Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Online Publishing: Do It Yourself

This link by Trudy Schuett is about the most thorough and knowledgeable piece I've read on the subject of online publishing. It's less about submitting your work to zines as it is about doing your own publishing via a website or e-book. A point the author makes toward the end of the piece can't be emphasized enough and I was glad to see it mentioned.

If you want people to read and enjoy your work, make sure it’s the best work you can produce.
Yes, the Internet is a great place to get otherwise unmarketable work out there for others to read, but make sure you understand why, exactly, your work might not be marketable. It could be a niche market publishers don't want to throw a lot of money after. It could be your work can't be easily categorized on a bookstore shelf. Maybe your work is of regional interest. Or, and this is always the hardest to admit, your work just isn't good enough for anyone from any market to pick it up. One of the biggest drawbacks in gaining respect for online publishing is that the work isn't always "vetted." Beyond having someone read your work first––how many people will really tell you your work stinks––I'd suggest first submitting some of your work to online publications. There is enough variety out there and so many are open to new writers and varying styles and genres, that they provide a good guage as to how publishable your work really is.

If you try for more than a year with no bites, it might be time to take another look, or some classes or workshops. On the other hand, if you can note a few published credits on your new website, readers will be more likely to take your work seriously.

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