1. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I Want to be Published!

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Lewdog, Aug 22, 2014.

    I want to be published. Give me some hints on the best things to do in order to get my stuff out there.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    What are you trying to publish? Novels? Short stories? Poetry?
     
  3. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Mostly short stories and poetry. I just thought this might be a good idea for some people to share some of their secrets to getting published. Maybe I'm blind but I haven't seen a lot of threads sharing this type of info. I used to have a page full of all kinds of publishing companies. It showed what genre they were, how they accepted work, and which ones paid or not. I can't seem to find it anymore.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Try Duotrope or Poets&Writers. Duotrope is $50 a year I think, but P&W is free.
     
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  5. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Write a great story, network, send it to people, network, and write a great story.
     
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  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    And after you're published, the next step is to be read.
     
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  7. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I checked out the Poets&Writers and it looks pretty good. I think tomorrow I'm going to spend some time sending out some stuff. Thank you.
     
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  8. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    Type your preferred genre into your search engine of choice and see what comes up. (Google is free.) Scrutinize each place before submitting to be sure it's legit (check in with Predators and Editors to make this easier), and that your work is suitable. Write a really awesome query letter. EDIT said query letter, or get someone to edit for you---your query letter is often your only shot and acquisition editors are turned off by error-laden queries.

    Oh, and as some of the others have already said, write something really excellent.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Let us know how it goes.
     
  10. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Anyone have some tips to writing a good query letter? What's the best things to put into one? Is it basically like a cover letter you send with a submission, or is it something you send asking permission to submit a piece?
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Stories and poems don't require query letters. All you need for that is a cover letter. A query letter is used to get, for example, an agent interested enough in your novel to represent you. You don't submit the entire manuscript when you query agents. On the other hand, you do submit the entire poem/story (unless stated otherwise) along with a cover letter.
     
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  12. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    What do you think is the most important information to put in a cover letter? I was thinking about putting the different forums I visit, but I'm not sure past that. I've not really been published before and I haven't won any awards for my writing yet. I guess I could put the contests awards I have gotten here, but is that worthy of mentioning?
     
  13. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This is a pretty good guide to use. The forums you visit and contest awards don't mean much and shouldn't be included.
     
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  14. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    In the revised cover letter, it looks streamlined and specific. Title and type of piece, name and employment, and specific interest. It doesn't look that hard to follow.
     
  15. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Is it a good idea to start an email address specifically for electronic submissions? Do you think that traditional hard copy submissions have an advantage over electronic submissions?
     
  16. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Lewdog,

    Well, if memory serves...you like a bit of poetry and a short story or two.

    1. I would look at mid-size competitions - the ones associated with colleges or something sturdy, but beware the scammers.

    2. Also buy the 'Writing' magazine that sometimes gives you pointers to what is going on in various scenes, it cheers you up if the writing is pissing you off...sometimes inside you read stuff like 'Embittered Male Writing Contest,' y'know and it says unexpected stuff like 'send us 500 words about being really drunk...' etc ...I'm exaggerating.

    Of course we shouldn't have to pay anything but I can live with 2-5$ for a competition entry...also what about magazine stuff that calls itself 'Kentucky Writers' or 'Voices of Kentucky' as a starting point for a google? I've had stuff published not because it was 'good' but because of community, and local festival projects. Never discount your local scene/writers...

    Google 'short story submissions' and you find a few bloggers who have put lists together of magazines and their genres for posting your stories to...you'll probably have to open a SUBMISHMASH account with some of them.

    ...
    Mag submission: I think the long-winded letter intro approach is pointless. You want a sub to open your word/pdf and you give him pleasure/ put a smile on his face IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH, intrigue her...whatever??

    [Insert a cover page on a Word doc, page numbers, email, name & telephone on the header. Attach to the e-mail. Submission plus title in the email subject

    Dear Editor(s) ...a name is better

    Please enjoy and accept my submission Lewdog's Milllion for publication in your magazine.

