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A Beginners Guide to Getting Published

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  #1  
Old 12-22-2005, 08:15 AM
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A Beginners Guide to Getting Published


All I can offer, at this time, is a little something I call CraigsList. It's an online job listing source where many people look every day to find work. It's not the most private place to find a job, but they do have writing jobs posted daily. Most of these are copy-writers (people who write commercials for radio and invoices) to receptionists, but you will find the occasional call for short stories and poems. Most CraigsLists that are looking for short stories and poems pay a fair amount (what I've seen, ranging from $15-$200).

http://www.craigslist.org/

On the left, you can see a list of cities where the jobs searches are currentley being held, but in most cases, the writing job you're looking for will be posted in all cities.

Next, we have magazine submissions. Working from personal expierience, you have Asmiovs, a sci-fi magazine that accpets submissions of the genre. I've sent in a piece called "Eight Minutes" and I am looking to hear back from them in a few weeks. Their average turnaround is six to eight weeks, and they do not critique your piece. They either take it and print it or turn around and send it back.

Unfortuanatley, at this time, my link to the Asimov Mailing Submission page (they do not take e-mails, they request hard copies and have explicit instructions about how to mail stories of certain length.) is on my other computer. I'll post the link as soon as I get it back.

Finally, for those 18 and up, Playboy and Hustler take short story manuscripts. They don't have to be pornographic, of course, because these are gentlemens magazines. As long as the stories are fun to read (scary stories, action packed stories) then you'll be fine. But you have to be 18 to submit to them.

They don't like little weepy stories, either, and will most likely turn those around. I'm waiting to get back to NY to submit some pieces to them, but I will once again let you know how that goes.

That pretty much wraps up this very, very basic guide to getting published. I hope it's helped.

Mal

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Old 12-22-2005, 08:56 AM
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Thank you, I have bookmarked that page. I am thinking about revising some of my short stories and sending them in to Magazines. Thank you again for posting that link.

Kelly
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:09 AM
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That was excellent advice, thanks alot, I actually searched for a few things. I didn't find anyone that would be interested.
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Old 12-27-2005, 06:28 AM
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These are the places that are most likely to accept your work and give you a foot in the publishing door.
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Old 01-01-2006, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MalReynolds
These are the places that are most likely to accept your work and give you a foot in the publishing door.
I havn't found on ad like this in L.A they're all ads for getting content on the web or something.
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Old 01-01-2006, 11:26 PM
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Keep checking. The main 2 I check are LA and NY and I've found both publishing jobs through them. I'm also working on a third (that sought me out and is offering professional editing for some of my work) but they e-mailed me first.

Mal
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Old 01-01-2006, 11:37 PM
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Do you post your work on there?
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:01 AM
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You don't traditionally post your own work on Craigslist, you just keep your eyes out for magazines or e-zines that are taking submissions.

Mal
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Old 01-02-2006, 11:06 AM
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Dizaym, so hard, I don't see any magazine or e-zine listings.

I shall try harder!
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Old 01-02-2006, 12:06 PM
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It's a luck of the draw. Just make sure to check every day or else you might miss an opportunity.

Mal
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:57 PM
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Really not sure if this is considering bumping, or if this has been mentioned someplace else, but Orson Scott Card started up his own online magazine which is accepting short stories.
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow...le=submissions
I've been thinking about sending something in. The pay seems pretty good (6 cents a word up to $500), but I'm not sure how good the exposure is.

Anyway, just throwing that in there
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:37 PM
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This was kind of bare-bones, so I thought I'd add to a mod's stickied thread.

OK. Mike's guide to getting published.

1. Write and write and write until you have a story you're convinced will find a market.

2. Put it away and forget it.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have 5 stories, all of which you're exceptionally proud of.

4. Go back to the first story you wrote, and read it afresh. Hopefully 2 or 3 months or more will have elapsed since you last saw it. Hmm, not quite as good as you thought, maybe? Found some errors that, in your initial excitement, got missed first time round? Correct, rewrite, then go to submitting step 1.

5. After you've submitted your first story, make a note on a spreadsheet of where you sent it, anticipated response time (often in the guidelines), when you sent it and what the story was.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you run out of stories.

7. As each story gets rejected, as the majority inevitably do, send it on to the next market on your list and record details on your spreadsheet.

Repeat steps 1-7 until you're either famous or lose the will to live.

Submissions.

Before you send a story anywhere, look around at what you think will be the best fit. This sounds obvious, but I have seen fantasy submitted to lit mags, mainstream to horror, etc. It's a waste of everyone's time, and makes you look dumb.

Where do you look? www.storypilot.com is a good start, as is http://www.duotrope.com/digest/. Also try http://www.ralan.com/ and http://www.spicygreeniguana.com/. Between those 4 resources there are between 1500 and 2000 markets for you to submit to in a variety of genres.

Save yourself time and postage - many mags take online submissions. Target them first. Save yourself more time - make sure you read the submission guidelines and that what you're selling is what they're buying, and that you format it the way you tell them. If they specify a font, do it, and whatever you do NEVER submit ANYTHING in a decorative or non-standard font. If in doubt, Courier, TNR or Arial. Nothing else.

