Did you know that Stephen King was initially rejected by 30 publishers? Or that J.K. Rowling was turned down 12 times before a publisher fished Harry Potter out of the slush pile? Every day, hundreds of manuscripts are rejected by agents and publishers. For aspiring authors, these statistics do not look good. If it takes big names like King and Rowling so much effort to get their now world famous works published then what hope is there for all of the budding writers out there?
With the modern age, and the simplicity and expediency that the internet provides, there must surely be a way to update the industry and optimize the publishing process. But what can be done?
According to a number of industry professionals, the answer, and the future of publishing, may lie in online writing communities.
So, what are the benefits, what are the risks involved, and how can it help writers become published authors?
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3. Encouragement and Support for Writers
Writing, as a profession, is generally regarded as solitary work. Despite this, many writers know that there is a surprising about of networking involved throughout the process necessary to reach publication. From the support of your friends and family, all the way to the involvement of industry pros, all writers must rely on the help and input of others at some point in production. Online writing communities can provide this support in a number of ways, and give authors help on levels they may not have been able to access otherwise.
Writing communities have a number of places that authors can source motivation from. This can help writers struggling to finish their work because they get bogged down by technical details or self doubt. These benefits include:
– An environment of like minded people
– Shared advice to help overcome commonly faced problems
– An update format to help stay on task and meet deadlines
If a writer doesn’t have the support necessary to help them get through the writing process, they won’t succeed. How many people have stories just sitting in their head, but don’t have the support to help them get them to paper.
Sometimes it is not emotional, but technical help that is needed. Autocorrect can only do so much. Writing communities provide help in a number of areas that a writer may struggle with, including:
– Character Development
Not only this, but due to the vast amount of different kinds of people in writing communities, writers can also get help with niche knowledge that might help to bring the world that they have created. If a writer knows nothing about sailing, someone else in the community will, and suddenly a story about a fishing village in Newfoundland, or a pirate adventure becomes much more vivid and believable.
2. Quality Feedback for Writers to Improve Their Work
All writers need a first reader. In fact, most writers need a few first readers. This is necessary in order for them to get constructive feedback on their work in order for them to then improve it. Writing communities offer two different sources that writers can get feedback from.
Critiques from Writers:
Writers can take their work to groups and forums to have their work appraised by writers. This is generally for the more technical aspects of the craft writing. Submitting work to other writers, and reviewing other writers’ work is good practice for authors to hone their own skills.
Reviews from Readers:
Most writing communities work on a review process. This means that eager readers flock to the sites to enjoy the work of undiscovered authors. These readers will eagerly act as a test audience for authors to submit their work to and will provide authors with insight into how their work will be taken by general audiences. This is critical, as feedback from readers in the early stages of a work can have huge affects on the finished product.
1. Teaching Writers How to Market and Brand Themselves
Whether a writer is self of traditionally published, it is a necessary evil to learn at least a little bit about marketing. If a writer does not take the proper steps to learn basics about promoting their work or brand, then it is unlikely that either will be found among the thousands of others out there.
Take J.K. Rowling for example. Sure, she is used to the spotlight now, but if you watch some of her early videos you will see that she is actually a very introverted person. This means, that if she had initially decided to self-publish her works, that it is much less likely that she would have found success.
Services included are videos, AMAs, interviews, and blog posts to help teach authors about self promotion on social media platforms. Learning from these helps writers to not only market and talk about their work, but also interact with fans and develop their brand.
Successful Writers – The New Route to Publication
Joining an online community is quickly becoming a new route for authors to get their works published. Best selling authors such as E. L. James, Andy Weir, Sarah J. Mass, and C. S. Pacat, have all spoken about their online beginnings and how it helped to form and influence their work, and ultimately lead to their success. Agents and publishers have even begun to scour through these communities to source new material to publish. If a work can amass an audience online, it is a good indicator that it will also be a success in the general marketplace, thus removing much of the publisher’s risk. By taking advantage of the support and services offered in these communities, writers are quickly turning into published authors.
So to sum up:
In order to become a successful author you need to have essentially 3 skill sets:
1) Be a good writer of course
2) Know online marketing
3) Be an entrepreneur
Only if you master those skills you will succeed. And the best way to jump start your journey is to join online writing communities.
Want to learn more about the benefits of joining an online writing community and how it can take a writer’s career to the next level? Read the full article now.