Tips for Newbie Writers

December 6, 2009

Three Tips

Number one: Never, EVER pay to have your work published! Any agent or publisher that asks for money up front is NOT your friend! They are called a vanity press and are nothing more than scams.
Number two: Any legitimate publisher will look over your work and either offer you a contract, which comes with an editor, or they will suggest you rework your story in some way. Pay attention to their advice. They have been making a living at this.
Number three: Editors are your friends. They are interested in getting paid too and they will make money if you do. Several people have told me about typoes, misspellings, etc. in their published works. That is due to a failure to properly edit the work or in the case of vanity press publishers, no editing at all.

The Process

There are two sides to the process of going from a ‘writer’ to a ‘published author’. They are the ‘craft’ of writing and the ‘business’ of writing. Both are difficult and both are needed to succeed. This group has a tremendous amount of wonderful information, but the bottom line is that you need to develop these skills.

Here are some very useful links:

Predators and Editors tells you who has a good rep and who to avoid.
Absolute Write is a water-cooler around which pros and newbies gather to share their skills.
Jerry Pournelle has written a good essay on the subject.
Marie Brennan has some good tips in her Essays on writing.
Tobias Buckell blogs and has some video clips about the business of being an author.
And finally, always read the ‘Submission Guidelines’ that every legitimate publisher has on their webpage. If you submit something that doesn’t match their guidelines, they are going to reject it out of hand.
Good luck and keep writing!
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