How to publish your writing
Learn how to publish your writing and go professionalWriting is an interesting thing. It is a hobby, a profession, and a necessary part of life.
Many of us would like to break into the world of professional writing but are not quite sure how to go about it. I have a few pieces of advice that I would like to pass on to aspiring writers to help them break into the business. While this guide might not be an exhaustive list of paths to publication, it should provide some productive avenues to pursue and help you avoid some of the scammers praying on eager new talent.
Make Sure Your Work is in Tip-Top Shape
Once you have written a piece of work that you would like to submit for publication it is time to begin the editing process. It is best that you do not attempt to do this on your own unless we are talking about a very short work.
There are plenty of websites that will help you find a freelance editor with verified credentials. These editors are usually graduate students with lots of experience editing long papers. Since your work will probably not be protected at this point it is important to keep record of what you sent to the editor and when to avoid having your work plagiarized.
Get A Literary Agent
Think of literary agents as your connection to the publishing world. They help match your work with a potential publisher and work out the details of having your work published.
Once you have a well-edited, complete copy of what you would like to publish you will then send the work (or a sample of it) to a literary agent. Different agents specialize in different literary genres, some might work exclusively in young adult literature or science fiction; most have more than one specialty.
If you for some reason cannot find or do not desire a literary agent, perhaps self-publishing is for you. There are a lot of sites that help authors self-publish e-books and make print copies to order. However, it will then become your responsibility to market the book.
This means you will probably have to buy some ad space and direct that marketing toward your perspective audience. As with literary agents it is important to be careful about who you are dealing with when you self-publish, many of these companies will try to sell you unnecessary hard copies of your work or try to take an undue share of the profits.
Submit Directly to the Publisher
While most publishers only accept submissions from recognized literary agencies, some will accept author submissions submissions (usually during one brief period per year). As with agents and self-publishing there are some pitfalls to look out for.
You must make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate publisher and not a “vanity press” who will print your book, send you the copies and expect you to market them. As with agents no legitimate publisher charges for their service before any books have been distributed or sales made.
While there is a lot more I could say on this subject, I feel confident that this little guide should cover the basics you need. As you can tell a fair amount of a new writer’s energy should be focused on making productive moves with the right people and businesses. There are a lot of scammers out there willing to take advantage of the inexperienced. That being said, there are a number of options for aspiring writers who are willing to work hard and be persistent.