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Stark Direwolf
July 24th, 2003, 12:16 PM
Just curious? If one had a finished work and wanted to try and get it published how difficult would it be? What qualifications do publishers look for and what requirements to they usually want?

July 24th, 2003, 04:11 PM
Well, ummm... more people are likely bitten by sharks and other predators than be published, in general...
But really, it depends on your goals. If you want to publish via a mainstream publisher, you have a big grind ahead of you, and have to be committed to not only what you have written, but producing a lot more like it. There is no money in one hit wonders...
However, if you just want to see it in print, you can self publish, or go via a vanity press, and pay to get in print, and that takes care of that need and is a perfectly acceptable answer too.
In the middle is a new breed of POD authors that sit between true vanity, and mainstream and work to find quality works and deliver them to the public. You may or may not be required to pay some money, but you will go through a selection process, and an editing process. These chances are mush better than the mainstream, and with diligence and a bit of talent this should be possible.
Do your homework, prepare for rejections, and really be honest about the quality of your work.
Good luck.

July 24th, 2003, 06:09 PM
If you're planning on going the traditional route, I reccomend thick skin, perseverance, and mind-altering drugs. Lots and lots of mind-altering drugs. Otherwise, frustration and impatience will get the best of you and you'll spontaneously combust.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but it's tough. You're chances of getting noticed are pretty slim. Not to say you shouldn't try, because you should, but be prepared to get shot down. Even some of my all-time favorite writers were rejected tons of times before they broke through the gates.

July 25th, 2003, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by Inactorz
Just curious? If one had a finished work and wanted to try and get it published how difficult would it be? What qualifications do publishers look for and what requirements to they usually want?

Get a book on getting published or finding an agent if you are serious about publishing something. Its definately worth a $15 or so investment. But, if you are asking if you have to have a degree or be published in some way before an editor/agent will look at your work-I would say no, although it can't hurt. Editors are always looking for fresh talent or ideas. But they are busy.

July 25th, 2003, 01:09 AM
Just when you think you've written a great story and several people enjoy it, it doesn't meet the publisher/zine editor's requirements and they find problems you didn't even realise. This is my problem with submitting short stories to zines, which is not much easier than getting a novel into print.

First of all, read a lot. Then write a lot. Then become a good editor. Then get your *polished* stories critiqued and polish accordingly. Come back to stories after several months and update them to your current skill level.

Send them off tentatively and chuck a tantrum the first rejection. Don't take it as gospel, but take note that editors/publishers need only accept the very best. Re-edit accordingly and henceforth look forward to getting advice, rather than dreading rejections.

Not put off yet? Good. Hopefully you've got the talent, will and perseverence to prove these bigwigs wrong. It's a long process, but keep on writing, editing and sending until you get your big break or realise writing isn't your 'calling.' And make sure you're enjoying all this.

And lastly, you have to be good to get a novel published straight of the bat with a traditional publisher. I've learnt the best route (at least for me) is to get a toe in the industry door with the short story market. Start small, hone my craft, and then slide into novel-writing.

PS. I love writing to death, but I've now grounded myself in reality.

Stark Direwolf
July 25th, 2003, 03:05 AM
Thanks all...


Hungry Jo
July 25th, 2003, 02:44 PM
I'm still trying to get short stories published myself (sent my first off to Strange Horizons a couple of weeks back) but the best advice I ever read anywhere (and it pops up everywhere) is to read as much as you can, not only has this helped my writing imeasurably, it have enjoyed it alot too :)

July 26th, 2003, 05:14 AM
Got a rejection from Strange Horizons a few weeks back. Unfortunately they didn't provide feedback.

Try Andromeda Spaceways, an Australian zine. They get back to you real quick (1 day - a few weeks) with comments.

Hungry Jo
July 27th, 2003, 10:31 AM
I got my rejection from Strange Horizons yesterday :) I actually got some feedback though, which was nice :) I realise that these people are often pretty busy but it makes being rejected a so much more positive experiance when you get a bit of feedback.

James Barclay
July 27th, 2003, 11:10 AM
'Qualifications'... perseverance, belief, determination. That's added onto ability to write and a good slice of luck when approaching publishers/agents. Thing is, you think you're approaching a company to be published whereas the reality when you drill down is that your work is going to be read by just one person...

Most of all, as others have mentioned. You have to write. It's a line oft quoted but it's important - 'A writer writes.' While others make excuses, vacuum the floor, take sudden interest in dusting etc, a writer gets on with it.

Words on paper... only then can you improve your skill.

You can see what publishers want at anytime by going and looking on the bookshelves.