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FoidPoosening
07-02-2013, 11:52 PM
Hey everyone!

I've been sifting though AW's various sections in regards to publishing and have seen a lot of threads of people asking how best to get their published soon and/or right now.

I'm approaching this from a different perspective; I have always loved writing and have started with poetry in recent years. My plan is to branch out into flash fiction and potentially longer works (novellas/novels) even if all does not go well in my first attempts.

I plan on massing a decent bank of work before I make any moves in terms of publishing any of it.

My question is: whether that be a year from now, five years from now etc, and whether it be poetry, flash fiction or something else... what (from your experience) have you found to be the best path in getting published?

Any and all advice is welcome, whether it be specifically for poetry, flash fiction, novels, anything related to writing and publishing at all!

Thanks so much all! If this is the wrong section or something of the like just let me know,

FP

invicticide
07-03-2013, 08:13 AM
I plan on massing a decent bank of work before I make any moves in terms of publishing any of it.

Why?

Those poems/stories/novels that'll be sitting in the drawer could instead be out there earning you some money, exposure, contacts, etc. I can't imagine any benefit you would gain by holding it all back.

FoidPoosening
07-03-2013, 08:43 AM
Why?

Those poems/stories/novels that'll be sitting in the drawer could instead be out there earning you some money, exposure, contacts, etc. I can't imagine any benefit you would gain by holding it all back.

I guess you make a good point.

However I think my question still stands though. Basically I'm in no rush, but looking for the best/most legitimate/most exposed/least complicated (insert good quality here) route. There seem to be so many with vastly different positives and negatives.

Tirjasdyn
07-03-2013, 09:12 AM
My question is: whether that be a year from now, five years from now etc, and whether it be poetry, flash fiction or something else... what (from your experience) have you found to be the best path in getting published?
FP

Open email, paste in story and small blurb of info. Send to submissions email address of your choice.

After that it's all subjective and no one method is better than another.

blacbird
07-03-2013, 10:19 AM
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-- Robert Frost

caw

lolchemist
07-03-2013, 10:37 AM
My question is: whether that be a year from now, five years from now etc, and whether it be poetry, flash fiction or something else... what (from your experience) have you found to be the best path in getting published?

Step 1 would be completing something to publish. (I'm not trying to sound facetious or anything like that.) I've completed 2 books and a few short stories in the past but they suck and will never see the light of day. The novel I actually want to publish is not done yet. And until that first step is achieved everything else is inaccessible.

Step 2 would be researching the market and looking for the right agents for you and your work.

Step 3 would be figuring out what a query is and how to do it, etc etc.

James D. Macdonald
07-03-2013, 10:37 AM
what (from your experience) have you found to be the best path in getting published?

At risk of sounding flip: Write good stuff.

Equally important, but often overlooked: Never publish bad stuff.

iron9567
07-03-2013, 11:03 AM
It's hard to say what path is better than the rest tomorrow. What may be the best path for you today may not be the best then. I say don't worry about it until you are ready to publish.
thanks
iron

gothicangel
07-03-2013, 11:58 AM
My question is: whether that be a year from now, five years from now etc, and whether it be poetry, flash fiction or something else... what (from your experience) have you found to be the best path in getting published?



Improving my craft, until I feel it is good enough. I've been writing since 2000, and my first novel attracted a few full requests, quite a few good personal rejections (my favourite was 'pity'), but no bites. I actually had a re-read of it last night - for kicks - and yeah I can see that it was good, but not good enough. I then thanked the publishing gods that there was no KDP back then. ;)

I know that's not the answer you are looking for, and probably facetious, but its the most honest one I can give.

SianaBlackwood
07-03-2013, 12:36 PM
I plan on massing a decent bank of work before I make any moves in terms of publishing any of it.

"Don't do that," said the person with 17 complete first drafts, none of them edited. "Work on the book you really love, all the way from first draft to submission."

