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Old 12-08-2012, 08:28 PM   #1
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Do You Have a Game/Battle Plan for Getting Pub'd ?

... either by gradually developing your skills as a writer in a mapped out way (e.g. short stories for now; a novel down the line / basic plot structure for now; intricacies later) or by gradually building up your resume or list of published stuff (e.g. non-paying markets for now; then Asimov's; etc)? Same question for money. Is there an ultimate sum you'd like to be making and structured time frame you've set up to achieve that goal?

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Old 12-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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My first book was the first thing I'd ever submitted for publication, so there was no long-range planning involved. Maybe I was impulsive and naive (and extremely lucky), but my battle plan was to simply finish the damn thing, hit the "send" button, and pray it got accepted. Mission accomplished.

As for income, now that I don't have a day job, I'm aiming for replacement of my previous income within about 24-36 months. I'll be spending 8-10 hours a day writing in the attempt to get to that point.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:33 AM   #3
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1) Write good stuff.

2) Send it to appropriate markets: short story markets for the short stuff, agents for long works.

3) Repeat as needed until publication occurs.

Also, I note that it's unlikely to help you sell a short story to Asimov's by having sold one to a place that doesn't pay at all; Asimov's won't be impressed by the credit, unless it's some wildly prestigious press, in which case, why not submit to the place you really want, anyway? It doesn't hurt to aim for the best potential market for your work.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:27 AM   #4
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I need to finish the book first before I can even think about getting published.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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Step 1: Write better.
Step 2: Rewrite for better results.
Step 3. Rinse and repeat.

What was this about publication? Thats a nice dream, I wish I could have dreams like that.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:59 AM   #7
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My plan is different and changes every week, but there are some constants. Currently my goal is to finish my second ms. Each day I write I try to incorporate one new tip to write better. Once I am done, I will write two short stories then edit the novels. Hopefully the novels will be ready for me to look for an agent by April.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:00 AM   #8
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Write, get critted, revise, get critted, revise, polish, hit send. All the while devouring copious amounts of books.

I'm not a believer in building up a resume. In my experience, all that counts is an exceptional MS. An agent or publisher won't be selling my previously published newspaper and magazine articles, they need to be able to sell my book.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ken View Post
Same question for money. Is there an ultimate sum you'd like to be making and structured time frame you've set up to achieve that goal?
I would encourage fiction writers not to set specific financial goals for their writing--at least to start. Money is one of the least predictable aspects of a writing career. If you're seeking traditional publication, you don't know how long it will take you to break in (if ever), nor can you predict the gaps and vicissitudes in your career. You may become wildly successful, or you may become one of those writers who is never quite sure whether they'll sell their next book. Self-publishing is equally unpredictable.

Add to which, writing is not a lucrative career for the majority of writers, even those who are working steadily. Will you beat those odds? Maybe. But maybe not.

Do strive to be paid for your work, but keep the financial aspect of it aspirational, at least until you have some sense of how your writing endeavors are going to shake out. Be prepared not to make money, or to make less than a living wage. If the money comes, it's gravy--and if it doesn't, you'll still be able to survive.

- Victoria
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:07 AM   #10
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I'm not a believer in building up a resume. In my experience, all that counts is an exceptional MS. An agent or publisher won't be selling my previously published newspaper and magazine articles, they need to be able to sell my book.
I agree. I just don't see the use in pushing out short stories (though they are good practice) to work up a resume. One good story can land you, and I'd focus on that.

I know the popular theory is to publish short stories, enter/win contests, try to get your name out there... but nothing will cover up bad writing. I want to see my name on something I can be proud of, and I have high exceptions.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:10 AM   #11
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Outside of writing the best damned story I can and get it out there--no.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
I would encourage fiction writers not to set specific financial goals for their writing--at least to start.

- Victoria
... I totally agree. I kinda stuck that question in about money for those who are already making loot and are rather established as I'd like to know their side of things too.


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I agree. I just don't see the use in pushing out short stories (though they are good practice) to work up a resume. One good story can land you, and I'd focus on that.
... agree again. That one story in a high-end pub, like Asimov's, may help. Some agents even look through pubs like that one in search of writers to sign. Publication in lower-end markets can help, too, to a lesser extent. It makes for a good initial impression. The MS has still got to be top-notch, of course. That's what's going to seal the deal.

Psychologically, there's a benefit of getting pub'd too. At least I've found that to be the case. It builds up confidence, which helps with the writing I've found. That's just me. It isn't essential. It is fine just writing a MS and sub'ing it, like many say.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:28 AM   #13
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My battle plan remains the same.

Write it.

Send it out until someone buys it.

