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Publishing In The Real World. How Hard Is It?

Updated on May 17, 2016

Dedicated to Poetvix on Hubpages


Vix asked and I shall answer. Simple as that! My good friend Vix (you can find her here) wanted to know how difficult it is to get published in today’s ultra-competitive world. My answer: very!

There, my work is done. Article over! Now let’s go grab a cold one and relax the rest of the day.

Okay, maybe she was looking for a little more in-depth answer. I guess I had better work from that assumption and write a bit more.

This is actually a valid question with a difficult answer. The problem lies in your definition of “getting published.” Allow me to explain.

If you have written a book, you can get published by three different routes: you can get published the traditional way of finding a publisher who will take on your project and sell hard copies for you; you can self-publish your own book; or you can go the ebook route and publish online.

Getting published can also refer to having your work published in a newspaper or magazine, both of which can either be hard copy or online.

So the quick answer to Vix’s question is that the difficulty of getting published ranges from very easy to incredibly difficult, depending on what your definition of “getting published” is.

Let’s take a look at each of these and assess the difficulty of each.

Knowing the odds is important when considering publishing a book
Knowing the odds is important when considering publishing a book | Source

Publishing a Book the Old Fashioned Way


In the United States, there are approximately 350,000 new books and editions published the old-fashioned way each year. The obvious question that I am sure you are asking is out of how many submitted? That, unfortunately, is a bit difficult to say.

To give you a ballpark estimate, most agents and publishers will tell you that they receive between 1,000-2,000 query letters each month, or between 12,000-24,000 per year, and there are literally thousands of agents and publishers. You can do the math as well as I can. A small percentage of submissions actually make it to the published stage.

Getting a book deal the traditional way is becoming harder and harder, especially for new authors. As more and more people turn to buying ebooks rather than hard copy, there are fewer new books printed, and most of the new books published are by established authors. This only makes sense since book publishers must use their diminishing budgets on “sure things” rather than taking a risk on an unknown author.

So the degree of difficulty in getting published this way is very high. It does happen for new authors, but the stars better be aligned perfectly in order for it to happen.

SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK

Degree of difficulty: practically zero! All it takes is having the money to publish the book and pay for an editing service. When I self-published my novel it cost $6 per book for the first one-hundred.

There are online publishing companies that cost less than that. Companies like OutskirtsPress and Lulu can walk you through the whole process in a somewhat painless procedure. They offer a variety of packages ranging from simple printing to marketing to distribution. In other words, you get what you pay for.

PUBLISHING AN EBOOK

Degree of difficulty: again, practically zero. If you can follow online instructions from companies like Kindle then you can publish a book in a couple hours. You can do it for free, which is always a nice incentive. You will have to share a percentage of your sales with the company that publishes it, but still, free is free.

Literally anyone who has a book to publish can publish this way. How many are published each year? There is no accurate count, but the number is in the millions.

GETTING PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPERS

There are two types of newspapers in today’s world: the online newspaper and the hard copy newspaper that we all grew up reading.

If you are trying to get an article published in the newspaper, your best odds are online. There the restrictions are not as tough, and new online newspapers are cropping up seemingly daily. Doing it the old-fashioned way requires a query letter to an editor who has watched his newspaper shrink in circulation over the past ten years, and he/she is quite picky about taking on new authors.

GETTING PUBLISHED IN A MAGAZINE

Good luck!

Again, there are hard copy magazines and online magazines and without a doubt the best avenue for a struggling writer is the online route. There you will meet less resistance and you will find editors that are very happy to take on new authors.

If you like the traditional, be advised that magazine editors will receive over a thousand query letters per month, and they will choose one or two from that batch. These are not good odds.

Get a copy of “The Writer’s Market” for all the submission requirements for all of the major magazines.

Believe in yourself
Believe in yourself | Source

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Writing a book is impossible without writing | Source

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Is It All Clear As Mud to You?


My intent is not to be discouraging but rather to be realistic. This is a tough business my friends. Getting published the traditional way is no easy gig. You will receive rejection after rejection until you have enough rejection slips to line a thousand bird cages.

The best advice I can give you is to build your portfolio. Start out small. If you want to publish in a newspaper then start very small. Look for weekly publications in your area and then start pitching and continue pitching ideas. Local publications like local writers; it is up to you to sell your idea, but at least you will be dealing with someone who wants to hear from you.

Get published in a small publication and then use that as leverage as you try the big boys. Think of it as building your job resume in a job search. Any past experience is better than no past experience when you are looking for a job. The same is true when you are looking to break into the publishing community.

it used to be that writing a book wasn't nearly as difficult as getting that book published. Now we can safely say that getting published isn't nearly as hard as getting someone to read your book. The competition is fierce.

If you can, go to workshops and writing conventions. There you can meet publishers and the movers and shakers in the industry. Network your butt off and make contacts. Join writers’ sites where publishers and agents frequent. Get to know them online. Ask for advice.