...but she could be lying, because it's taken her this long to develop the skills and confidence in herself to be able to pick out her favourites and start thinking about how to edit or rewrite.

Polenth
07-03-2013, 01:16 PM
For poems and shorts, it's more beneficial to write them, edit them and submit them. If you're aiming for publication, you'll read the markets you submit to (which will help your own writing), get a feel for how your genre(s) work and learn about the business end (like contract terms).

You'll also find, if you wait until you have fifty things, that many markets only take one submission at a time. So you'll end up with a bottleneck if you wait.

And you won't be able to make the most of timed projects, like anthologies, where the submission has to be in by a certain date. You do those as you go along, not by waiting for a point five years later.

A place you can search for markets is http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/ Only submit to markets you like the look of... if the presentation is terrible and the stories obviously aren't edited, it's nowhere you want to be. Higher pay usually means more readers (though not always... you'll get a feel for the exceptions as you go on).

Captcha
07-03-2013, 02:20 PM
Add another vote to the "don't wait" pile.

That is, don't wait if you think what you're currently writing is good enough to publish. If you're sure it isn't, excellent, trunk it and keep going. But it sounds like you think it IS good enough, in which case - you should probably start finding out if other people agree.

Maybe you're thinking in terms of publishing many pieces of work at the same time in a book of poetry or short stories, but it's my understanding that it's very rare for an unpublished author to be given that sort of opportunity. You could self-publish, but it's really hard to get your work to stand out from the crowd. One way to get attention for a self-published anthology is, you guessed it, publication of other works in mass-distributed magazines/anthologies.

There's also a lot to learn about writing that you can pick up from working with good editors, so if you're not sending your work out you're missing a really valuable opportunity for getting feedback.

So what would I recommend? I'd agree with others that you should start submitting to reputable publications. I'd also suggest that you try to figure out what your ultimate goal is likely to be. If you think you're going to stick with short works, you can spend most of your energy on developing those markets; if you think you're going to move toward longer works, I'd suggest making a strong effort to move as quickly as you feel comfortable with. There are a lot of skills and techniques of short fiction writing that carry over to long fiction, but a lot that don't, and if you eventually want to be a long fiction writer you should start figuring out the long fiction skills as soon as you can.

Good luck with it!

bearilou
07-03-2013, 02:33 PM
I'm going to take the middle road and say that if you want to wait until you have a good pool, then do so. I wouldn't try to amass a huge backlog, but to have several things in hand at once to start the rounds of submission while still continuing to work on new things may not be such a bad idea.

Linda Adams
07-03-2013, 02:41 PM
Write lots of stories. Submit. Writing is continual practice, and submitting the stories to publications is places value on them, which causes you to do more writing.

Fruitbat
07-03-2013, 03:28 PM
When you're ready to send them out, the best thing I've found for that, by far, is duotrope. They have started charging but I think it's only like $5 a month (someone correct me if I'm wrong, I don't remember the exact amount).

It's a giant database of the markets, and continually updated. You key in all of your specifics and it comes up with a list of places, and links.

https://duotrope.com/

P.S. And now I've been seeing something called "The Grinder," in this thread for one. Is that new?

Layla Nahar
07-03-2013, 04:03 PM
Heinlein's rules:

http://www.sfwriter.com/ow05.htm

FoidPoosening
07-03-2013, 05:51 PM
Thank you so much to everyone that has posted thus far! :) :D

That being said, I have a few follow up questions (anyone can answer)!




Step 2 would be researching the market and looking for the right agents for you and your work.

Step 3 would be figuring out what a query is and how to do it, etc etc.

This is what I'm looking to do. I'm going to check out grinder and duotrope, but how do I find and how do I know i've found the "right agent."

I'm also not familiar with queries. :(



Maybe you're thinking in terms of publishing many pieces of work at the same time in a book of poetry or short stories, but it's my understanding that it's very rare for an unpublished author to be given that sort of opportunity. You could self-publish, but it's really hard to get your work to stand out from the crowd. One way to get attention for a self-published anthology is, you guessed it, publication of other works in mass-distributed magazines/anthologies.

