|photo by Chance Agrella|
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Are You Looking Toward Publishing?
Yes? I hope so. If you're writing, unless you're writing only a journal for yourself, then your aim, one way or another should be publishing.
No fair hiding stuff in a drawer, stacking it up and showing it to no one but your mother (and maybe not her). You may be creating great art, great entertainment, the bread and butter of the writing world, but if you don't submit it, who's going to know that?
Many of us writers lack in confidence, and even after we're published it doesn't change a whole heckuva lot. The question always remains, who's going to publish that next piece of mine? Where will it find a home.?
But there's also a simple equation. Write and rewrite, then submit and resubmit. Eventually you will publish and publish again. As I've mentioned in other places, every published writer has created his or her share of unsalable work. I have manuscripts and partial scripts right now on my shelves that may one day be reworked and resubmitted, but are 'resting' now as they haven't found their mark. That's okay, because others have. I've been published by Doubleday, Harlequin, Pinnacle, G.K. Hall, Five Star and others. In hard copy and, now Ebook format. I've optioned screen scripts, written for an animated TV series and published short pieces elsewhere. None of which would have happened if I hadn't thrust those works out into the world.
The reality is you must submit, and submit frequently. If you don't have a manuscript out there, there's no chance there's a check in the mail. Remember, no matter how much you revise and rework, no matter how many times you tear the piece apart and put it back together it will never be perfect. So, get as close to perfect as you can, reach a point where you simply feel it's as good as it can get - for now - and then send it out.
And, as professional, forget fancy fonts and prettily boxed text. Don't use brightly colored paper and don't punch it and put it in a binder. Follow submission guidelines the publisher puts out precisely. With word processors that isn't hard these days. A lot of publishers accept Equiries too.
Make sure the editor you're submitting to is someone who's worked with the type of material you've written. Don't send romance to a Sci/Fi only publisher. Don't send Sci/Fi to a publisher of mysteries. You get it, do your research
Quite simply, aside from being a creative writer, you are also an independent businessperson and your product is your writing. You are responsible for getting your work out there. For the emerging writer it's an inescapable fact. If you decide to get an agent and work toward that end, the work is still yours until you get that agent. Even then, the burden is merely shared, it doesn't shift entirely to the agent. The new writer will need to have his or her own website, to promote their work, to work with editors. I had to cut a book almost 1/3 in length one time and that was just to get the contract. There was more work after that.
So set your sites on publishing - but don't think for a moment that it ends there.