General Question

Dannysgems's avatar

How do I publish my stories?

Asked by Dannysgems (37points) March 6th, 2010

Okay I am new but going to put this out there. I am trying to become a published writer but do not know how to go about it. If you have published a book please direct me.

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Welcome to the Collective.

You have basically two choices. Get a publisher interested in your books or self-publish.

To get a publisher interested in your books, you can use an agent. You prepare query letter to send to agents and/or to publishers directly (not advised).

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I know a publisher. Would you like her email?

Ria777's avatar

@Dannysgems: does stories mean literally stories (meaning short stories) or single works of book-length fiction? the answer depends on which one you answer. (though you could try to publish a collection of short stories.)

go to your library and ask the reference people for help. check books on writing out of the library. have a look at the annual Writer’s Markeplace volumes.

Ria777's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1: if @Dannysgems doesn’t know how to go about submitting a manuscript, you’d waste both party’s time. they wouldn’t want to read through a manuscript written single-spaced on size 8 font on yellow font, for instance. (that doesn’t even get into the question of whether they accept unsolicited manuscripts, what they publish, etc. though if you know them maybe you know already?)

Dannysgems's avatar

I am not sure I am doing this right yet… but I am trying. I am at the beginning stage of writing… It is neither a short story yet nor a novel. I am looking ahead of myself. I know I need an editor first off, then an agent? Then a publisher????? Any recommended people or companies would be great!

OperativeQ's avatar

@Dannysgems No, you don’t need those things first. You need to actually write a complete story first.

Ria777's avatar

you have such wide-ranging questions that, though finishing the story should take priority, that a Writing 101 book would do the best job of explaining. find one of those basic how to Complete Idiot’s-style books. that will explain the process step-by-step.

unless you make yourself familiar with how you go about submitting a work to a publisher, your trying to get published will end in failure.

for your information, though, you don’t get an editor. an editor reads over your work and decides whether or not and decides whether or not the publisher that they work for would publish your work.

like I said, though, you have some a wide-ranging and basic questions that reading through a how-to book would serve you best of all.

Jeruba's avatar

Actually, @Ria777, you are describing only one kind of editor, the person who works for a book publisher, magazine, or journal and selects material for publication. There are many people with that title, including those who work for the publisher by editing the material after it has been purchased.

And there are editors like me who work with authors before they submit their material, as well as freelancing manuscript editing and copyediting services to book publishers and other clients. Not to mention newspaper editors, magazine editors, and, just to round things out, technical editors. I’ve probably missed quite a few.

@Dannysgems could hire an editor to work with him on a manuscript before seeking publication. But first, first, before everything, he has to write it.

Imagineer's avatar

Good resources for publishing are for short stories, it is submitted into google and is also patrolled by publishers and writers alike.

Another good resource you would like is lulu,com , the best self publishing site I have found. Short stories to novels, they cant reject your novel (if its appropriate) and you get to control the selling, having it go through their market place or putting the link on your sites or blog.

carolinasummers's avatar

I know the owner of Beachfront Press. Beachfront Press is a small, niche marketing press. I have written several book reviews for them.

Inspect the web site to determine whether they publish the sort of thing that you’ve written. If they do, you can query them directly from the web site.

HungryGuy's avatar

Quick answer: submit your stories to publishers!

Detailed answer…

First, make sure your manuscript is formatted correctly. There are many web sites that describe how to properly format a manuscript for submission. Here’s are two good ones ( and (

Second, get a book titled, “The Writer’s Market.” It lists every publisher for every type of story. For example, if you write Science Fiction, examples of magazines that publish SF are Analog ( and Asimov’s ( There are many others, including fanzines and web-based publishers such as ( But as a general rule, you want to submit to the highest paying market first, and work your way down (as you collect rejection slips along the way :-(

By the way, If you don’t know this already, I should mention that it’s bad form to submit the same story to more than one publisher at a time. Yes, it’s a lengthy process to submit your story, wait for a reply, submit it to the next publisher, etc., but publishers don’t like their time wasted any more than you do.

Yes, expect a lot of rejection! But unless your writing is utterly pathetic, you’ll eventually reach a level appropriate to your writing skill, if only to get a free issue as payment for your story.

As your writing skill improves, you’ll gradually sell subsequent stories to better and better-paying markets…

You might also try joining an online critiquing group such as Critters Workshop ( Critters requires that you do an average of 4 critiques of others’ stories per month to remain a member (you may do more), and you are entitled to have one of your stories critiqued for every 4 critiques you write for others. It’s a great way to get your stories critiqued AND practice your writing skills.

A few other resources you’ll need are:

- A good unabridged dictionary (okay, I cheat—if I want to look up a word, I type the word into MS Word and do a spell check on that word :-)

- Strunk and White’s, The Elements of Style

There are other books you’ll need too that pertain to your particular genre. Again, if you write SF, you’ll need physics references, as well as books on speculative starship design, “alien world building,” etc., etc.

ZAGWRITER's avatar

Stephen King says something to the effect of “If you have to look up a word to use it in a story, it is absolutely the wrong word to use.” Man I know I missed that exact quote in a horrible way, but hopefully it gets the point across.

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