What is The Writer’s Toybox?
Writing should be fun, it should be a magical adventure. The Writer’s Toybox is here to give you a little help when you need it, a little magic perhaps to inspire and hopefully a smile or two!
How Do I Get Published?
How do you become a published writer? Agents these days take on very few new clients, unless they already have a publishing contract. Publishers are not interested in new authors, preferring to concentrate their finances on writers who already have publishing credits to their names. If this all seems a bit ‘Chicken and Egg’ you are probably right. Gaining these first publishing credits is usually the most difficult part of any author’s career. Self publishing is one route but is only valid if your work actually sells. That may sound fairly self evident but there are many ways of self publishing that result in zero sales, such as using a publisher where their structure produces books that cost way above the market average for a paperback book. Even if your book is well priced it still needs to be marketed. The publishing house can only go so far and the author needs to work hard these days in support of their own work. In the competitive post ‘Crunch’ world, good marketing is king.
Competitions are a good intermediate step. Having your work published in a magazine is a good way of showing a potential publisher you are a worthwhile investment. Even better are anthologies of short stories. Some competitions can result in your story being made available in bookshops and on places like Amazon as both paperback and eBooks. Many successful authors have found competitions a good way to kick start their career. A published short story can be a valuable credit on your writing CV.
Writing articles for local newspapers can be an easy entry point towards publication but don’t expect to be paid huge amounts! Many small papers welcome coverage of local events without having to commit one of their own reporters. Start by writing reports and sending them in without expecting a financial return. If they like what you produce you may end up on the payroll and further advancing your credibility to publishers.
The world of books has changed forever and you can’t be a writer today using the tools of yesterday and expect to be a writer tomorrow!