I thought I’d done the hard part – I wrote it, now what?

Many writers spend hours working on a piece – be it a book or an article – but you don’t know what to do with it once it’s done. The process is a little different, of course, with books and articles, but the process is similar enough to give a general over view.

Okay – so you’ve finished your masterpiece (or you have an idea for one). Now you need to figure out how you’re going to get it into print. In the case of a article, the best way is to ‘query’ a potential magazine or newspaper that publishes things like yours. When I said ‘like yours’ you want to analyze similarity based on not only topic, but also length and type – for example if you have a 800 word piece that profiles a cusine expert, you want to make sure that the publication you’re targeting accepts 800 word profiles.

If you’re writing a book, generally you want to draft a book proposal; if you have an agent, they will help you with this. If not, it is a general idea of what your book is about and why the publisher should publish it. Like with an article, you want to make sure that the publishing companies you’re targeting are appropriate. Don’t send a fantasy novel to Columbia University Press! (They don’t do profile books either). Review the companies websites carefully.

An easy way to find appropriate venues that might publish you is to look through Writer’s Market. They list publishing companies and magazines with descriptions of what they publish, who to contact, and an idea how much they pay.

Once you send in you’re piece, be patient. If you don’t hear back right away, chances are your editor is swamped and might not have even looked at the piece yet. They can’t decide it’s amazing until after they look at it, after all.

Just a point to remember (I’m stealing this from a writing book, though from memory and I can’t re which one): Editors WANT to publish you. They want your idea to be amazing when they open it, so that they can be the one to say “look what I found.” They want to discover the next great writer – so give it to them!

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Explore posts in the same categories: publishing, Writing for the Media

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