Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Helpful Resources, Pass It On

After weeks/months/years of working on a manuscript, you've finally finished. Congrats! I know just how long the journey can be, and you should be proud of yourself for accomplishing something that many people aspire to do, but never see through to fruition.  Writing a book is something you should be proud of, regardless of where it goes after.  With that said (and if you're reading this) there is a very real possibility that you want to do more than keep your hard work to yourself.

When I decided I wanted to submit my material for possible representation/publication, I had no idea what I was doing. I did do some research, but since I'm not very techno savvy, most of the good stuff remained out of my scope until after I'd signed my first contract.  This isn't something I'm ashamed of, but it does go a long way in showing you how naive some new writers can be. Google searching doesn't always get it done. There is so much information floating around out there, and I found it difficult to sort through which places were helpful and which weren't.

Which brings me to the focus of today's blog.

At some point in the future, I'll cover query letters, synopsises, etc.  For now, I'd like to direct you toward something you should really start delving into before you finish typing the words, "The End," if you're considering publication. Nothing compares to first hand experience. However, it doesn't hurt when you're pointed in the right direction.

Below are five websites I've returned to time and again. In fact, I still visit them on occasion, as it's the best way to learn what's what in the community before it spreads around.   I'd like to challenge you to add your own links to the list via a comment.  When finished, I'll compile all of them into a future blog that can be bookmarked and passed along to up and coming authors who are daunted by the task and need reassurance that it can, in fact, be done. ;-)

**Please note that I'm only covering free resources. While places like Writer's Market are great, most people can't invest money into something until they start making it.  These are not the only places you can go when you're trying to decide what is best for you and your writing, but it's my hope that in some way that they can help you when you're forced to make the tough decisions.**

My list:

Agent Query: A great place to start looking for agent representation.

Absolute Write: This forum is a must. Not only can you find out everything you possibly want to know about the industry, you can also do a check on the publishers/agents you are considering.  I can't tell you how important this is.  Before you even consider sending out a query, do a full investigation into who you are offering your material to. 

Author Link: Great for up to date news about the industry -- also covers e-books/presses.

Piers Anthony's Internet Publishing: As an author who supports author's rights, Mr. Anthony shares what information he receives about presses in this venue.  There is no sweet, sugary coating.  He provides the information he's been given and allows you to to do your own research on the matter. 

Romance Diva's: Granted, I only "lurk" on the forum, but there is a lot of information if you're willing to search through the threads. Not only do authors discuss the industry, but editors and publishers also post when they are seeking new material to represent.  It's a great way to stay abreast of what you might miss otherwise.

I've shown you mine. Time to show me yours.  ;-)  Share the love!


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