But there is a chance that things will not fall the way they have been envisioned.

Being a writer myself, I know about the sending, the waiting and the rejections that can sop your enthusiam and cause you to question your own abilities as a serious writer. You have to realize that though your writing may in fact be great, publishers have a list of what they are looking for. Novel subjects go in and out just like seasons. If you hit the right "season" then your book has a better chance of being picked up by a publisher. You have to have patience and need to keep writing. The right publisher or agent may come out of left field and take your work. You need to take the time to do some research and join writers sites and authors sites to see what is selling or what the popular subjects are at the time of your writing. Check with publishers and look at their guidelines to see what they do or do not accept. Learn to write a professional query letter or synopsis to send to publishers or agents.

I spent the better part of 10 years writing before actually submitting a novel to anyone. I was not rejected but the publisher that took my novel was really looking for new authors at the time. My timing could not have been better as they were also looking for the subject matter I was offering was exactly what they were looking for.

It is so important to know what you are writing and where the best sites are for your work. And if you are still rejected by them, then keep writing and keep sending.That is the best advice yiou are going to ever going to get from me concerning publishers. Study, learn, get to know them.

As for the prep before you send the manuscript to anyone, have it edited professionally. When you send your manuscript un-edited, one of the first things that a publish or Agent will ask is to see the credentials of your editor or critiquer. If you have not had this done then they will ask you have this done before they will even take the manuscript any further. Save yourself the time and efforts of submitting your manuscript until you have accomplished this step.

You need to be ready for some tweaking and tightening of your manuscript and that is not a bad thing at all. The better your manuscript comes to the publisher or agent, the better you look also. I encourage you to do all that you can to make your manuscript the best that it can be. You want to be a professional writer and deal with professional publishers and agents. You need to then look like a professional also.

A really good book to help you along the path to being published are Writers Market Companion from Writers Digest. This book is put out by a very well know group and written by Mary Cupito and Joe Feiertag. Mary is a freelance writer who teaches journalism at Northern Kentucky University. She has worked as a reporter for the Cincinnati post, the Columbus Dispatch and the St. Petersburg Times. Joe is a public relations professional and former journalist who has built a very successful career as a freelance writer and editor. He also has taught writing at college level. They have mastered the art of writing Query letters and synopsis.

Another great book to add to your library is the MFA in creative writing, written by the members of the New York Writers Workshop. This book helps teach writers dialogue and ways to improve your writing skills concerning creating "hooks" inside your book and ways to write so that your words reach the audiences you are seeking to sell to.

The Writers Digest offers an extensive list of publishers and Agents looking for authors, new and already published seeking ways to publish their novels. Very well worth having it at your fingertips also.

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