Being a new writer and trying to find your way around the writing world maze!

Well, Christmas has gotten in the way (in a nice way) and I’ve been slack with the blog. Not a good start…promise I will try harder!

As a new writer, it’s hard sometimes to know where to start to get your book out there. Writing seems to be the easy part – especially when no one else has seen it yet to pass comment – and really, that’s how it should be (except for those times when it feels like you have to literally wrench the words out of your body!). But what can you do to get your work seen? I’ve read lots and lots and lots of information on just this subject.  Some of it’s been helpful to me, and some, not so much…and I think that’s what it comes down to in the end. Try everything you possibly can, taking into consideration time and money, and see what happens.

So these are the tips I’ve found helpful for me:

1/ Know that a lot of getting a manuscript out there is about being in the right place at the right time and having the right person read your book and love it! But it’s also about putting in all the hard work too. Editing, editing and editing again until you are very, very happy with the final draft. And then leaving it for a while to go back to and read later with fresh eyes.  And remember, grammar is important!

2/ If you’re going to have friends and family read your book, impress on them the importance of truthful, constructive feedback. It’s nice if someone loves your book, but we’ve all seen those people on ‘Idol’ who’ve been told by their mothers that they’re fantastic singers…

3/ Join a writers group. The information and support that you’ll get will be absolutely fantastic. Even if you do it on line. And join associations – Qld Writers, Romance Writers – whatever floats your boat in order to get information and tips.

4/ Go to as many workshops as you can. Meet and listen to editors and publishers – find out what they’re looking for (but don’t press them to read your book the second you meet them!). Find out what other great writers do. Lots of them are very happy to share information and get you thinking on a different tangent.

5/ If you’re going to submit to publishers, make sure you read their web sites first and take note of what you read! They will tell you exactly how to format it (and some are different from others so take care) and when and where and how to submit it.

6/ Don’t forget to keep reading!

Okay, I think that’s all from me. I’m sure there’s other things that I probably should have mentioned, but if I remember them, I’ll add it in later. Or if any of you have other things that work for you, let us know! In the meantime, I am crossing my fingers that my patience won’t be in vain. :-)