1. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Building a reputation

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by live2write, Feb 11, 2012.

    I am a part-time writer. My main job is an artist and a photographer. I want to start my career in writing. I do not want to blindly complete a story and submit it to an agent. I want to show that I have evolved and I have some stories and samples around on the internet and some published in e-zines, websites, etc.

    I have a shopping list of stories that I would not mind to self publish online and a list of stories I lock away for publishing. Any suggestions to what I should do if I want to see my book be on the shelves in bookstores or sold online?

    Is it good to have some of my "rejected" but great works published online?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Getting short stories published is a great way to build a reputation. In most cases you don't need an agent to submit short stories. Just go to duotrope.com and search through listings of markets.

    Once you've established a reputation/audience for yourself, you can focus on writing and getting a novel published. I recommend the traditional route rather than self-publishing because in traditional publishing the publisher pays the author, not the other way around.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    thirdwind's advice is good. Submit to short story markets, and then you'll have a catalogue of publishing credits to serve as your reputation.

    I think in that case, you need to be asking yourself why they were rejected. Self-publishing stories online can work, but only if you put the promotional legwork in. It's categorically not an easy option. If you just stick something on the internet and leave it there, it's less likely to make a positive contribution to your reputation. I'd suggest you're probably be better off working on improving your stories and getting them published traditionally.
     
  4. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I call them rejected because they are misc. works that are aside from my 3 novels that I am working on. 1 is a personal memoir, 2nd is a collection of science fiction story stories revolving around one universe, 3rd is my longest novel I have been working on for 8 years already piecing together the gaps between the three books.

    Just because the stories were rejected on my list does not mean I want to throw out the ideas. They just do not fit any of the above.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    So you mean that they were "rejected" by you, rather than submitted to a market and rejected in that sense? Okay, I understand then (I think).

    The only one of those that I'm qualified to comment on is the short stories, so I'll leave the other two to other members.

    You won't be able to sell a collection of short stories. Publishers just aren't interested in them from unknown writers. Nor, I suspect, would simply sticking it online do a damn thing. What I would advise you to do is have a look at trying to sell them individually. If they genuinely are stories in their own right, then you can submit them to different venues as you would in normal practice. Then, if they sell, if they're popular, you'll have a grounding on which to pitch a collection to a publisher.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    While 'building a reputation' is a good thing, the ultimate determiner will be the novel you're submitting to publishers in hopes of being offered a contract.

    In building the reputation, say with short stories, the better market it is (they are) sold to, and the more relevant to the market the novel is focused on (ie an inspirational short story won't cross over well via potential audience with, say a SF short), the more impact (if any) there will be. Exposure in nonpaying markets will have little if any positive impact--and maybe negative. Pro-rate paying markets will have the best chance of getting some notice.

    What may a series of short story sales do?

    Show that a writer can write saleable works that some editors thought were of solid quality and right for their audience.
    That a writer can work with editors and knows a bit about the writing business.
    May (and I say may) have garnered a small following of readers, or at least those open to reading your work.

    Yes, it's something to put on a cover letter. Some would argue it goes a way in building a 'platform' which publishers are said to crave in new writers. How much stock one puts in any of this is irrelevant if the novel in question isn't of sufficient quality, what the publisher believes is marketable/can sell, and is on target for what that publisher is willing to consider (publishes).

    There are also folks out there who suggest if one can self-publish short stories and such and prove themselves through sales, this will impress and have an influence on publishers. The notion on the surface sounds good. It may very well be true. I have no direct experience in this. The questions would be, what level of sales will 'impress' a potential publisher, and what amount of time, effort, and potential money, is a writer willing to put into marketing and promoting their self-published works. Just putting them out there is like creating a single blog among the vast millions out there and hoping people will stumble across it, read and enjoy it, and come back for more. Doesn't happen.

    Sorry if I rambled a bit. Good luck as you move forward.
     
  7. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Thank you TWErvin2. I understand what you just said.

    I can see it is a risk of creating a blog of stories that are self-published. However I apologize for not describing in detail with my collection of short stories. The book is revolved around 1 location, 1 place in time and 1 idea however there are many stories revolving around it. Think about the Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury.

    third wind: I checked out duotrope.com and it seems very decent however just from how the website is designed makes me wonder if it is legit. Anybody have experiences with this website?


    I think what I need to do is get my works finished and move on from there to find out what is the next step.

    Thank you
     
  8. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, it is a useful tool to identify proper markets for a writer's work. I've used it as have thousands of other writers.
     
  9. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Live2write,

    Probably the thing that's going to impress publishers the most is sales. After that whether your work has been picked up by other publishers or magazines, and then belatedly, awards. My thought would be that if you want to get a publisher for your novels and a reputation, submit your shorter fiction to magazines and competitions. See if you can get some of it picked up or win something. Don't put shorter fiction on an epub site like Kindle, it sells very poorly compared with novels, and you have to assume that a publisher can google just as well as you and find your rankings. From that he'll get a view of your reputation and it won't be the one you want.

    If you do end up self pubbing, start with your novels.

    Hope that helps.

    Greg.
     
  10. Snap228
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    Snap228 Member

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    You should read the book "Get Known Before the Book Deal," by Christine Katz. It's has a lot of stuff for non-fiction writers, but there's also some good advice if your goal is publishing fiction. :)
     
  11. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    what is interesting is just the other day I have been recommended this
     

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