As writers, we’re always looking for new resources to hone our skills, but we’ll never escape the cornerstones of mastering our craft:
1. “Reading is the first thing a writer does.” -Yiyun Li.
2. Write often,
3. Read more, and
4. You guessed it, keep reading.
Hey Bookfoxers, it can be difficult to find a writing community in your area, even if you’re an established writer.
It’s especially hard if you’re not in a major metropolis. I mean, writers are on in every street corner in San Francisco or New York, but if you’re in a smaller city or suburbs or a rural community, it becomes increasingly difficult to find fellow writers.
I’m going to give you the information every writer should know when approaching bookstores to plan a book tour: the perspective of a bookstore owner and an author.
In December of 2013, Brian Lampkin and I opened Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, North Carolina. We sell mostly new books, some used, and we have a café where you can buy coffee, beer, wine, small plates, and snacks. We get a lot of requests from writers who want to hold events at our store, many more requests than we could possibly schedule. We hold as many events as we can, but we still have to turn down writers.
Finding a home for your science fiction or fantasy novel can be difficult, especially if you’re looking at publishers who take all genres.
There’s a huge market for speculative fiction, as long as it doesn’t get lost in a mess of books of other genres. To avoid that, the thirty publishers below are looking specifically for stories in the sci-fi and fantasy realm.
Hopefully the below will be helpful to you. Good luck finding a great home for your novel!
These poetry book publishers all produce first-rate books, and you don’t need an agent to submit your work.
Since the tastes of poetry editors vary, always make sure you’re familiar with the kinds of books the press publishes before you submit. This will save you so much time!
I suggest purchasing a book or two from the presses that interest you. That will not only help you understand what kind of poetry the press is looking for, it will also demonstrate to the press that you want to support them. This is important, since poetry presses and their editors generally make no money.
This post is based on old-fashioned research: I emailed 19 new literary agents seeking to build their client list, and got the inside dish from each of them.
- The type of books they’re looking for
- The type of books they read when they’re not working
- Personal information — their history, hobbies, etc.
Many agents responded promptly to my question regarding what type of work they were seeking, and I was impressed and encouraged by the warmth and directness of their replies. By and large, agents are really looking for emerging writers.
Most readers don’t pick up a novel thinking, “Okay. I’m going to read all 100,000 words of this right now.”
That’s why chapters exist.
Chapters give readers a stopping point without abandoning the book. They also allow readers to pick the book back up without feeling completely lost.
A short story is a fantastic model for a chapter because it offers a beginning and end (a complete story!). And it’s worth noting that the perfect length for a short story is around 4,000 words.
Have young people cornered the market on writing?
I only ask because it seems like the big publishing companies tend to reward the prodigy model: you know, the wunderkinds who graduate from a prestigious university and get a seven-figure advance for a novel about New York or a YA fantasy series.
They have cherubic cheeks and photograph well for all the media outlets and act like very intellectual twenty-five-year-olds.
If you are at all like me, you fantasize about leaving it all behind–the job, the husband and kids, the yappy dog. Not for good, no, that’s a different post. Just for a week, maybe two, to go to a writing retreat.
You dream of traveling to a far away, preferably warm, but maybe not-so-warm (this is your make-believe moment, too) place where you can while away the days at a beautiful beach or curb-side cafe, writing your forthcoming novel.
As a full time editor, I read and gave feedback on 61 books this year. For those of you who wonder how this is possible, for most books I am not copyediting them, only (only!) giving feedback about every part of the fictional world — plot, characters, dialogue, beginnings/endings, themes, structure, metaphors, etc.
I’m basically a story doctor, helping writers tell better stories.