Monday, January 30, 2012
How to Get Published--Part 1
Pay attention to the world around you. The stories that stand out from the masses are the ones which reflect a slice of life. To get this slice the author must notice the little things.
Pay attention to marketing trends. The world is changing rapidly with new ways of marketing, new formats to explore, new approaches to try.
Pay attention to social media trends. With rapid technology changes comes rapid trend shifts. One popular social media platform may not be so popular tomorrow. Keep an eye on what's popular for maximum number of readers.
Pay attention to publishing trends. As much as we shouldn't write for a particular trend, since by the time the book is ready for publication, the trend has passed, it's important to know what's happening.
Pay attention to other books like your own. If you do the research and find what other stories can compare to your own, then you'll know what works, and how you can make your story different so it stands out. Agents and publishers often request a list of comparable titles in your query.
Pay attention to other authors. They can help you. You can gain tips you may not have known and connections you might need. You can learn from their mistakes. When you offer the same in return, you can find yourself in an amazing group of people who support and encourage each other.
Pay attention to your critique partners. Find someone you trust and listen to the critiques they offer. There is no point handing over your manuscript to someone if you aren't going to at least consider what they have to say about it. You don't have to accept every point they make as law, but pay attention, consider and then decide whether or not to go ahead with any suggested changes.
Pay attention to the details. Don't be in such a rush to pump something out there in the hop of 'getting published'. Spend the time to get the grammar right, the structure right, the little details of the story right.
Pay attention to events. Writers' festivals (conferences), workshops, local writing groups. Take note of when they are on so you don't miss out. Take part. Be open to meeting new people and learning new ways to improve your craft. Get involved.
Pay attention to submission guidelines. These guidelines are not suggestions. Agents and publishing houses often have their own particular likes and dislikes. Don't assume standard formatting will fit every submission.
Pay attention to the way you present yourself. Be professional at all times in all things.
Can you think of other ways you can pay attention to get ahead in publishing?
Thank you: A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the Great Aussie BBQ. A special thank you to those who spread the word. It was a fabulous success.
Awards: I wish to thank Cynthia Willis for the Great Comments Award. I would also like to thank Nick Wilford and Mark Noce for the Versatile Blogger Award.
Note: Part 2 will be posted next week. My next post will be for the Insecure Writers' Group.