where the writers are
Secret Handshake: Or A Blog on Becoming Published

The folks at Red Room sent me a note to remind me that I could blog here. So, not wanting to repeat what is on my other blogs, I thought I'd concentrate here on how I became a published writer. In short, the secret handshake that everyone always knows that writers and publishers have but won't reveal to other people.

Sadly, nobody taught the secret sign to me. Instead, I've sold six nonfiction books, one novel, two short stories, and several hundred articles without a handshake. I also have supported myself in a less than luxurious lifestyle by doing various forms of commercial writing: catalogs, advertisements, press releases, and other business media. I've even hopped to the other side of publishing blanket and actually produced a number of books for other people at the start of this century. For one brief period in the 1990s, I ran a bookstore, an experience that left me with nothing but admiration for independent booksellers and the amount of work that they do!

These days, my writing life is a nice mix of business assignments (the stuff that pays my bills) and what I consider "fun assignments" (the assignments that might only pay for a dinner out but lead me into interesting conversations and friendships).

So drop in, I'll be updating this monthly with what I've learned in my journey through the book world. And if you know the secret handshake, can you teach it to me?


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There is no secret

There is no secret handshake. That's the secret handshake.