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Ways to Get Published

The ultimate aim of a writer is getting his or her work published; writing may be fun and provide some enjoyment to the writer, but there is little better than seeing your work published and ready to be read by others. How do you do it? Here are some tips that may help.

One thing you need to be aware of is that getting published involves a lot of patience; many great writers waited a number of years before their first works met with the approval of a publisher, but the good news is that the internet has opened up new methods of getting your work out into the open.

Sticking with the traditional, some basic advice:

Buy the books that are the essential resources, in particular the annual 'Writers and Artist's Yearbook'. This book is an absolute goldmine without which you will be lost. It lists publishers, agents and what they are looking for, and gives you full contact names and addresses, and is the greatest resource for any writer who is looking to get work published.

Use it to determine which publishers are likely to publish the type of work you have written; you will only waste time sending a carefully completed manuscript to people who are not interested in that sort of work - target your publishers accordingly.

Makes sure your manuscript is produced to the industry standards - a few guidelines include:

Don't use fancy fonts - Times New Roman 12 point is a good standard.

Double space your manuscript and use one side of the page only.

Make sure you have checked and double checked spelling and grammar - don't rely on a spellchecker.

Include a covering letter that introduces you and your writing.

Include a stamped addressed envelope.

These are basic rules that will help you to get off on the right foot, and be prepared to produce many copies of your manuscript and send it to many different publishers. Harry Potter, after all, didn't hit the mark with the first one it went to!

The modern age has seen many 'new' ways of publishing; in addition to the traditional small press publishers there have come to the fore many that provide a print on sale service. With this you forego the expense of printing several hundred copies of a novel - many of which will remain unsold - and the printing houses produces, digitally, copies of your book as they are ordered. This is very much an online phenomenon, but be prepared for it to take off in a bigger way in the near future.

There are also many magazines which publish work - particularly anthologies of poetry - but the serious writer wants a publisher to pick up the work. Stick at it, be patient, and learn from your mistakes - you never know how successful you may be.

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