Writing Books/publishing


Hi. Im 15 and i just finished writing a short story. I really have no experience whatsoever in the publishing business, and i'm wondering what the best way is to get myself out there, and find a publisher, and all that. Thanks.

This question is far too broad for me to answer in a simple way. Entire books have been written on the subject of how to get published. Please go to the library or bookstore and find a book on how to get published. Before you buy a book, make sure it addresses your type of writing, whether you write short stories, essays, novels, or nonfiction books.

Some publishers think that fifteen-year-olds do not yet have enough experience to be publishable writers yet; most writers practice and polish their craft for many years before they are able to sell their work. Do not let such statistics stop you. First of all, once you have polished your work and follow the advice in one of the books on publishing, you may focus on finding publishers that specialize in the writings of young adults.  Second, if your writing is excellent, your age won’t matter.

If you do try to sell to an adult market, though, my advice would be not to reveal your age to potential publishers.

Other valuable things you can do to increase your knowledge about writing and publishing:

1.   Join a writers association that has regular meetings and speakers. Network with those writers and learn how they found publishers for their writing (there are many, many ways).
2.   Join a critique circle that meets regularly, where you will get feedback on your work and give feedback to others. You will not only learn much more about writing, but you will also help other writers.
3.   Go to writers conferences and seminars whenever possible. Again, talk to the people their and learn their methods for successful publishing.
4.   Subscribe to magazines about writing, such as Writer’s Digest, and read them regularly. Buy and read books on writing, such as The Elements of Style by Strunk and White; Stein on Writing by Sol Stein; On Writing by Stephen King; and my book, Write In Style.   
5.   Never, never stop honing your writing skills. Keeping writing and reading about writing and reading writing that you like.

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Bobbie Christmas


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.

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

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.

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.

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