1. SecretNinja
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    SecretNinja New Member

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    How hard is it to get published?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by SecretNinja, Feb 8, 2012.

    Hello all! :)

    I've been dipping my toes into some creative writing and stumbled upon those forums. I've been toying with the idea of writing part-time, and I was wondering how hard is it exactly to get published? Anyone here with first hand experience? If yes, did you succeed? How? Is it really the monster it is rumored to be?

    -SecretNinja

    EDIT: Yeah, just noticed that there was a publishing section to those forums. It's my first time and I missed it! Sorry guys :(
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly 833.7. :)
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You are toying with the idea of writing part time?

    Piece of cake.
     
  4. SecretNinja
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    SecretNinja New Member

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    Please explain?
     
  5. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    If your writing is good enough, you will eventually get published. Simple as that really.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep improving. Keep submitting.

    That's all there is to it, really.
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm surprised you should feel the need to ask. But, since you have: the manner in which you asked your question suggests that you might consider having a go at writing IF getting published isn't too terribly difficult and as long as it doesn't trespass on your valuable time. That kind of approach does not augur well for a successful writing career, and if you read through the legions of posts on this forum, it is rather alien to the manner in which most of us approach writing.

    So...if your goal (or, shall we say, the ultimate end of the course of action to which you are considering committing yourself) is to be a writer published in the traditional sense, you should know that current estimates (discussed in a recent thread nearby) are that only somewhere in the range of 1% - 4% of submitted works get published. Of course, there is the "self-publishing" process (also known as "vanity press") in which you can pay to have your work put into print, but if you do so, all of the work of advertising, distribution and sales falls to you. Self-published authors are not generally well-regarded by the publishing community, and it has been suggested that being self-published can actually hurt you if you later try to go the traditional route (unless you are one of the very, very few who has actually turned self-publishing into a commercial success - I would estimate THAT number to be well south of 1%). Bit of a sticky wicket, what?

    And yet, here we all are, bound and determined (many of us) to be part of that small percentage that makes it. To that end, we work hard at what we do whenever we can (families and making sure we have two nickels to rub together usually take priority). We fret over our characters, wonder about settings, ponder subplots, ferret away information for future use, share ideas, argue sometimes, and generally push, heave, nudge, pound, carve, mould, bake and rend all of that into something that might someday be a story that people we've never met or even heard of might find compelling. And, as another recent thread nearby shows, some of us do that while juggling the kinds of nasty surprises that life sometimes throws our way, or without loving support from family and friends.

    So, my guess is that if you are toying with the notion of writing, and your decision is based on the chances of being published, you probably are not going to be toying with it for long. Piece of cake.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, it can range from very, very hard, to impossible... writing only part time will make it even harder...
     
  9. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    SecretNinja, it is very hard, both to write well and to get published. But it is possible, since people do it all the time.

    From what I've heard from published writers, good writing gets published, eventually. Hard work and persistence are the keys.
     
  10. SecretNinja
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    SecretNinja New Member

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    Pardon me if my intentions weren't exactly clear. Like many people here, I write for fun and pleasure, keeping folders and notebooks filled with ideas, poetry and short stories I wrote. I share my work with my family and friends, enjoying their feedback and opinions on my texts. I never got published, and I wrote none of my texts with this idea in mind. I've been shifting through my works and I was simply pondering about sending some poems or short stories to a magazine or anthology. I am still a student and I can't work full time. However, it is a true hobby of mine which I am passionate about. I enjoyed writing and will continue perfecting the craft even if I get rejected a thousand times.

    The question came as pure curiosity. To me, the act of publishing something is unclear and misty. I understand that is it a serious and heavy process, but my knowledge ends here. I opened this thread to get some personal opinion, anecdotes and answers on how arduous it is from people that have more experience than me.

    As I reread my opening post, I realize it wasn't clear and didn't clearly transmit the point I was trying to make. I guess that's what I get for posting this late.
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My apologies for misinterpreting your post. One of the inherent weaknesses of posting online is that it is impossible to read the nonverbal cues in communication - tone, body language, etc.

    The publishing process is a difficult one to negotiate, but certainly not impossible. As TD points out above, good writers get published, eventually (assuming they're persistent and follow the process). But if you are serious about writing - and it seems that you are - don't worry about it at this point. The process varies somewhat depending on what you are submitting - short stories, nonfiction articles, full length nonfiction books or novels (or screenplays, poetry, etc) and you should wait until you have something that you really think is good enough to sell before worrying about the process. I would suggest, though, that as a student you probably have access to student publications, such as a student literary magazine. The process of submission will likely be much more direct than professional publishing, and your chances of success are much higher. It would also give you a little experience in the publishing and editing process. Another thing you may want to do is to show some of your work to a teacher or professor you trust in order to get objective feedback. Sharing with family and friends is good (many novice writers hesitate to share their work with anyone for fear of negative comment) but their comments, while encouraging, will probably lack the kind of objectivity you need. Again, your experiences may be different.

    When you do reach the point where you think you are ready to try to get something professionally published, there are lots of guides out there, and plenty of good advice to be had on this forum. But for now, my advice would be to focus on developing your ability and style.

    Best of luck.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you want to send out some of your work, www.duotrope.com is your best resource...
     
  13. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is very challenging to find a publisher. The better your work, and the better the publisher feels it will sell, the better your chances.

    The only way you can succeed is to write the very best novel you can, making sure it's presented in the very best light--including cover letter, synopsis, etc. (after properly researching markets) and submit it. While you're waiting, write something else and continue. You'll improve. If you don't complete a work and send it off, your chances of finding a publisher are an absolue zero.

    Something else: Always be professional. On line, in all communications, at conventions or writing events, at bookstores.
     

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