Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Publishing Tips from Beth Erickson

by: Beth Erickson

There are hundreds of variables that can determine how quickly
you'll get published.  The economy and financial condition of a
publication can determine how many freelance articles they
purchase.  Maybe you can hit an editor on a bad day and he/she
hates everything he/she reads, even your manuscript.  

As you can see, many of these variables are out of your control.

That's the bad news.  But here's the good news.  There are
variables you control, and how you treat these variables will have
a direct influence on how often you get published.

Here are five basic tips you can use on a daily basis that will
enhance your chances of hitting pay dirt.  Here they are:

1.Learn everything you can about your craft.

Attend classes.  Read writing books.  Subscribe to e-mags that will
help your career.  Just like a carpenter who must purchase tools so
he can practice his craft, you must invest in the tools that will
make you a better writer than your competition.

2.Read everything you can get your hands on.

Read fiction, nonfiction, direct mail, read everything you can
find.  When you become a voracious reader, you become a better
writer.  There are no short cuts.  So turn off the television. 
Crack open a book.  And have a ball.

3.Target the publications you want to write for - then become
familiar with them.

Subscribe to the magazines you want to write for.  Purchase books
in your genre.  Get on GOOD direct mail mailing lists.  If you're
short on cash, visit your library on a regular basis and read books
and magazines there.  

When you're paging through your target magazines or books from a
publisher you're planning on contacting, try to visualize their
ideal reader.  Then as you write, write directly to that reader. 
An editor who knows you've taken the time to research their company
will be FAR more willing to give your manuscript a read-through.

4.Read EVERYTHING you send out aloud.

You'll catch typos, grammos, and generally dumb sentences when you
read EVERYTHING you write aloud.  I read The Almach aloud at least
three times.  Jumpstart went through the same process.  Reading
your manuscripts aloud will not guarantee that they'll be perfect,
but you'll discover that your writing is much easier to read after
this exercise.  It takes time but it's worth it.  Just purchase
some throat lozenges (I use Jolly Ranchers) and get going.

5.Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Write on a daily basis.  It's easy to get discouraged when a
rejection letter flows in.  But having a number of queries floating
around in cyberspace keeps that little flame of hope burning
bright.  I'm thoroughly convinced that the only way we can fail as
writers is if we give up.  As long as you don't give up, you'll
definitely be published.  Eventually.

If these tips sound like a lot of work, they are.  But the work you
put into honing your writing and researching your target
publications will be reflected in the number of acceptance letters
you receive.

These simple tips will make your writing absolutely sparkle when
the editor reads your words.  You'll outshine your competition. 
And when you outshine your competition, you've just enhanced your
chances of getting published.
This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing
sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing
Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book "Power
Queries." http://filbertpublishing.com


  1. I very much agree with all of the points mentioned in this article, especially number one: learn everything you can about your craft, and number two: read everything you can get your hands on. Number two is especially useful if you read books that are targeted towards the genre of writing you want to break into. I find there is nothing more fulfilling than reading a novel by an author whose style and approach I admire for added inspiration that I can put towards my own writing.

  2. Krissy, thanks for stopping by and sharing your own experience.

  3. GREAT tips! Thanks for sharing them.

  4. Susanne, glad you found this article useful.