OUR RIGHT TO WRITE AND PUBLISH II
Most writers I know have some file or drawer or box FULL of ideas about where they might publish. This is good! Collecting the physical samples of publishing possibilities can be extremely valuable. HOWEVER they must NOT gather dust!
Much of my personal collection is now on my computer—in a file that I can update with a couple clicks as I reconsider my categories and the lists within them. Most recently, I’ve been looking at each one—magazine, journal, newspaper—traditional publisher, self-publisher, hybrid publisher, etc.—with the following thoughts.
- Have I listed one or more editors or directors for each entry on my list? Do I have a current phone number for them? Have I met them personally at a conference or seminar?
- Do I understand the vision and/or motivation behind their publication or publishing house? Do I know anything about their personal motivation for working there?
- IF I were to have an opportunity to sit down and talk with this person about my current writing dreams or manuscript, do I know what they need to hear—so that they have the best opportunity to accept my work?
- Am I prepared to pick up the phone and talk with these people? Have I created a written outline of the points I want them to hear and understand?
After years of attending writers’ conferences, seminars and workshops, I FINALLY accepted the fact that Editors and Publishing Directors are people and writers. The majority of these folks started walking the same path I did—finding joy in putting pen to paper and communicating their ideas. However, when two roads crossed, they found their passion along the publications and/or publishing path. Since that time I’ve decided to respect each one for the journey they’ve taken and seriously look for common ground. Then, after I’ve thoroughly researched the needs of their magazine or journal—or the contracts or packages of their publishing house—I’m ready to talk. Yup—pick up the phone and do whatever it takes to talk with that person.
“Hello Joe. Thank you for taking a minute to talk with me today. I have just finished a short story that fits right into your magazine’s target readership. The title is…, …”
“Hello Ms. Andrews. Thank you for talking with me at the California Writer’s Conference. I’m calling today to talk about a new article idea for your Christmas 2016 issue.” (Yes, it is always the best plan to plan months ahead.)
The KEY is to talk with this person as if they are your best friend and totally pumped about the article, poetry, short story, or novel you’re ready to publish.
Today, I leave you with this thought, a quote from author Kurt Vonnegut. “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” I can easily imagine this comparison because, like the eagle who pulls out every feather to allow new and stronger feathers to grow, writers must continually fly to new creative heights. We must never become petrified wood. ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.