Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whining Does Nothing for a Fiction Writer

I hear them all the time.

"It's so hard to make it into a magazine."

"None of the publishers will look at my book."

"Agents take way too long to reply to submissions."

And a thousand other whiny complaints.

It's almost sickening.

Yes, it is tough breaking into the fiction writing market. Not everyone can get a book deal. Not everyone can land a story in their favorite magazine.

That's just too bad. Write better. Write more. Write. Write. Write.

Grousing about how tough it the fiction markets can be will not get your story published. It will not get your name on the front of a publication. It most definitely will not make you any money as a writer.

And it's also bad form. Editors, publishers, literary agents and other writers are out there on the Internet, too, and when they witness someone going on and on about how much the publishing industry sucks, they might just remember that person's name. Which is not a good thing, remembering that name in a negative light. If your manuscript lands on some editor's desk, an editor who saw you tearing into his magazine because they never published one of your stories, that editor isn't very likely to even read your story, let alone consider it for publication. "Not fair!" you might shout. "Tough luck," I say. Grow up and join the real world. If you go around offending others in the publishing business, the very business you're trying to break into, you're not going to get very far.

See, it's human nature to not want to do something for someone who has insulted you. It's also perfectly legal, some might even argue ethical. Whatever, it's reality.

Of course there are other options for writers nowadays. You could go the self-publishing route. For instance, you can publish your ebooks for the Kindle through the Amazon's Digital Text Platform. You could also publish your books through sites such as Lulu. You can even publish short stories through online publishing sites like Triond.

But what you won't get is readers, let alone any chances at making money. Don't believe me? Okay, go ahead and publish that story on Triond, or better yet, that novel on the Kindle. Now, once you've made a hundred bucks, come back here and post about it.

I'll see you in ten years.

Of course, there are success stories out there of authors who have self-published and who are doing quite well. But what those authors did was put in a lot of work, a lot of time and effort doing self promotions after they do all that work writing and editing their own material. So, it can be done. But one thing those writers didn't do was sit around and gripe about how unfair the writing industry is.

They did something about it. They wrote. They published. They cashed the checks. And they enjoyed interacting with their readers.

Which is something you'll never do if you spend more time complaining than writing and submitting or publishing.

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