Monday, August 24, 2009

Useful Sites for Writers

Every aspiring writer I know has questions about the business, and most of them revolve around three subjects. Tops on the list: Will you read my manuscript/collaborate on a manuscript/write my novel for me? Easy answer to this one: I'm sorry (not really) but no. Here's why: I'm busy working on my own stuff and I don't want the possibility of someone saying I ripped them off. I do work with people's manuscripts through Seton Hill University, but that's about it. Unless I'm teaching, mentoring, or leading a writing workshop, chances are the answer will be no.

The next most frequently asked question on the list is "How I find a publisher/agent?" Good question, and one that many professional writers pursue in every waking moment. In fact, many of us pursue the same question in our dreams as well, when we sleep. Otherwise we lay awake and stare at the ceiling, revising and rewriting the "perfect" query letter in our heads. So, keeping that in mind, I thought I'd provide a couple of useful links for finding publishers and agents for aspiring authors out there.
  • Preditors and Editors - Bar none, the most important site for a writer. This site tells you in no uncertain terms who the good publishers and editors are, who are just out to scam you, and who actually pays and /or makes sales. Good things to know.
  • Writer Beware - Warnings about hucksters on the internet. Before you sign any contract, check with these guys first.
  • Duotrope - A cool database in which you can customize your search for someone who wants to publish your work.
  • Ralan's - A constantly-updated listing of who publishes what.
  • Query Tracker - A free database of literary agents all over the world, and a way to keep your queries organized. And to track them.
  • Writers Market - The old standby, and still one of the best.
  • Agent Query - An absolutely HUGE database of agents and how to get hold of them.
If anyone has any more, feel free to post them in the comments section. This is designed to help out where I can.

Until next time, WRITE ON!

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