Researching the Path Forward

Besides the creation of content, I realize I have a role and a responsibility in the publishing process if I want to be successful.  Having a stack of completed stories does me no good if I haven’t done my research and made a plan to move forward into getting published.

I spent some time thinking about what exactly my responsibilities should consist of and came up with 3 main things I need to accomplish:

  • Marketplace Research
    • Since I am a beginning writer, I have an opportunity to pair up my love of story telling with current trends in fiction.  Knowing what kinds of topics are trending and looking at book cover art that has resonated with readers can be helpful in guiding me towards successful ventures.  There are many great resources online to help with marketplace research and I have listed a few of the best ones I found:
      • Shortlist.com shows the 50 coolest book covers of all time.
      • Buzzfeed.com covers the most beautiful book covers from 2015.
      • PasteMagazine.com takes a look at the best book covers so far in 2016.
      • slj.com talks about current trends in childrens’s literature.
      • PulishersWeekly.com has this great article full of literary agents sharing what they see as the current trends for young adult readers and what trends they would like to see in the future.
  • Initiate an Official Editing Process
    • There are many different kinds of editing and it seems prudent to research effective, economical options for a writer just starting out.
      • TheCreativePenn.com is an invaluable resource to use for this process.
      • SelfPublishingReview.com is a resource that links to dozens of other resources to aid in not only finding editors for books you intend to self-publish, but also for other elements in the process.
  • Decide on Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing
    • At this point in the writing process, it’s time to publish or put down the pen.  I spent a lot of time discovering the many pros and cons for each publishing method and have decided that for me, self-publishing my first work is the way to go.  Some of the factors that helped me decide that are access to quicker pay and more control over the process, as well as the opportunity to find my footing as a writer and explore the topics that make me happy to write about.  I have included links to some useful websites I found while researching pros and cons of both kinds of publishing:
      • WritersDigest.com does a great job outlining the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing.
      • TheCreativePenn.com comes to the rescue again with more fantastic content related to publishing your work.

I decided self-publishing is the best choice for me at this point in my career, but if I had opted for traditional publishing, the next step would be to find a literary agent.  I could not in good conscience complete this post without mentioning this outstanding article that shares advice and resources for your journey to find a legitimate literary agent:

sfwa.org

Whatever you decide, the most valuable work you can do is to make a plan and move forward!

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