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Defining Your Success in Writing

Updated on January 8, 2013

Defining Your Success in Writing

Obstacles to Success

The love of writing impels most writers to wander into the literary world and discover their unique talents. In most cases, the first obstacle to their success is being published by a reputable publishing organization.

Study the Publishing Companies Carefully

In actuality, there are only five major publishing companies in the US. Each of the five publishers contain numerous smaller publishing branches within their purveyance. It's important for writers to study the total picture of these five publishers and their interconnected networks before making a serious attempt to query a completed manuscript. By studying these blue ribbon publishing companies, writers can obtain a wealth of knowledge about the publishing industry. With this knowledge, it's easier to determine where your manuscript fits best in the literary world.

Preparing Your Manuscript

Thanks to technology, turning out a fully edited, perfect manuscript that's "publisher ready" is no longer a difficulty for writers. Editors won't waste time on manuscripts that contain errors such as typos or errors in facts or chronology. The least expensive way to avoid these errors is to allow your manuscript to be proofread by an objective third party. One tip is to look for proofreaders at the local college. Literary students earn their tuitions and in some cases, college credits from the number of manuscripts they proofread.

Study the Publishers' Genres

Be sure to connect the correct publishing house with the genre of your manuscript. This means studying various genres of each major publisher, as well as their most recently published authors. Keep a track record of the potential publishers and specific editors. This can be done with a standard spreadsheet. Keeping this information up-to-date is important for your marketing purposes. It may also help link contact information on the editors to whom your manuscript has been sent.

Publish or Self-Publish?

For many writers, the major desire is to see their manuscript published by a major publishing company. This is not always possible. Many publishers clearly do not accept query letters or unsolicited manuscripts. Add this information to your literary spreadsheet. This is data that can be helpful in the future. Tenacity is a characteristic all writers must have. Reticence, ambiguity or lack of initiative reduces the value of your writing and your manuscript. Having a book published is a sign of success only when the book receives visibility and public interest. Some writers choose self-publishing. It no longer carries the stigma it once might have. Many well-recognized authors self-published in their early writing careers. This is a choice that depends on the author. Be aware that a self-published book is also self-marketed in many cases. If you don't mind the labors involved in marketing your own book, self-publishing might be a good choice.

Marketing Your Manuscript - A Full-time Job

There's so much more to writing than just being published. The moment a manuscript is completely ready for publication, the real job begins in earnest. It takes ambitious marketing skills to insure that the right publishers, book reviewers and venues have access to your manuscript. There's a simple way to accomplish this: Create a book marketing plan. Depending on the genre of the manuscript, a book marketing plan should be thoroughly organized, consistently reviewed and refreshed for new marketing sources. Writers know they cannot afford the luxury of allowing their books to languish in mediocre marketing venues. Seek out marketing opportunities locally and in the larger pool of public markets. Implement and develop your marketing plan for best results. Seek out as many opportunities to make your book visible. Choose three to four weekly venues for these presentations. Today, social media is one of the best ways to increase visibility and get the buzz about your book and you, the author, in the public domain.

Defining Your Success in Writing

Success for writers can be defined in many ways. For some writers, a personal sense of achievement is sufficient success. Others define success as becoming embedded as an recognized author. Remember, the world is full of writers. Choose your definition of success early on and don't allow anyone to compromise your literary principles. If your purpose in writing is genuine, remain dedicated to your principles. One rather amusing vignette regarding your definition of success that all writers eventually encounter is professional jealousy. There's no shame in being the best you can be. Being the best writer means being on top of the mountain of writers all trying to reach your level of success. Don't be afraid to employ a bit of healthy pride in your accomplishments. It's your hard work that returned your investment in success.



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    • SaritaJBonita profile image

      Sarah Jane Bourdeau 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      So much information in one concisely written Hub! I've been considering writing a book -- a memoir of sorts -- about the unexpected life-path I journey along in my life with Bipolar Disorder. I just cannot seem to focus my attention and stay committed long enough.

      Thank you, I learned a few new things today!

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