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I think that if your desire to get published is strong enough, it will happen. That desire, or drive, keeps you going when others give up.

Assuming you have enough talent, of course.

Bryan Catherman

Quote: "Writer's Market is at least partially obsolete on the day it's published, and becomes increasingly so as the year progresses."

This is why a writer who wishes to use Writer's Market is far better of not getting the book and using that money to buy a subscription to the Writer's Market website. It's updated daily.

Phil Houtz

Don Westlake wrote a great story, Hook, about an A-list writer's struggle to stay in the game. It's wicked and weird and gives a pretty good insight into the publishing biz. A fun way to learn the ropes.

great site...i'll be back.


I definitely agree that writer's conferences are the way to go. Networking with other writers has paid off for me more than anything else. That was a surprise. You go meet people, show genuine interest, ask questions and you'll be surprised the doors that start to crack open. Great blog.


I really appreciate it when an established author lays it out on the line - realistic but not too discouraging - thanks!!

I do have one thing to add, however. You said, "Aspiring writers tend to put their trust in resources like Writer's Market, but I've given up on them." I agree with you on the Writer's Market *book*, but the on-line version is current. Additionally, science fiction, horror, and fantasy writers can access free inforation via Ralan.com or the Spicy Green Iguana websites. (That helps out those of us with limited resources who would love to attend conferences but just can't afford it!)

Elissa Malcohn

I just found your blog, and can relate! I had some short fiction & poetry publishing successes in the 80s (enough to make me a finalist for the 1985 John W. Campbell Award), before I found myself working double and triple shifts for way too long. Now that I've returned to fiction and marketing I feel like Rip Van Winkle, but am (re)learning as I go and trying to get back up to speed.

(I'm currently trying to sell a trilogy. Talk about giving oneself a tough row to hoe....)

I've used Writer's Market as a first step, and then checked individual websites for more current info. In addition to mscott1's mention of Ralan.com and Spicy Green Iguana, I've also found Speculations.com and Pier's Anthony's internet publishing page.

Will bookmark this blog as well. Thanks for being there.

michelle schutt

I was reading an article on Nora Roberts, and in her personal bio she stated that her first submissions were flatley turned down. I must admit that hearing that gave me hope!! Look at her now!!!


Thanks for this.

I came across it in a random blog search, feeling quite depressed. I am trying to get my novel published (literary fiction) and can't even get an agent interested, never mind a publisher.

I know it may be a little rough around the edges, but I do believe in my work. Your blog helped me to remember this. I have the ego and the determination. I will make it, because I cannot foresee a future in which this has not happened for me.


Lots of good advice in this post. Lots to take with you as you trudge through the landscape (overgrown as it is) of an aspiring writer.

Don't forget that marketing your material in smaller segments (chapters, shorts, so forth) to publications who aren't going to lock down the rights for all eternity can be a great way to gain exposure and prestige. There are lots of good online publications and some print publications which will allow the rights to revert back to the author--and it's a lot easier to get published on these sites than it is to get a book deal. (Check out our humble publication: http://www.perigee-art.com)

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