There's also a lot to learn about writing that you can pick up from working with good editors, so if you're not sending your work out you're missing a really valuable opportunity for getting feedback.

So what would I recommend? I'd agree with others that you should start submitting to reputable publications. I'd also suggest that you try to figure out what your ultimate goal is likely to be. If you think you're going to stick with short works, you can spend most of your energy on developing those markets; if you think you're going to move toward longer works, I'd suggest making a strong effort to move as quickly as you feel comfortable with. There are a lot of skills and techniques of short fiction writing that carry over to long fiction, but a lot that don't, and if you eventually want to be a long fiction writer you should start figuring out the long fiction skills as soon as you can.


Sounds like publishing a collection of poems as an unpublished author is not really an option. :(

Since poetry is what my strengths are in right now (and I do have a handful of finished pieces right now) what are the reputable publications I should submit to and who are the right editors?

I'm going to try my hand at flash fiction this summer, but in the meantime it sounds like the general consensus is that I should move forward and publish my poetry.

Count me in! But I have no idea where to begin or what avenue to take. Writing has been a driving force in my life forever, but the business side of it is completely foreign to me.

Bottom line, where do I send/submit my poetry and how do I know that it's the correct place?

jeffo20
07-03-2013, 07:16 PM
My question is: what (from your experience) have you found to be the best path in getting published?
The 'best path' is the one that gets you published the way you want to be published. My 'best path' is to write the best damn novel I can and try to go through 'traditional' channels (agent to publisher). Others prefer to go to Amazon or Smashwords or other self-publishing platforms. That's the 'best path' for them. Some self-publish and get picked up by 'traditional' publishers; some start out with traditionals and break away for self-pubbing.

Figure out what you want to get out of publishing, investigate the models of publishing, and decide what's going to work best for you.

FoidPoosening
07-03-2013, 07:37 PM
The 'best path' is the one that gets you published the way you want to be published. My 'best path' is to write the best damn novel I can and try to go through 'traditional' channels (agent to publisher). Others prefer to go to Amazon or Smashwords or other self-publishing platforms. That's the 'best path' for them. Some self-publish and get picked up by 'traditional' publishers; some start out with traditionals and break away for self-pubbing.

Figure out what you want to get out of publishing, investigate the models of publishing, and decide what's going to work best for you.

I think what you said in bold would be most helpful for me. Is there a good location to go to that has in depth information on all of them? AW has been a great resource (all thanks to its members) but information on that specifically seems to be scattered.

James D. Macdonald
07-03-2013, 08:57 PM
In my opinion, if you can't interest an agent or editor in a given work there's a positive dollar value in making sure that work never sees the light of day.

There's nothing to be gained, and much to be lost, by publishing the contents of your desk drawer.


For poetry: Where do you find the poetry you yourself read? Those are your markets. (This is generally true for all writing: Who publishes the novels you yourself read? Who publishes the short stories you read? Go there to find your own publisher.) Also for poetry: Self-publication by poets is traditional. Chapbooks sold from the back of the hall at poetry readings are a method of distribution.

For a more detailed roadmap, see this post (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8199512&postcount=2439) I made in the "Uncle Jim" thread.

FoidPoosening
07-03-2013, 09:11 PM
In my opinion, if you can't interest an agent or editor in a given work there's a positive dollar value in making sure that work never sees the light of day.

There's nothing to be gained, and much to be lost, by publishing the contents of your desk drawer.


For poetry: Where do you find the poetry you yourself read? Those are your markets. (This is generally true for all writing: Who publishes the novels you yourself read? Who publishes the short stories you read? Go there to find your own publisher.) Also for poetry: Self-publication by poets is traditional. Chapbooks sold from the back of the hall at poetry readings are a method of distribution.

For a more detailed roadmap, see this post (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8199512&postcount=2439) I made in the "Uncle Jim" thread.

