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February 5, 2006 - The Easiest Part Of Selling What You Write, Is Writing It!

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Book Wrangler                                                                  

February 6, 2006

By Bob Patterson


We had no sooner completed last week's column and shipped it off to Just Above Sunset's World Headquarters, when we started thinking about what we should write about for this week.  When we called a friend of many moons, he asked us how a rookie writer can market his fresh product, and immediately we knew we wouldn't have to worry about getting a topic for this week's installment of the Book Wrangler.


All most everyone who is asked this question, unanimously makes one particular recommendation - buy a copy of the latest edition of Writer's Market.  Here are the relevant details for the annually published reference work which will be the cornerstone for your library's section on selling what you write: 2006 Writers Market edited by Kathryn S. Brogan, Robert Lee Brewer, and Joanna Masterson ($29.99 paperback, Writer's Digest Books).  It is the best resource for both beginners and published pros. 


Most libraries have a copy of that book, but it is very handy to buy a copy for use at home.  If the novice writer has access to a large public library (or one at a local college or university) he or should read as many back copies of both Writer's Digest and the Writer Magazine as possible, and then (if the budget will permit it) subscribe to one or the other, if not both, to get the latest information on marketing, because conditions are constantly changing when new magazines make their debut and others go out of business.


Writer's Digest has a book publishing division and they publish many fine items that the new writer looking to sell his work, will want to acquire.  Again, it will be convenient and cost-efficient if you have access to a library (either public or at a large college or university) to take a look at what's available.  Many of the national book store chains have a selection of books that address the subject of selling what you write.  It would probably be more cost efficient to go there and browse to help clarify which of the many books would be a good buy.   Who said "So many books to buy; so little money?"


Also, go online and check out all the resources available on the Internet.  Many offer subscriptions and information for a price.  If you have purchased the aforementioned Writers Market, you will have a huge amount of information to use.  Subsequently, you should be a tough sell for any other expenditure of funds.


Some of the websites which you might want to investigate are -


The New Writer magazine


Writers Weekly


the Writer's Market website


The Burry Man Writers has an unusual name but merits close scrutiny because it seems to offer quality information to web surfers.


Take a look at Freelance Writing dot Com


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Inc. is for professional writers but their website provides information of interest to rookies and amateurs.


The Wooden Horse Publishing online news offers a subscription price of $119 for a year, but they have a great deal of interesting and relevant information posted on their home page.  The Wooden Horse site tells readers about new publications where the editors will be frantic to find writers who can supply content for their intended niche audiences.  They tell visitors to their web site about such new items as a magazine aimed specifically at dog owners in Las Vegas, a magazine for folks interested in Northern Virginia, and something called the Saint Paul Illustrated published by the Metropolitan Media Group.


Website Services Magazine is an example of the online presence of some very niche information for a small audience.


Various magazines are listed at something called Anthologies Online.


Some online information isn't as comprehensive as one might like.  We found one site, Coffee House For Writers that touts a course for writers but doesn't provide enough details such as is it available online or is it being taught at a specific location?  Maybe we just skimmed over the site too fast?


While you are web surfing take a look at First Writer and Writer's Block Canadian and one site that offers some good links for writers. 


The Slushpile website has marketing news, links, and gossip and is worth bookmarking.


Many online magazines do not pay for content, but it does give newcomers a chance to establish some credibility and name recognition.  Finding out who wants what would be similar to a pitcher warming up in the bullpen, so go to various online magazines and, if they have a link for "submissions guidelines," go to that page and read it. 


You will find an example of links to submissions guidelines on the home page for 3 a.m. online magazine and the hack writers websiteTry Googling for "submissions guidelines" and you might get more.


Other possibilities for guidelines online are PopMatters and Flak Magazine.


In the April, 1931, edition of Writer's Digest, on page 17, Marc Connelly wrote - "A perfectly sound play, artistically and dramatically, may be rejected because it offers a philosophy or point of view contrary to that of some manager."  Advice to know the preferences and idiosyncrasies of the particular target you select for submitting your material will reoccur throughout most advice to writers.  Didn't your mom warn you "Look before you leap?"


Now, if the disk jockey will play the Beatles' song "Paperback Writer," we'll make our dramatic exit for this week and wish you a week in which you receive royalty checks and not rejection slips.



Text and Photo, Copyright 2005 - Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com


April 1931 issue of Writer's Digest...
April 1931 issue of Writer's Digest...


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
See the Details page for the relevant citation.

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