Published Author, Professional Storyteller & Writer, and Educator
Published Author, Professional Storyteller & Writer, and Educator
Published Author, Professional Storyteller & Writer, and Educator

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Find a "Good" Publisher

Once upon a time, if a publisher liked what you wrote and agreed to publish it, the editor would work with you to refine your story or article. Editor and author worked as a team! Unfortunately, that is no longer the way it is.

The publishing industry has changed dramatically by downsizing staff, or not having enough time or personnel to deal with the many queries and manuscripts they receive. Several publishers have gone out of business and the few still available do not want unsolicited queries or manuscripts, and request agented material only. (Agents are often harder to find than a publisher!)

This leaves the author in a difficult situation, and often leads to self-publishing material, or finding a publisher who prints on demand. Both are options if you really want your material to be published, but the marketing and promotional work is usually up to you.

There is one bright spot, though - the majority of publishers and agents have websites, and will accept queries and/or synopsis, and in some cases, the first few pages or chapters of your work. If they're interested in seeing more, they'll contact you. Otherwise forget it!

Let me take a moment to explain a few things. A query is putting your best forward, in which you briefly and succinctly tell what your work is about, and if they'd be interested in considering it. Your contact information and brief background is included in the query.

The synopsis is a brief description of your work - the basics and important information you want the publisher to know. Again, short and sweet is the key - and it should "grab" the publisher or editor, making them want to read more.

material is sent without being requested by the publisher, Those publishers who do not want unsolicited material want you to submit to them through an agent, a person or agency who will represent you if interested in your work.

This can be an involved and sometimes complicated process, but if you're lucky, you'll break through the barrier and be accepted. Be prepared for spending a lot of time and effort on this process, and receiving rejection replies - or maybe no responses at all. But, perseverance often pays off so don't become dismayed and give up!

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