I will look into that link! Thank you :)

So you're saying self publication for poetry is more typical? I've been looking into venues for that and it seems like a good chunk of AW members either use or read on AllPoetry, could a profile on that be a route?

Thanks! And still looking for some answers to those other questions :)

FP

sassandgroove
07-03-2013, 10:27 PM
The answers to your questions may already be posted. Have a look around.




This is what I'm looking to do. I'm going to check out grinder and duotrope, but how do I find and how do I know i've found the "right agent." start here
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=58


I'm also not familiar with queries. :(

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=174 password vista



I'm approaching this from a different perspective; I have always loved writing and have started with poetry in recent years. My plan is to branch out into flash fiction and potentially longer works (novellas/novels) even if all does not go well in my first attempts.

FP
I know there are writers who can write poetry and short stories and novels, but not very many. It isn't nessessarily a progressive thing. I have been known to write a poem or two, and I write novels, but I can't write short stories. My few attempts turned into novels. I am not saying this is true for everyone, I am just pointing out that it doesn't nessessarily work that way, starting short and going longer. The structure of a short story is very different than the stucture of a novel. It's not just a longer short story.

So if you are thinking you will start with short stories and move up to novels, you might want to examine what you really want to write. If you are good at and want to write all three then go for it, but I know for me it didn't work that way.

FoidPoosening
07-04-2013, 12:21 AM
I know there are writers who can write poetry and short stories and novels, but not very many. It isn't nessessarily a progressive thing. I have been known to write a poem or two, and I write novels, but I can't write short stories. My few attempts turned into novels. I am not saying this is true for everyone, I am just pointing out that it doesn't nessessarily work that way, starting short and going longer. The structure of a short story is very different than the stucture of a novel. It's not just a longer short story.

So if you are thinking you will start with short stories and move up to novels, you might want to examine what you really want to write. If you are good at and want to write all three then go for it, but I know for me it didn't work that way.

This is on a different tangent but I completely agree. The entire thing is that I don't know how I am with the longer categories as I have not tried them yet. I figure I try and work my way up and see which I like/am good at and which I get stuck on, then once I know what comes most naturally (if there even is anything besides poetry) focus in on that.

Thanks to everyone so far! :)

sassandgroove
07-04-2013, 09:36 AM
True dat! You don't know till you try. :)

Ken
07-04-2013, 04:25 PM
... "waiting to submit to publishers,"
as you're gonna do, is fine.
When you feel ready, go for it.

Getting pub'd is about being good.
That takes time and lots of practise, for most.
Send out 50,000 mediocre stories or poems and you may well get back 50,000 rejections.
Send out 5 really good poems or stories and you may well get back an acceptance.

G'luck.

OJCade
07-04-2013, 04:32 PM
Sounds like publishing a collection of poems as an unpublished author is not really an option. :(


A lot of the big poetry book publishers, like Bloodaxe for instance, say quite clearly that:


IF YOU HAVE NOT YET PUBLISHED POEMS EITHER IN REPUTABLE LITERARY MAGAZINES OR IN A PAMPHLET FROM A REPUTABLE SMALL PRESS, DO NOT SEND US YOUR WORK.

Yes, that's them bellowing (http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/articles.asp?id=13) in all caps, not me. They go on to say that 90% of submissions ignore this, so I guess they might as well try bellowing, if only to thin out the "reject" pile.

You can start to build your reputation with shorts (poetry, flash, short stories) by publishing in decent markets. That way, when you have a completed project and send the collection off to a publisher, they might already know your work - which can be a point in your favour (depending on the work, of course).

I love Duotrope for finding markets, but there are other options. Try approaching some of the markets you read yourself - you have the advantage of knowing what kind of thing they like, after all.

Fruitbat
07-04-2013, 04:41 PM
Also, I would definitely put your work through a round or two of critiques before you send it out, if you haven't already. Let other writers help you polish your poems and stories, to give them the best chance. And critiquing for others makes it fair and also can improve your writing hugely. Good luck with it :)

Jamesaritchie
07-04-2013, 07:17 PM
I plan on massing a decent bank of work before I make any moves in terms of publishing any of it.

