Monday, June 30, 2008

What writers need to think about

Happy Monday!

Well, today is the holiday week so I wanted to make you aware of the Writing Career Coach holiday schedule. I will post today, Tuesday [both here and at Writer's Rest] and Wednesday. I know many of you have vacations planned and time off so if you'd like to be sure you don't miss an issue sign up to receive the blog directly in your mailbox by clicking the sign up link here.

Now, this week I'm going to talk about different ways to be a full-time writer. That will begin on Tuesday with part 1 here, part 2 tuesday at Writer's Rest and Part 3 here on Wednesday.

Today, however, I want to talk about something very important to aspiring writers. That is agents [real and fake]. I thought about this after reading Chip MacGregor's blog yesterday where he talked about the website "Predators and Editors".

I urge you to go to Chip's blog [I have linked to it here] but also keep these tips in mind when you are trying to get your work in front of Editors and agents.

1. Don't pay an editor a reading fee. This is almost always a scam. An agent makes their money by taking a percentage [most agents around 15%] of royalties and advances. Any agent who wants to charge you to read you work either ISN'T an agent or is such a bad one that they can't make a living selling projects.

2. Find out the submission guidelines to publishing houses [and agents] before you send something in. THEN FOLLOW THE RULES!! You don't get points for creativity here. Agents and editors are extremely busy [many are highly overworked] and if your proposal takes them a great deal of extra time then you're already starting off at a disadvantage.

3. Make sure a second set of knowledgeable eyes look things over before you send it in. You want the best possible representation of your work so take the time to let someone else see it first.

4. Accept rejection with professionalism. Some agents may have become cynical after seeing THOUSANDS of bad proposals but I've never met an agent who didn't sincerely desire to help writers. They simply don't have time to work with each aspiring writer. To do so would take needed time away from the clients they represent. You also never know when one person will lead you to the right person. Keep a good attitude, be thankful when an agent is honest with you about the level of your work [getting one rejection from an agent is far better than getting dozens of nasty pieces of "fan mail"]

So take a few moments to check out these sites I mentioned and I'll see you tomorrow.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

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