One of the questions I’m frequently asked as a published author is: What advice would you give unpublished authors who want to get published? Here are some of the things I would tell them.
1. Keep writing. It’s what you do; it’s what you enjoy. The more work you get out there, the bigger your fan base is going to get. If people enjoy what you write, they’ll want to see everything you create, so give them plenty to read.
2. Develop thick skin. You will get rejected. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. Everybody gets rejected, even famous authors got rejected. But you can’t take it personally. Writing is a business, and a publisher has to make money off your creation. If they don’t think they can, they won’t take it on. The best thing to do is learn from the rejection and become even better at your craft.
3. Be persistent. Just because one publisher doesn’t like your story, that doesn’t mean another won’t. Keep putting it out there and keep making it better until you find the publisher who shares your vision for the story. With the advent of electronic publishing and independent presses, someone out there is bound to love your story as much as you do.
4. Be patient. The publishing world moves slightly faster than erosion. Editors are overwhelmed with submissions and getting contracted stories published. From experience, it takes about a year from the day you sign the contract until you see your book published. The process can be slightly faster if you are doing an electronic book, but it still takes months. While you’re waiting, work on your next project.
5. Network. Find people and friends who share your passion and talk to them. They will become a great source of inspiration and a shoulder to lean on when you need to vent. It will also put you in touch with readers and fans. The more you get out there, the more exposure you will get, and the more people will buy your work.
6. Find a publisher you enjoy working with. This is extremely important. You need to find someone who enjoys your work and wants to see it succeed, not someone who’s looking for a quick buck. Contact some authors the publisher has published and ask them how they feel. After that, go with your gut. No relationship is going to be perfect, but it should be professional. There should be mutual respect on both ends.
As I continue down the road of being published, I learn more and more. I don’t claim to be an expert when it comes to giving advice, but I have some experience. The most important think to remember is have fun. If writing isn’t fun, why do it?
Pembroke Sinclair has had several stories published in various places. She writes an eclectic mix of stories ranging from western to science fiction to fantasy. Her stories have been published in various places, including Static Movement, chuckhawks.com, The Cynic Online Magazine, Sonar 4 Publications, Golden Visions Magazine, and Residential Aliens. Her novels, Coming from Nowhere and Life After the Undead, are now available at eTreasures Publishing and Amazon.com. Her story, Sohei, was named one of the Best Stories of 2008 by The Cynic Online Magazine. If you would like to contact Pembroke, she can be reached at pembrokesinclair at hotmail dot com or pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com.