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How to Break Into Print

Becoming a published writer is easy to do when you consider the internet is rife with places where you can upload your work for others to read, but what about the traditional form of publishing, the world of printed matter? Becoming a published author - of any kind - in the print world takes a little more than simply writing a few pages and pressing a button, so let's have a look at some ideas that may help you to reach your goal.

Anyone can write - that's a fact; some may be better than others, but the truth is that we all have the ability to string words together and make them readable and - more importantly - interesting. The use of the computer, and its various accessories, in the modern age has led to the simplification of writing, but this still doesn't tell us how to get our work printed.

The key to getting your work printed in the first place is not to expect too much: look beyond the traditional publishing houses and to the myriad of 'small press' publishers who are interested in taking on the more quirky and original works. If you are writing fiction then the small press approach - many print your work only on request from a paying buyer - can be a great way of getting a foothold in the market, but if you are more interested in writing other forms then there is much to look out for.

One method of getting into print is to contact local newspapers and magazines and offer your services as a writer of reviews; I can tell of one young man who did this and ended up as a film reviewer for a major magazine further down the line. Local press are always on the lookout for interesting and innovative stories - with, of course, a local angle - so keep an eye out for interesting things that may make a story, and offer your version of events to the publication.

The major key to breaking into print, like all forms of getting paid for writing, is in perseverance; you would not expect your first job application to result in a job, so do not expect your first offer of writing to result in a resounding yes.

Any publication you submit work to will have a set method of doing so: pay attention to the requirements of formatting - there may be a specified font, size and spacing of the page - and make sure you send all work to the required personnel. Doing things properly means you stand more of a chance than those who do not pay attention to detail, so check with any publications you are targeting as to their requirements.

There is something very satisfying about seeing your work in print - whatever form it may take - and with patience and learning you could soon find you are a published, printed author!

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