Tuesday, February 14, 2012

3 Tips on How to Get Published if You're a Writer

As the editor of WritersMarket.com and several Market Books, I know entire books are dedicated to the subject of getting published. Plus, there are plenty more that are aimed at helping writers make money from their writing (which isn't exclusive to getting published).

For more on getting published, check out the WD
Squidoo page on How to Get Published.

That said, there are three tips that will significantly improve any writer's chances of getting published, whether they're writing a book, magazine article, or blog post.
  1. Figure out query letters. I actually wrote a piece on query letters for a Squidoo page put together by the Writer's Digest team on how to get published. For me, the most important elements are focusing your pitch, keeping it concise, and sending it to the right person--all without raising red flags on yourself.
  2. Build a writing platform. Whether you're self-publishing your work or find traditional publication is a better fit, writers in the 21st Century need a platform to find their audience. There are many ways to build a writing platform--and not all of them involve social media (believe it or not).
  3. Be motivated. All the talent in the world is not going to write your manuscript for you or pitch agents for you or keep records (of submissions, payments, deadlines, etc.) for you. All the hard work of being a successful writer, whether freelance, staff, or self-published, comes from being motivated. If you need to, listen to this song (just don't watch the video, because it's kind of goofy) whenever your motivation starts to dip.
Yes, there are a million other tips out there that will help writers get published, including working on the craft. But like I said above, talent will only get a writer so far. Beyond that, writers need to dedicate themselves to business end of getting published.


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Check out these other Not Bob posts for writers:


Unknown said...

I'm taking #2 and #3 to the bank, thank you :)

Sarah Allen said...

Great, great advice and wonderful links. Thanks!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thanks for commenting, J.R. and Sarah!

linda@adventuresinexpatland.com said...

Found your query letter piece on WD's Squidoo page very helpful. Now I've got to buckle down and finish my ms. Thanks

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thanks, Linda!

Catherine Johnson said...

Great advice, thanks! I've been working with an editor on a poem today, so exciting. For the other boring days, these tips are vital to success. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Awesome advice! Always love reading your posts. And thanks for the additional links!


Robert Lee Brewer said...

It is always exciting to get feedback from an editor, Catherine, especially on a poem.

Thank you for the awesome comment, Anna!