My question is: whether that be a year from now, five years from now etc, and whether it be poetry, flash fiction or something else... what (from your experience) have you found to be the best path in getting published?



FP

Why on earth would you amass work being trying to sell it? You learn by writing, submitting, and getting feedback. Amassing work just means you'll have a stack of work that's all of the same beginner quality. This is a very bad idea.

Anyway, whatever you're writing, the best possible way of getting published is to write something worth publishing. It's really the only way.

Too many try to complicate the business side of writing. It can get complicated later on, after you're widely published and making money, but in the beginning it's very, very simple.

You write and submit, write and submit, write and submit, until you learn to write well enough to sell. Which really means until you learn how to tell a story readers want, and fill it with characters readers want to spend time with.

But it all comes down to what I said earlier. If you want to get published, write something publishable. That's "all" there is to it.

Phaeal
07-05-2013, 04:15 PM
If you want to publish poetry, a subscription to Poets & Writers could help. You'll become acquainted with contemporary poets and well-regarded markets by studying it front to back, including all those small press and journal ads. It also features a lot of information on workshops and conferences and writing programs.

FoidPoosening
07-05-2013, 05:30 PM
A lot of the big poetry book publishers, like Bloodaxe for instance, say quite clearly that:



Yes, that's them bellowing (http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/articles.asp?id=13) in all caps, not me. They go on to say that 90% of submissions ignore this, so I guess they might as well try bellowing, if only to thin out the "reject" pile.

You can start to build your reputation with shorts (poetry, flash, short stories) by publishing in decent markets. That way, when you have a completed project and send the collection off to a publisher, they might already know your work - which can be a point in your favour (depending on the work, of course).

I love Duotrope for finding markets, but there are other options. Try approaching some of the markets you read yourself - you have the advantage of knowing what kind of thing they like, after all.

I subscribed to Duotrope two days ago :), how do I know if I'm looking at a "decent" marker to start building a reputation?


Also, I would definitely put your work through a round or two of critiques before you send it out, if you haven't already. Let other writers help you polish your poems and stories, to give them the best chance. And critiquing for others makes it fair and also can improve your writing hugely. Good luck with it :)

I've been sharing and critiquing a lot of poems here on AW :), but don't have anyone that I know in person with the same interests.


If you want to publish poetry, a subscription to Poets & Writers could help. You'll become acquainted with contemporary poets and well-regarded markets by studying it front to back, including all those small press and journal ads. It also features a lot of information on workshops and conferences and writing programs.

I'm going to have to look into this! Thanks :)

Any more input/advice on any part of the process from anyone? Thank you SO much to everyone thus far! :)

OJCade
07-06-2013, 02:29 AM
I subscribed to Duotrope two days ago :), how do I know if I'm looking at a "decent" marker to start building a reputation?


People have the ability to "favourite" markets on Duotrope. If the market you're looking at has a lot of favourites, there's a good chance it's fairly decent or has otherwise made a lot of fans.

Another way is to filter your search by pay rate. Check the markets offering pro rates, for instance - if they can afford to pay well, then they're doing well. They can't be doing well if they put out a substandard product, so you can infer from that they're a decent bet. If, on the other hand, Duotrope shows you that Market A doesn't pay anything and only started up a couple of months ago, then it's not going to get you the same cachet as being published in, say, Poetry.

Each Duotrope listing links to the market in question, so use that to check out who they've already published. If you've heard of those people - in a good way, of course - then that's a good sign. If they're publishing the latest poem by Margaret Atwood, for instance, you know they're quality.

Also, you could use Duotrope to find a market you're interested in and then check out that market here, in the Bewares, Recommendations and Background Check forum. If there's a thread on that market, you can see from other people's experiences if the market is one that you want to deal with.