I still get a lot of questions about how to get published. On one hand, I’m not an expert. I am an author who is published, but I’m not an editor or an agent. Those are your real experts. But, I’ve been there, wondering how one goes about being published and not knowing who to ask. It can be frustrating.
My number one piece of advice to all aspiring fiction writers who want to be published is always, “Write a novel.” I am not being flippant when I say that. The truth is, writers often think about what it will be like to share their work in published form before they even put pen to paper. That’s okay. For many, that is how they first recognize that they want to be an author, but it can be distracting. Today there are loads of How To Get Published resources out on the web, so figuring out how to pursue publication is not as hard as you might think. What will be more difficult is writing the best book you can write. So, now that I’ve said that, here is a post from my archives about some of those resources, with a few updates since I lasted posted about this:
How To Get Published
Here are some fiction resources that might help, but always remember, one of the best ways to learn how to write is to read as many books as you can get your hands on (or that you can get on your eReader).
Join the Bestseller Society:
The Bestseller Society was recently (May 2012) started by published authors Mary E. DeMuth, Jeff Gerke, and others, for writers who are looking to get published or already published authors looking to improve their chances in the market place. Mary is a friend and I trust her, so I definitely recommend this. The only catch is that it does come with a cost, but so do conferences, writing tools, etc. etc. It’s all up to you, but it’s looking like a great resource for writers.
The Best Seller Society http://www.bestsellersociety.com/
A few words about the society from Mary DeMuth
Check With Your Local Colleges and Library:
Your local colleges and universities offer full writing courses and programs for students, but sometimes they also offer short community courses on writing that are open to to anyone.
Libraries often host one-day or weekend writing seminars. Librarians can also direct you to writing resources in their collections.
Take an Online Course:
Take an online course through your local college or with an online group. I like the idea of the online group courses not attached to colleges because you cannot really fail them, and it gives people an opportunity to stretch their writing wings without feeling they are in a spotlight.
Coffee House Writers: http://www.coffeehouseforwriters.com/
Writing the Heartache (from published author, Alice J. Wisler): http://www.alicewisler.com/writing-the-heartache-workshops/
Read these Blogs:
Literary Agent Chip MacGregor’s blog. Not only is he a wonderful agent (mine!), but he knows a ton about publishing: Click on the ‘Chip’s Blog’ button at http://www.chipmacgregor.com/
BookEnds Literary Agency Blog Archives: http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/
Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner: http://www.rachellegardner.com/
Writer Unboxed: A blog where published authors, agents, and editors write about the business of writing and publishing: http://writerunboxed.com/
Women’s Fiction Writers: Learn from established and emerging women’s fiction writers and soon to be published author, Amy Sue Nathan: http://womensfictionwriters.wordpress.com/
Novel Rocket: A blog about books and getting published. Learn from writers in both the Christian Fiction and General market writing world: http://www.novelrocket.com/
Read these Magazines:
Writer’s Digest Magazine, in print and online: http://www.writersdigest.com/
Christian Fiction Online Magazine: http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/
Poets & Writers Magazine, in print and online (for those of you with literary tastes): http://www.pw.org/
Read these books:
The Art of War for Writers, by James Scott Bell
Writing the Break Out Novel, by Donald Maass
The 11 Secrets of Getting Published, by Mary DeMuth
The Fire in Fiction, by Donald Maass
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
Organizations and Conferences:
Join 1 or 2 of these national organizations and/or attend their conferences.
Backspace Writers: http://www.bksp.org/
Romance Writers of America: http://www.rwa.org/
American Christian Fiction Writers: http://www.acfw.com/
Mystery Writers of America: http://www.mysterywriters.org/
Re-Write Conference: http://rewriteconference.com/static/
Christian Writer’s Guild: http://www.christianwritersguild.com/
And for the aspiring writers in my own region, check out:
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers: http://rmfw.org/
Crested Butte Writers: http://www.crestedbuttewriters.org/conf.php
Wyoming Writers, Inc.: http://www.wyowriters.org/
Get Out Your Pen:
Besides reading, the other best writing tool is your pen. Put it to paper (or get your fingers on the keyboard) and write something!