Be prepared to wait - most mags will take 3-4 months to respond, which is why we don't sit on our hands waiting, but get more stories written and more out there onto the marketplace. It's not unheard of for a mag to take 6 or even 12 months, but most editors are happy for you to send a polite query after 4 months. But you should be too busy - after all, after 4 months you should have 10 or more stories in circulation.

One more point to consider - the guys and gals who plough through slush are a fine bunch of people, but they've probably seen or read it all before.

Quite often, they're not looking for literary gems, but for excuses to reject. They may miss something good, but hey, there's another thousand stories in the pile to choose from. Don't give them the excuse to reject; NO typos, NO spelling errors, NO grammatical errors, NO clichés, NO stories just like all the others. Be outstanding.
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Last edited by MalReynolds; 03-27-2006 at 05:42 PM..
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2006, 12:35 PM
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Hey, that was awesome Mike, I like the step by step. Breaking it down like that makes things so much easier!
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
Be outstanding.
This is what most people have been doing wrong! Thank God you were here to tell us we need to be outstanding to get published...

Other than that little... off piece, well done sir.

Last edited by MalReynolds; 03-28-2006 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:51 PM
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I thought it was a good point, so many things I read nowadays, generally on forums aren't and the writer thinks they are.

Anyway excellent advice, I preferred Mike's cause well I can apply that to myself. haha.
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MalReynolds
This is what most people have been doing wrong! Thank God you were here to tell us we need to be outstanding to get published...
You've obviously never worked slush. 99% of what is submitted to magazines makes no attempt to be outstanding. It's a bit like posting a guide to getting published and then offering very little in the way of guidance - piss poor.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:56 PM
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I wrote the FAQ using what I knew, just like you did... Only difference being, I can kind of look at it in a humorous light.

Please, tone down the attitude. This isn't a place for "flaming."

Last edited by MalReynolds; 03-28-2006 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 03-29-2006, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MalReynolds
I wrote the FAQ using what I knew, just like you did... Only difference being, I can kind of look at it in a humorous light.

Please, tone down the attitude. This isn't a place for "flaming."
Not flaming. I'm suggesting you don't write an FAQ if you don't know any of the answers. And my sense of humour takes a dent when my posts get edited. I do not approve of censorship.
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Old 03-29-2006, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C
Not flaming. I'm suggesting you don't write an FAQ if you don't know any of the answers. And my sense of humour takes a dent when my posts get edited. I do not approve of censorship.
Ah, you see, that's where you're wrong. Because I did know what I was talking about; the title is misleading, yes, but every time I've been published (four now), those are the methods I used.

I was wrong to edit the post, but I was trying to save face not only for myself, but dude, you were kind of being a dick. Your FAQ is far superior, and I've talked it over with the owner of the site; nothing like that is going to happen again.

It was one sentence that was very anti-me that I took out of there, which was wrong, yeah, alright. Cool, moving along.

Flaming is against the rules, however. Don't.

PS: Calling an FAQ "Piss poor" is a flame. It's also a blatant disregard for feelings when you open up your FAQ with something along the lines of, "Oh, I don't know how this got stickied, this guy is stupid and doesn't know what the hell he's talking about." Paraprhasing; the actual words were a little more harsh if memory serves. Both are considered flames, both are against the rules.

Next time you have a problem with a stickied thread in "Getting Published" try PMing one of the mods before you attack it. It was stickied for a reason.

Last edited by MalReynolds; 03-29-2006 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:42 PM
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Apology accepted, Mal.

But for your information, calling your FAQ was not flaming, it was fair criticism. If I tell you you don't know what you're talking about, it's fair criticism, not flaming.

If you're not comfortable with honesty, ban me.
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Old 03-29-2006, 09:25 PM
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Let's keep the good posts up for others to gain insight from and take the rest to PM.

Thanks, guys.

Last edited by Cordatus; 04-03-2007 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:10 AM
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Oooo – very striking stuff!

I reckon people can make their own minds up anyhow. Admittedly, I’m reading an old post, but the title sounded interesting, so here I am. At the end of the day, with an open mind, we can take or leave it most things. Ultimately, it looks like getting publish is probs one of the hardest things ever.

I do however have question to anyone that might offer up an answer. Is it the intention of this post to indicate that you're better trying to have short story published in some mag (or other) as a stepping stone to getting something larger published like a Novel?

Ultimately, it’s my intention to publish, although hold no hopes.

Mal? What is it that you have had published, short stories or novels?
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:39 AM
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Mal's long gone, so you'll have to make do with me.

Getting shorts published isn't really that hard. All you need is a good story and determination.

It's often cited that short stories are a stepping stone to a novel, but it's bull, really. Short form and novel are totally different beasts, some people will write shorts successfully and never complete a novel, and many, many authors go straight no the novel without ever having written a short. Write to your strengths.
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:44 AM
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Thank you for the link!
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:33 PM
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Cheers Mike C.

Appreciate what you're trying to say.
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