Tag Archives: Getting published

Are you leaving employment to start a business?

The Solo Success Start-Up Guide It’s something that quite a few people are doing at the moment.

However, if you’re leaving employment to start a business,  you face an immediate challenge.

What should you be doing each day if your business is going to succeed?

There’s no shortage of tasks you could focus on, but the question is:

Which are the right tasks?

Managing Your First Month In Business

It’s early days but when you’ve left employment and you’re still getting used to being in business you will struggle with your scheduling.  That’s a shame because there are make-or-break activities that need working on.

  • You need to think about who you serve and how you serve them.
  • You need to think carefully about who you’re going to do business with and how you’re going to get your first piece of business.
  • You need to think about how you’re going to promote your business so that it will grow.
  • You need to think about how – exactly – you’re going to make sales.

That’s as well as doing all the things that land on your plate every day.

How will you decide what to work on and what to put to one side?

Starting A Business The Smart Way

You need a plan and a timetable that will make sure you don’t neglect what really matters in your business.

You can find a list of vital 21 activities to complete in your first month in business by clicking on the link below.

Leaving Employment To Start A Business

You’ll also find guidance on how to help yourself to get the right things done.

The advice is taken from The Solo Success Start-Up Guide by Margaret Adams.

 

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Rejected – or not?

For many years I didn’t write for publication.

I wrote in lots of other contexts and produced training programmes, assessment frameworks, guides, handbooks, advertising copy . . . and so on.

I hesitated about publication because I had heard so much about the rejections that writers receive. The accepted wisdom seems to be that writers get rejected, and that rejection is just part of a writer’s life.

Some of the tales that writers tell about their struggles to get published are horror stories. They tell of years and years of trying to get published, plus rejection after rejection. Writers make approaches to agents, which are turned down. Publishers say no. It all sounds very depressing.

I chose not to put myself in this sort of situation because I really didn’t want those experiences.

However, when I finally decided to broaden my writing activities to include publication, I didn’t find myself facing rejection.

My first book proposal was accepted. The contract was with me three weeks after I had submitted my proposal.

My second book proposal was also accepted.

The first feature articles I submitted were published in magazines that can be found on news stands.

Yes, I have had a book proposal turned down. I have also been in a situation where an editor did not respond to my query.

However, the vast majority of proposals I have made to editors  have been accepted.  The material has been published and paid for.

So why is my experience different from that of many writers?

I’m convinced that my success in getting published – which must stand at over 90% of my proposals – is the result of my being a businessperson who writes rather than a writer.

I write for real audiences. I make sure I understand who the readers of a publication are before I think about what I might want to say to them. I find out what their issues and concerns are. I think about them as real people. I follow themes and trends in their magazines. I do all of this before I consider what, if anything, I might want to write.

When I contact the relevant editor the conversation is about the readership of the publication and its interests. I only offer what I think will be of interest to the readership once I am sure, as a result of speaking to the editor, I have judged the mood of the readership correctly.

I probably have at least half a dozen themes and treatments I could offer before the telephone conversation begins. I refine what I will offer as a result of the first part of the conversation with the editor.

What I’m doing here is what successful businesspeople do. I’m segmenting the market before I take action. I’m getting to understand my prospects. I’m doing my best to qualify the audience in terms of their characteristics, interests and concerns.

I’m also sounding out the editor of the relevant publication and discussing possibilities.

What I’m not doing is trying to find a market for an idea that I already have. I’m not trying to sell a commodity – an article or a feature that is already fully formed in my mind. I’m discussing what will be of interest to a readership. Then I make a proposal.

As a result, when I make an approach to an editor, I tend not to be rejected.

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Getting Published

As a writer you want to be published.

As a writer you also know that getting published can be difficult, but there are ways of making the task easier.

Recently I spoke to Alison Baverstock, a successful publisher, trainer and writer, who teaches publishing studies at Kingston University, about the problems writers face when they start to think about how to get their work into print. She has valuable advice to offer writers everywhere.

What’s the biggest mistake writers looking to be published make?
Quite a few writers try to get their work published too soon. They long for their book to be solid and real. They send it off to a publisher or agent before it’s ready to be published.

Writers need to gain a sense of themselves as writers before they submit their work. They need to develop the ability to structure their work well. They also need to seek feedback, and make their work as good as they can make it, before they send it to a publisher.

What do all writers need to know about the publishing industry?
They need to remember that publishing is a business. Publishers must make a profit from the works they publish. They are responsible for the money they spend and they must make good use of it.

Some writers think that if they just keep trying to get published, their turn will come. It’s not like that.

To succeed, writers must study the market.

They should read The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. Keep track of current bestsellers. Find out what’s popular in bookshops. Look for trends. Find out what people are talking about, and what they’re interested in.

What advice would you offer to writers about the task of writing?
Develop respect for the writing process.

Make sure you finish what you set out to do. Lots of people start books but don’t finish them. Starting a book is the easy bit. Completing the task is more difficult.

When you’re writing you need a structure to your day, if you’re going to write successfully. You need to set aside time to write.

You also need to remember that the world can be very unkind to writers, so you must believe in yourself and what you’re doing.

What would you advise writers who want to be published do to improve their chances of publication?
Read more.

Get used to reading. Look at how other people write. Look for the structures in their writing. Reinforce this on the brain. Learn from others.

Take time to find out what other people find fascinating. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, do this. It will help you to decide what to write about.

Also, these days, it’s necessary to do more than write. You need to be able to speak coherently. You need to be ready to do television interviews or go on the radio. You need to speak with confidence as well as write well.

Alison is the author of a number of books for writers. One of her most recent works is: Marketing Your Book: How to Target Agents, Publishers and Readers  – Alison Baverstock, (A & C Black, 2007). This book offers writers guidance on all aspects of marketing their books before and after publication.

“How to get published: a conference for writers” is a two day conference being led by Alison Baverstock at Kingston University on September 11th and 12th 2009. 

Click here to learn more or telephone 020 8417 7790 for information.

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