I have a fond memory of being in an old bookstore and discovering a pile of very old copies of Writer's Digest magazine. I bought them all and carried them home as though they were treasure.
I have never taken a writing course. While I wouldn't necessarily suggest my path to other people, it's the route that worked for me. Once I'd decided I wanted to be an article and book writer, I subscribed to Writer's Digest every year without fail. I bought and marked up the same company's annual marketing guides, and later their agent guide.
At first, I spent more money on stamps than I earned from my tiny sales of essays and articles about raising my kids. Eventually, I sold to larger markets, expanded my subject areas, and entered the world of book writing. This is where some might say, "And I never looked back," but I'm always looking back.
How Do I Love Thee, Marketing Guides?
While it's easy to research just about anything online now, there's nothing quite as pleasing as grabbing the latest compendium of agents or magazines or publishers and marking up your copy with little checks and notes or stickies.
In perusing the latest editions of some of the books that helped me so much in my early days, I came across some tips that might help you. Each of these, as it happens, was something I didn't know during the first few years after I began writing.
The 2013 Writer's Market Deluxe contains 181 pages of practical advice before the listings of book publishers, agents, and periodicals, both consumer and trade. It also comes with an activation code good for a year's subscription to the WritersMarket.com database, updated daily. I recall frequently using the pay rate charts. [Buy at WM Deluxe Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Writer’s Digest.]
The 2013 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market comes with a one-year online genre-only subscription. You'll find 116 pages of advice and tips before the listings. [Buy at Amazon; or Barnes & Noble or Writer’s Digest]
Copyright (c) 2013 by Susan K. Perry