Question I am 14 years old and have been writing stories since third grade. Of course, since this time I have started to write many stories and even finished a few. I enjoy to write science fiction, romance, drama, and mystery. I have also written many poems, and have had a poem published in the newspaper in 2004. I love writing and reading above everything else. I used to tell myself to wait until I was older to have books published, but I saw article about people younger than me with published books out. That is when I decieded to try and put my ideas out in the open.
I have had several people read my stories in school and have recieved very positive feedback. I have begun typing a few of my stories, and have at the point of finishing typing the first, realized I have no idea where to go from here. My question is, how do I find a publisher, and what exactly is there to do next? I realize not everyone will get thier books published, and I also know if it does by some miracle get published, it won't be a best seller. I just want some idea on how to go about finding a good publisher. Thank you.
Answer Congratulations on being a writer and being determined to keep getting published. Your note says you have typed up one story and don't know where to go from there. First be sure that it is clearly and correctly written, with no typos or other errors. The next step depends on whether it is a short story, an essay, a nonfiction book, or a novel, and the steps to take for each are lengthy, too long to give in a simple e-mail. Get a book on how to get published and read it from cover to cover. For now, don't get a book on how to self-publish; that's an entirely different path. Get a book on how to sell your work to a magazine or book publisher (depending on what you're writing), and follow the steps. If your submission gets rejected from one place, send it to another. Keep doing it. Meanwhile, keep writing and keep learning more and more about writing.
I've been writing since I was in the third grade, too, and now I'm 64 with hundreds of publishing credits, yet I'm still learning about writing. I always find something new about writing and something new to write about.
Keep everything you write, too, because what is rejected today may be a story you later revise and sell. You never know, in this business.
I hope you subscribe to my e-zine, too. It's free and always has good tips for writers. Sign up at www.zebraeditor.com and click on "free newsletter."
Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.
Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.
Organizations Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants
Publications Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.
Education/Credentials Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.
Awards and Honors First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews
Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards
Past/Present Clients Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.