Write some more in the meantime.

I've always started with my top markets first. Why not get rejected by the best?
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:33 AM   #14
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My battle plan remains the same.

Write it.

Send it out until someone buys it.

Write some more in the meantime.
... how about the writing itself?
Are there still things you'd still like to do that you aren't quite ready for yet in one way or another, e.g. a different genre or different approach? I've got a number myself. Not sure if I'll ever achieve them. Probably not, but will give it the ol' college try. Am not actually in college, but suppose I can still use the expression?

ps sorry to put you on the spot. actually it's more of a general question, to be answered by anyone.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Write it.

Send it out until someone buys it.

Write some more in the meantime.
What Phaeal said.

As for money, it's not really an issue for me. I have a day job I love, get paid pretty damn well too.

Writing is my passion, not my job. If I get paid for it here and there, then good-o.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:49 PM   #16
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I would encourage fiction writers not to set specific financial goals for their writing--at least to start.
I do have financial goals for my writing, but they're modest, and I'm not counting on my fiction writing to contribute much, if anything. If it does start bringing in significant income, then I'll scale back my income-producing non-fiction writing. For me, anything over a thousand bucks is significant.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #17
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When I first started getting serious about this writing thing, I got really busy with it, very dedicated, and then came the strangest dream. I remember it so vividly because I never remember dreams, but anywho, I jumped up from bed and wrote it all down like a mad person.

What's that have to do with getting published? Well, according to my dream and the notes, I have the phone number of the person who will be responsible for getting this book to market...

Yeah, I know. I better find a back up plan. =)
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:06 PM   #18
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Write it.

Send it out until someone buys it.

Write some more in the meantime.
OMG That's so complicated!



...so what am I supposed to do with this goat?
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:59 PM   #19
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... how about the writing itself?
Are there still things you'd still like to do that you aren't quite ready for yet in one way or another, e.g. a different genre or different approach? I've got a number myself. Not sure if I'll ever achieve them. Probably not, but will give it the ol' college try. Am not actually in college, but suppose I can still use the expression?

ps sorry to put you on the spot. actually it's more of a general question, to be answered by anyone.
There are tons of things I want to do with the writing itself, like finish the two series I'm already working on and then tackling the next series I have in mind, all the while getting to the short story ideas crowding the bunny hutch.

The only books I'm not yet ready to write are those that require a lot of historical research. But I've already started collecting and reading the books.

Otherwise, to find out if I'm ready, I start writing. So far I've discovered that one can get "ready" while doing.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:00 PM   #20
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OMG That's so complicated!



...so what am I supposed to do with this goat?
Sacrifice either the goat or the frog (or, for real suck-up points, both) to the Outer God of your choice.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:08 PM   #21
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Otherwise, to find out if I'm ready, I start writing. So far I've discovered that one can get "ready" while doing.
^This^
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:38 PM   #22
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Write it.

Send it out until someone buys it.

Write some more in the meantime.
Couldn't have said it better .

I have to admit though, I've stopped aiming at the super popular epublishers, mainly because of the 16+ weeks wait times. I like my form Rs back in 3-4 weeks instead of the never-ending limbo. Better for my mental health all-around.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:14 PM   #23
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Couldn't have said it better .

I have to admit though, I've stopped aiming at the super popular epublishers, mainly because of the 16+ weeks wait times. I like my form Rs back in 3-4 weeks instead of the never-ending limbo. Better for my mental health all-around.
You should be writing more books instead of sending them out one at a time, IMO. Publishers like authors who can produce more than one book and you should be writing while having one out on submission.

If a publisher accepts it within a few weeks it might not be a GOOD publisher, if you get my drift. Better to wait longer for a reliable publisher than get caught up in fast, but not good...

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Old 12-09-2012, 09:50 PM   #24
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BenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsBenPanced is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
  • Write amazing book.
  • Edit it until I can recite it from memory.
  • Edit it again Just To Make Sure.
  • Submit it to agents and/or publishers.
  • While waiting for response(s), write another amazing book.
  • Edit that one until my eyes are bleeding.
  • Get first one published.
  • Take a nap because I deserve it!
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:11 PM   #25
Robert Gonko
practical experience, FTW
 
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Location: Illinois
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I'm going for Smashwords e-publication. It may work , it may not, but at least I'll get my first one out there. And I'm already working on the second. Whatever you do, keep writing. It is so easy to get out of the habit of that and so hard to get back into the swing of it. It took me years.
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Robert Gonko
Author of "The Servant"
EBook available at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple iBooks.
Print edition available from CreateSpace
WIP: "Sniper"

Check out my blog: http://robertgonko.wordpress.com
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