In other words, pay your dues.

I wish you luck. If I can be of any help feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bryan, sorry it took me so long to get to this. My only suggestion to you is don't give up. Getting a publisher is like catching lightning in a bottle. It really is that difficult. There are a ton of great writers who have not caught it yet. Best wishes to you! Perseverance is a writer's greatest tool.

    • profile image

      Bryan R. Unwin 8 months ago

      Need some help getting starting in the book publishing business. Any suggestions, advice anyone can provide will be most useful and appreciated.

      I have a manuscript that reads well, develops an interesting plot (and sub-plot) has a great ending which has the protagonist living happily ever after.

      In addition, I have children's stories, YA stories and many poems.

      I am ready to get published, just need the write shooting star!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rodric, first of all, thank you for the compliment. Honestly, I think your question is asked by 99% of the writers out there. I'll have a more detailed answer Monday on the Mailbag. In the meantime, keep working your craft and stop thinking so much. Thinking is the opposite of creating.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Johnson 10 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I already knew this information, but needed a reminder. Thanks for writing this hub. I am grasping for answers to questions that I have not asked yet. I am still not sure if I am a good writer. I know people have told me so, but most I assume are being nice. I have read good writers. I compare my work to their works and find it lacking.

      I have to be honest to get an honest response--call it literary karma. I believe you are a good writer. I read your writing style and took many aspects of it to write one of my stories, and it was awesome! I loved the hub, and many other people liked the hub, but it was not my style.

      My question is when will my style come? I keep floating between educational, informative and entertaining. I then change my voice and use the word "I" too much in my writing!

      Okay, ranting over. My question is, I know I have good stories in my head, but how do I know I am a good writer?

      I have published, self-published three books. I have not done well on any of them. I wonder if that is because my books suck, my writing sucks, or I should be writing histories and reference books.

      This just seemed like the place to say all of this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All great thoughts, Joy! I don't have the answer to your last question. If I have time I'll do some research on that one and add it to the Mailbag. Thanks for weighing in on all of this.

    • profile image

      Joyce Fischer 11 months ago

      Wow! This is a great example of an evergreen post. So many responses with such good information.

      I just have a couple of observation to add as an update and hope other readers see this and comment or confirm my impressions.

      First, I've noticed lately there seem to be more agents looking for writers. I don't know if more people are choosing to become agents, or if established agents are marketing themselves in order to get more submissions that suit their target market. But I wonder if it's getting easier to find agents.

      The other thing I'm wondering about is the tradition of publishing series, kind of like what you are doing with The Sun Never Rises. In the past, newspapers have offered this opportunity. Today, those chances seem to be disappearing. But I still see some authors publishing in books that include collections of short stories and later publishing books under their own names. These collections of short stories give the reader a taste of each writer's style. I wonder where the short story editors glean the stories for these collections. What publications do they look to for the best candidates for inclusion? Or do they put out a call for submissions?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing, Nadine. You are so good about that. I appreciate it.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Again a great post on this topic that I will share on our authors Facebook group page and on other networks to do with writing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      BloodMelody, you raise a valid question, and I'm not sure anyone has the answer yet. The ebook industry is still too new. I think we need a few more years to see all the ramifications.

      Thank you for your thoughts.

    • profile image

      BloodMelody 2 years ago

      ohhh such an old article XD but is it possible to go from self-publishing to .. not.. self publishing? or would your work self published have to be like.. a "kindle #1 bestseller for 13 years" before you would see it published by the big kids?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, we would make a great team....nothing could stand in our way. :) Thank you!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      If you decide to set up a UK branch, I'm right here. I can turn on the charm when necessary and don't know the meaning of the word 'No.' lol

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream On, you are so very kind. Thank you and I will indeed keep you in mind. If the day ever comes that I take on such a huge undertaking, you'll be one of the first that I call upon. Thank you again and have a fantastic day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So do I, Phoenix. :)

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      billybuc When I read my first hub of yours I got such nice vibes and it has ownly grown since.I seen a man who had suffered some great pain but through it all found something wonderful to give.I realized after reading more of your hubs over the years I have lost my voice and allowed other people to do and say what they want and I would just go along never understanding how to get out of this mess.Thinking it really didn't matter what I had to say or think.I would go out of my way to help them.Over the years I lost my pride and dignity but one thing for sure no matter what they couldn't take my heart.So if you change your mind and need someone to help you advertising and push for your publishing company.Keep me in mind.Billybuc Publsihing Compny tjhat has your heart in mind.Have a great day and thanx so much.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I think it has a nice ring to it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream on, your hub name is appropriate right now....me and a publishing company....well, we can dream for free, right? :)

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      Give it some more thought.I did a long post and it vanished mysteriously.Off to work now. Billybuc's Publishing Company has a nice ring to it don't you think?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream On.....wow! I don't even know how to handle such praise. I'm just trying to give back to this community. If I help half as much as you suggest then I am a happy camper. I'm pulling for all of you to make it and catch your dream.

