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What's The Best Way?

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Ferrit Leggings

Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2658
What's The Best Way?  Reply with quote  

That is sort of open ended but the finish is what is the best way to get published. Some say get credits with shot stories and essays, other say just write the book and go from there, and others say something else.

I am curious about how people got in the door or is it all just luck combined with talent?
I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes. -HST

Post Mon May 07, 2007 10:00 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Taco Bob

Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1201
Location: Palm Falls, Florida
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I've given this a lot of thought, for quite a while now. Best I got is from page ix of my next:

"Write without pay until somebody offers to pay." Mark Twain

Post Tue May 08, 2007 6:26 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
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Write well.

Submit, submit, submit. (And that also means do your homework - make sure you are submitting to agents/publishers/magazines within your genre.)

Listen to the critiques you receive, learn from mistakes. Be willing to improve.

Write some more.

Keep submitting. Keep learning. Keep writing.

Do not fall prey to scams.

Do not equate rejection to failure.

There are so very many good industry blogs out there these days. Read them. If you're not reading Miss Snark and Making Light, you are missing out on heaps of good, honest information. Miss Snark is an agent. Teresa Nielsen Hayden is an editor at Tor. Her comments threads are filled with successful authors and people from this industry. Their advice is sound.

What is it, ultimately, that you want to get published? If it's a book, concentrate on that. If you're spending time writing short stories and essays just to "get your name out there" or "get your foot in the door", that's time that could probably be better spent working on the book you want to write - first draft, revisions, second draft, polishing, reworking, querying, submitting.

If you're looking to get a book of essays or short stories published, then, sure, submit those around. But if, say, you get yourself noticed for a series of essays on oranges and you really want to publish a fantasy novel, that doesn't quite help. An agent/editor will probably say "Okay, so he can write a proper nonfiction article. But can he tell a story?"

Don't go for gimmicks. "Get pubilshed FAST!" schemes are most likely scams or bad information. (I am not talking about self-publishing, here. I am talking about vanity publishing and scam publishers. There is a very important difference.)

Is there a little bit of luck to it? A little bit of "It's who you know?" Sure. I won't lie to you, an agent waving Stephen King's gardener's book under an editor's nose will get it noticed. And, sadly, if Stephen King's gardener's book sucks, it still might get published. But there's nothing you can do about that (other than see if John Grisham needs a gardener, maybe.) Don't worry about writing a better book than Stephen King's gardener.

I wouldn't call it luck combined with talent. I'd call it talent. Write a good book. Go from there.

Work on what it is that you really want to get published. If you write well, and follow the submission guidelines, and don't give up, it will happen.
Well, I guess you left me with some feathers in my hand.

Post Tue May 08, 2007 9:19 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
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