Tuesday, April 5, 2011
What if I Haven't Published Anything Yet?
Publishers are asking where you’ve been published previously. But how do I get published when you keep sending me rejection letters? you wonder. Is this a cruel secret sorority where I have to find the location of my own hazing?
The good news is that getting published is not as hard as it sounds. You don’t have to start with a book – in fact, you probably shouldn’t. And even if have a favorite national magazine you’ve always dreamed of submitting to, I recommend you start even smaller than that.
Take a look at your local newspaper if you live in a small town. Chances are, reporters are stretched for time and ideas. Cover a sporting or social event from the perspective of a local citizen. Or do a profile of an outstanding person in the community (think unsung hero). Be willing to do all this for free if necessary.
Once you’ve published in a smaller facet, you have one foot in the proverbial publishing door. You can add more local publications to your list of credits while also targeting national or international publications.
This process is how I drew the attention of my agent. Since I looked young, the agent thought I was 17 when I first approached her at a conference. She told me she didn’t take me seriously until I noted that I’d been published over 50 times in various local and international publications. Three days and one book proposal later she offered me a contract.
If all of this seems unnecessary to you, think about it from the publisher’s or agent’s perspective. You are proving two things to them by building your writing credits:
1) Your writing doesn’t stink.
2) You are building an audience through frequently publishing articles.
Does this make sense? Too much information? Too little? I’d love to hear your feedback because we’re here to help you!
Real Teen Faith.
Posted by Bare Naked Blog w/Bekah at 1:00 AM