Good morning Jim,
I’ve been reading and writing for the better part of my life. I’m 42, and I have plenty of books full of ideas, plus I write short stories all the time. I spent the past year really working on a book, and surprisingly enough because I do have an audience in the comic industry because I know everyone, plus I’ve taken the time to allow the older more experienced writers to mentor me and more than a few think my work should be published.
Writing scripts for comics and writing short stories/novellas/novels are all a very different process. I also have two college degrees, I’ve developed one of the most successful apps in the comic industry, (I’m not rooting my horn), the reason I mention it, is I approached a few publisher of comics and magazines seeking experience offering my skills remotely for free. I was thinking a foot in the door….
What are your suggestions regarding submitting writing, and is that just something I search. I have a lot of really great ideas, and being rich would be great, but I just want to get my writing out there.
Your thoughts? It’s early and I saw your email first, so I’m going to make coffee and then work out and please give this some thought and let me know what your approach or next assault might be?
I really appreciate you taking the time to help out aspiring writers.
I hope this finds you, your family, and friends in good health,
Great questions. I’ll tell you, getting your foot in the door isn’t easy, not by a long shot. When it comes to writing, it’s all about making a brand for yourself. When it comes to business, everything is a sale’s pitch. You want to get a new initiative off the ground, how do you do it? You create a pitch and present it to the people above you. You want to get a job, how do you do it? You put yourself up for sale to a company. Your interview is your sale’s pitch. The idea is to make what you’re trying to get across as attractive as possible.
So, how do you do that in the writer community? You really want to make your name known. Now, what do I mean by that? Quite simply, you need to get your name in print. That’s really the best way to get yourself started. Fortunately, for you, you’re more than half way home. You’re a credentialed writer with clout and a solid resume. Unfortunately, you are correct that literary writing and comic writing are viewed as different things. Many in the writing community (wrongly in my opinion) look down on comics as a sort of slight step above TV.
The best advice I could give to you as to where to start is to get your short stories out there first. Hold off on the novels for now. Start by searching for small-time, local outlets that publish literary work. Make sure the work you want to get out there is properly edited in both spelling and grammar before you do anything. When you’re ready, submit your writing to them, often time, they’ll take almost anything that comes there way. You won’t make any money, but if you get your work out in any of those, that’s more you’ll have to show to a respective publisher. Submit multiple pieces to multiple outlets. The more you get out there, the better. Look for town and even university outlets that are hungry for anyone willing to submit their writings.
Once you have that established, try dipping your toes into state and national publications, submit your writing and little blurb about yourself, specifically your background and where these publications can look up your writing work. Again, submit multiple pieces to multiple publications, the more you get printed, the more recognition you’ll have. Like I said previously, it’s all about building a name for yourself in the literary community.
Now, at the same time, if you want to get some of your novel work out there, the KDP or Lulu are great places to self-publish some of your work. Just make sure they’re pieces you don’t mind getting limited exposure. Remember, self-publishing is a ton of work on its own, so I only half-heartedly recommend this. It is something you can add to your accolades, but keep in mind that traditional publishers and the professional writing community do not give self-publishing anywhere near the same level of respect that they do to work that is published by a literary source. Again, your focus should be getting your work out to magazines and sites with an established readership.
The other thing I’d recommend, which it seems you also have, is a website and a blog of your own where a perspective publisher can view some of your work, releases, and what you’re up to. Don’t skimp on the site either, a linkedin page or wordpress account simply isn’t enough. You want your own established site with a domain.
Okay, so now you’ve got all that. You’ve got your website, showing your work, you’ve got your blog, and your work has appeared in various outlets both locally and abroad. Perfect! Now people are reading your work.
The next thing I would recommend is checking out a directory I created as a kind of long-winded checklist dealing with the how-to of publishing:
The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice.
This should give you a good idea of everything you’ll want to consider BEFORE submitting anything in the way of literary agencies.
Now, as for being rich, hehe… well… put it this way, my books sell pretty well and I regularly get fan mail regarding my characters, but even so… I’m sorry to admit that my writing does not pay the bills. It’s enough for me to afford my hobby and school supplies for my kids and that’s about it. It’s at best, a side thing.
Don’t get me wrong, you will make money, but the authors who are millionaires and such, they typically get their money from movie deals, readings, and signings that they are scheduled for.
So, I hope this helps give you some ideas on where to go from here. However, let’s open the question up for some discussion to the group. Readers and fellow authors, what advice would you give to David? Let him know in the comments!
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!
Catch you on the flip side!