1. RedSilver
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    RedSilver New Member

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    Tips on publishing in this tough economy!!!

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by RedSilver, Jan 5, 2010.

    Publishing a book is the second highest goal in America. There are many writers out there--and many individuals who are trying to publish their book. Unfortunately, with the shear number of manuscripts even a good one has a very low chance of being published. Most the time, the MS will be put in a slush pile, which is in very close proximity to the trash can. For a first time author, and in this economy, getting published by a major publishing house is akin to purchasing a winning lottery ticket.

    The stories that are mostly likely published are women’s fiction--since this represents the largest readership. But, just because it is most likely published, it does not mean it will be successful. With the abundant amount women's fiction out there, it is hard to make a name for oneself unless you have a unique idea (like vampires?).

    Publishers are looking for a sure thing--something that will sale at least 10,000 copies. Even if you have the best query letter, the best book idea, and the best 'go getter' attitude, they won't be likely to pick up your book unless you have a platform. A platform is a large amount of individuals that are interested in the things you write--such as a blog or a youtube following.

    Like all platforms, in order to have viability, the creator needs to produce value. A good level of value is to have 3 quarters value to 1 quarter advertisement. That means for everything you try to get your readers to do or buy, you should have add at least 3x the value with good information.

    If you've tried establishing a platform, but only can get a few uninterested relatives to join. Then you need to impress the publishers with your publishing experience--or as they call it publishing credits. Essentially, what other publishers have taken a chance on you in the past? To meet this end, it is important to take every opportunity to publish anything you can--such as an article in a church newsletter, or a letter to the editor in the local newspaper. Make attempts to publish in every small newspaper or magazine in your area. Usually small papers will be more than delighted to publish a well written article--especially if it means they don't have to write it themselves. The publishers will want to know pertinent publishing credits; so be sure to wright articles that establish you as an expert in the field that your book is being published--this is especially true for a non-fiction.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    among all americans?... according to whom?... and what is the highest, then?... athletic godhood? ;-)

    btw, only relevant paid credits count when trying to snag an agent/publisher for fiction... and freebies likes letters to the editor, newsletter bits, and such shouldn't even be mentioned, if one wants to be taken seriously as a professional writer, even for non-fiction... they want to know if anyone has valued your work enough to pay you for it, not just that you can give it away here and there...

    being paid only in copies is ok [still 'paid'... though 'in kind'], if by a respected literary journal...
     
  3. jlauren
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    jlauren Senior Member

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    I couldn't agree less. I don't see any harm in showing your previously published works (things for newspapers, magazines, competitions etc) to a potential publisher. It shows that you've been proactive as a writer and that someone has actually taken interest in your work.

    Letters to the editor and such are pointless because anyone can submit those and you don't need half a brain to do it. But withholding info about published works simply because you weren't paid for them sounds ridiculous to me.
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the operative words here are 'if one wants to be taken seriously...' Agents and publishers will KNOW you are interested in writing--if you weren't, why would you be submitting something to them? But writing for free is IRRELEVANT to them, as is scads of information about your hopes and dreams, no matter how witty and riveting you make it.

    Anyway, perhaps what you're submitting may be the first thing you've ever written, but in spite of this it has huge commercial potential (Twilight?) If it's good (or what THEY like), they'll want it.

    Of course, be realistic, but I caution people about being too pessimistic about the chances of being published. Yes, a huge novel by an unknown writer can't get off the ground easily (maybe it just isn't right for the times/good enough/commercial enough?) but you can try submitting short stories or articles to magazines. I changed from trying to be 'high literary', and researched, then wrote, a couple of good old women's sob stories (bearing in mind advice from Maia--'who are you writing FOR?') and sold two to a women's weekly in the UK, and also wrote one regional story for a competion which led to an article on researching family history, for which I got paid peanuts.

    Now I'm finishing my second Mills and Boon and I'm cautiously optimistic--they are very encouraging to new writers, and they've even given me feedback on some sample writing and tirelessly answer all my queries promptly and fully, so it's been a good experience so far.

    Don't give up, and above all, make sure you enjoy the JOURNEY--it can be a very long (maybe never ending) one!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    exactly my point... thanks for elucidating, mh!
     
  6. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think trying to get your work published is a herculean task regardless of the state of the economy. I'm sure the odds were just as against one getting published back in the late 90's when the economy was booming.
     

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