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View Full Version : How hard is it to get published?



M.A.Gardener
01-06-2006, 08:16 AM
I know, I know. You're saying "You'll get published if the writing is great," or something like that. But my critique group likes my writing (and is very vocal when they don't like it!), but I haven't yet had a story accepted! How many times does it take? Do you have to be "in" at Ellery Queen or Hitchcock to get published?
Whah, whine, etc. :cry:

kristin724
01-06-2006, 10:50 AM
My problem seems to be length. I've got one mystery piece that's stuck in the middle of short story and novella or novelette definitions at just over 10k. Is there a market for this?

I hate having only one or two things that are quote marketable or able to be catergorized. I've got a dozen stories that can't quite be put into terms, and thus bookshelves. Editors aren't going to pick something readers won't find.

End rant!

Kristin

emeraldcite
01-06-2006, 11:20 AM
If you read Hitchcock or Queen with any regularity, you'll notice the same names popping up two or three times a year. From what I see, they seem to publish new writers about once or twice an issue. This considered, you're only seeing 12-24 new writers appearing over the course of the year.

Very, very tough market to break into, but it can be done...:)

Carlene
01-07-2006, 03:14 AM
Once you've been rejected by the big boys, have you tried to sell with a smaller magazine, like "Over My Dead Body?"

Carlene
www.crdater.com (http://www.crdater.com)

emeraldcite
01-07-2006, 04:39 AM
Crimespree magazine, which doesn't pay but it's print and they pay in copies, has a good reputation as well.

Jamesaritchie
01-07-2006, 10:58 PM
I know, I know. You're saying "You'll get published if the writing is great," or something like that. But my critique group likes my writing (and is very vocal when they don't like it!), but I haven't yet had a story accepted! How many times does it take? Do you have to be "in" at Ellery Queen or Hitchcock to get published?
Whah, whine, etc. :cry:

Well, to be honest, the opinion of a critque group generally doesn't amount to much when it comes to what is and isn't salable. They can help you with mechanics, with grammar, with punctuation, with whether or not the story makes sense, they can tell you they like or don't like a story, and it just doesn't matter. No critique group can't tell you what is or isn't a salable story.

It takes as much time as it takes, and that's the only real answer there is. I sold my first short story. William Saroyan, a better writer than I'll ever be, received almost 4,000 rejections before selling a short story.

No, you don't need an "in" at Ellery Queen or Alfred Hitchcock. You don't need an "in" anywhere. What you must have, however, is a story that's better than 99% of all the other stories the editor receives the month she reads yours. I think I had three or four rejections from Ellery Queen before selling them a story, but believe me, every one of the rejections I received was deserved. The stories simply were not good enough.

But Ellery Queen does have a "Department of First Stories" reserved for writers who haven't been published before, and this is a real advantage. But your story still has to be very, very good. And it must be something the editor doesn't see all the time.

I believe the best chance a new writer has of breaking into a good magazine is to first read at least a couple of dozen issues of the magazine, and then give the editor something you didn't find. A different plot, different characters, a unique location, etc.

How hard is it to get published? I can't recall who said it, but one of the wisest comments I've ever heard was, "Getting published is easy. Writing something publishable is, however, extremely difficult."

Gemprofiler
01-11-2006, 08:38 PM
How hard is it to get published? I can't recall who said it, but one of the wisest comments I've ever heard was, "Getting published is easy. Writing something publishable is, however, extremely difficult."

This is so true. Being published is nothing. It is the consistency with which one is published and the quality of the work over a long period of time. That is what makes one a working writer.

cyberwraith
01-12-2006, 09:27 PM
Okay, since we're talking about the big boys . . . is it okay to resubmit to them after a year or two? I really see my story there and it has been heavily rewritten. They say they tend not to consider resubmissions but I'm wondering (much like the toddler who's been told "NO!") if I might again?

Linda Adams
01-13-2006, 03:03 AM
Okay, since we're talking about the big boys . . . is it okay to resubmit to them after a year or two? I really see my story there and it has been heavily rewritten. They say they tend not to consider resubmissions but I'm wondering (much like the toddler who's been told "NO!") if I might again?

With as much material as they receive, I doubt if they'd remember if you'd even submitted it (unless you did something to really stand out in a not good way).

dantem42
01-13-2006, 06:55 AM
With as much material as they receive, I doubt if they'd remember if you'd even submitted it (unless you did something to really stand out in a not good way).

I second the motion. It's the rare agent or publisher who keeps copies of stuff they've rejected. They'd soon be overwhelmed by stuff stacked to the ceiling and would probably fail a fire inspection. Some agents and publishers do record the author and title of what they've reviewed in a database, so you may want to consider changing the title if you're worried about it. On the other hand, in longer fiction, I have found agents are pretty easygoing about resubmissions after a massive editing and a "suitable interval" (six months or so) because they know the work may be vastly improved.

And Linda is also correct that this time, you may want to avoid that Algerian script font and the hot pink, monogrammed scented paper you may have used the first time.

cyberwraith
01-15-2006, 06:59 AM
And Linda is also correct that this time, you may want to avoid that Algerian script font and the hot pink, monogrammed scented paper you may have used the first time.

Haha! :ROFL: Darn! I thought it really set me apart in a GOOD way too! Maybe I can still use that stuff for the tech writing job . . . .