    Thank you

    Lew

    Lew Dog has been writing for many years. He lives in Jamestown where he shoots pool and hunts bears. He is published and popular on the Writing Forum.org

    ....

    You get better at it year by year. I used to post my whole life story and weirdy rubbish, a real twit. They are only ordinary people and IT'S THE STORY THAT COUNTS, I think. Just do it. My opinion.

    atb
     
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  17. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    As long as your email address is professional (i.e., it's not sparklebaby69@whatever.,com), using your regular email address is fine.

    I don't think very many magazines even accept hard copies anymore. But for those that do, I don't think either one is more advantageous than the other.
     
  18. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    When I was asking about the email, it was more for the ease of keeping track of things. If you have an email specifically for your submissions, it can make it easier to keep track of who you have submitted to, and keep your interactions out of the spam folder.
     
  19. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Personally I'm starting to get anxious and having a bit of a crisis. I don't know if I've got myself into a big fat mess, or if I'm onto something great.
     
  20. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    With short stories, in general the shorter the better. Many online venues and even print prefer 3500 or under, although 5000 words for a short story is still within the realm of what most prefer. Some accept more but it is a harder sell.

    Like others have said, write the best short story you can. Read and study other published short stories to learn some of the techniques used and then apply them to your stories and writing style. It's not easy, as the competition is stiff. The advantage is that you are generally able to write many short stories in the time it takes to complete a novel.

    Here is another link to help find short story markets, although it focuses mainly on fantasy, SF and horror: Ralan.com

    I'd recommend trying to match your stories with the market--what they request and tend to publish, start with the highest paying and work your way down. Also, if you get an offer, be wary of the contract and it's clauses.

    Once a short story has sold, when the rights revert to you, consider trying to sell it as a reprint. More income from it, more readers and exposure.
     
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  21. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    You are dead right, ThirdWind: shorts and poems do not require full query letters. Where's my head?

    Early on in my own writing career, I did the rounds with literary magazines and poetry compilations, too. I managed to sell six pieces of short fiction and four poems. I did have to write up cover letters for each piece of short fiction, although in honesty, a cover letter is very much like a shortened query letter (even with electronic submissions). I don't recall having to write much for the poetry submissions.

    In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you should sum-up your story. Use a hook as quickly as you can---as TWErvin2 said just above, the competition is fierce and you want yours to stand out. The next paragraph should be a very short biography. If you don't yet have any relevant information to list (other publications or a MFA or something), that's perfectly fine. I wouldn't recommend listing the forums you visit, as these are public forums and anyone can visit them (they say nothing about you or your writing ability) but you can inform the editor if you are the member of a writers' group or if you attend conferences or take part in workshops, that kind of thing (which you should do, if you don't). If you have nothing to say in your biography paragraph, just politely thank the editor for their time, tell them you look forward to hearing from them, and that's it.

    Oh, be sure to include all your contact information. You want to make sure the person can get in touch with you in whatever way they choose (some like to call, some prefer email).

    Good luck!
     
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  22. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Check if your nearest university has a literary magazine, and submit to them. Most universities that I have experienced have a magazine that takes non-students, and they are a great place to get some pieces in print, and start building up a portfolio.
     
  23. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    For your poetry, i suggest entering some contests that doesn't require you to pay fees. Some contests that require a fee are very beneficial for a poet's career, but those are something you gradually work your way into. Enter as many contests as you can and be weary of scams and con artists that impersonate as publishers. You may be rejected, but don't lose hope and keep trying! I already have one poem officially published and another requested to be published- thanks to my never-ending determination.

    There are also contests for short stories, but as a writer i don't specialize in that so i can't be very helpful in that regard, due to my scarcity of knowledge in how short stories progress.
     
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  24. Aanya
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    Aanya New Member

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    Well, do you you want to publish your short stories and poets on the web world? if yes then you should have to convert to eBook format e.g kindle, epub, mobil etc.. and then you can publish on amazon, apple or nook like wise publishers to reach worldwide readers and sell.
     

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