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Getting Your Writing Career Started: Step Two--Learn the Business

Now that you've started writing, you need to start thinking about what you're going to do with all the masterpieces you've written. Wait, shouldn't you try to learn more about the craft of writing first?

Yup. But don't. Not yet. Because the biggest mistake most newbie writers make is obsessing on the craft and never learning the business. Don't sell learning the business short. It's equally if not more important if you want people to read what you write.

If you want them to pay you for what you write, it's even more important.

There are two kinds of publishing, traditional publishing and independent publishing.  The traditional way to get published is to 1) find an agent 2) have that agent sell your manuscript to a publisher.  There are lots of excellent books and blogs on how that's done.

To get a handle on the traditional publishing world, there are some excellent agent and writer blogs to follow:

Nathan Bransford http://blog.nathanbransford.com/

Jenny Bent http://jennybent.blogspot.com/

Pub Rants http://pubrants.blogspot.com/

Independent publishing, also known as self-publishing is when you go directly your reader, cutting out the agent and publisher middlemen. Amazon.com and Smashwords.com make it incredibly easy to self-publish. Self-publishing used to be a vanity hobby, but now, lots of authors are making viable careers of it.  (I do both traditional and self-publishing—a common path—so why not learn everything you can about both?)

Follow these Indie Pub blogs for a good start:

A newbie's guide to publishing: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

The writer's Guide to E-Publishing: http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/

Dean Wesley Smith: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/

Read these blogs every day. Listen to what they say. Follow their links. Soon, you'll  start to learn the landscape and the lingo.

Meanwhile, keep writing.

Tomorrow: Let's talk craft.