      As for the publishing company....sheez....I wouldn't even know how to start, but it's a lovely dream.

      Thank you my friend. Keep writing and keep following that dream.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      Bill all I can say is your A M A Z I N G and keep up the great work.I have my eye on the pie in the sky and my fingers on on my keyboard typing as fast as I can.I watch your work , talent and dedication.They all are impeccable.Every time I come to one of your hubs I have to wait a week for the dust to clear because there are so many people leaving wonderful comments to your well written and right on the money hubs with tutorials to boot..I just want you know I bring up the rear.I watch ,listen and learn.You are like a Striper and everyone wants to catch you. I follow the hundreds of blue fish and you know the striper is around but not sure where. I am addicted to your hubs.Your lessons talk to me in my sleep.If they were edible you know what I would eat.Thanx so much for all your help and your time.Friends like you are rare.I know you are blessed and may good fortune follow you everywhere .I am so happy to read a hub I understand.(lol)When other people talk computers , publishing and contracts I might just as well be talking to someone from Mars.All joking a side You make HubPages extra special.Your friendly advice keeps everyone wanting more.You are a trail blazer and I am in hot pursuit.Voted up and I plan on telling a thousand people about this hub just incase you get bored and need something else to do.I think if we all pitch in we can help billybuc start his own publishing company and then we can cut out the middleman and go right with the big man.Then you can cut down your hours and relax and watch others learn and have the most fun you have had in years.Just a thought from your friend who has many ideas up his sleeve.Disreguard any grammar errors it was the computer and not me honestly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, thank you! That means a great deal to me.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Congrats on the recent success in publishing in a magazine. Your style here is excellent along with the wisdom shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, it is true. There are some great success stories on Kindle. I'm not one of them but hope springs eternal. :) Thanks my friend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      My husband has a kindle and he was looking at a bunch of ebooks. He said that a lot of folks have really made it big doing this. Authors that may have never been published now have huge followings. He knows because he follows some of them. He says you can tell they are doing well because the prices of their books go up. Great tips.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, good luck with that novel. Yes, self-publishing is the easiest route, but then you are left with self-marketing, and that is not easy at all. :)

    • genna088 profile image

      Genna 4 years ago from Tampa, FL

      This is extremely helpful. I have been working on a novel for the past few months and was trying to research publishing. It surprised me to find out that the hard part isn't necessarily writing the novel - it's getting it published. It seems sort of daunting. Perhaps self publishing is the way to go? Thanks for the wise words, as always :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks, Christy. You blow me away in views on HP. You have mastered your niche and it couldn't happen to a nicer person. I appreciate your kind words my friend.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Bill! Well I see you still have a strong following here - and it's grown even more. I also see such strength in your writing style. I bow to you for all the people you help here xx

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, that's great information and I thank you for it. I did not know about Createspace and the updates. I hope everyone reads your comment. :)

      Thank you for taking the time to share that info with us.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      Totally agree that online, for both self-publishing and media, is the way to go. Traditional media is not interested in getting pitched for stories. Period. (Speaking from former trade paper editor perspective. Some of those pitchers drove me nuts.) But traditional editors do accept relevant press/news releases. If they decide to publish them, they are usually on a space-available basis (don't expect front page!).

      On the book/ebook arena, Amazon Createspace has been an amazing free, print on demand platform. It was recently updated so that as you publish your physical book, it will create your Kindle ebook at the same time. You do still have to pay for printed copies if you want them as a special publisher price. But I've found it very reasonable and you can purchase whatever quantity you want. There are also expanded distribution options available (libraries, schools, etc.) for a reasonable $25 fee. Having your book on the Amazon universe doesn't hurt either!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vix, there is a great market out there for online newspapers and a chance to break in. I hope you give it a try. Your commentaries are hard-hitting and would be received well. Best of luck to you my friend.

      God bless you and thank you!

      bill

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Thank you! This is a wealth of information. I really like how honest it is while still presenting the facts, the good, the bad and the ugly about breaking into a highly competitive business. I think, for me, the best alternative may be online newspapers. The e-book would be a dream, but I don't know that I would be up to marketing it just yet. You have given me so much to think about here. As always, I leave your hub having learned, having thought, and having been encouraged. And, thanks for the link :). God love you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I believe we all want that....but...as you say...but

      LOL We will just keep writing and hoping, right?

      Thank you and may blessings follow you throughout your day tomorrow

      love,

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Very insightful and real hub here Bill! I would not expect anything less of you. I would love to be published the old-fashioned way, but . . . but, but, but and but there are many who somehow do it?

      Thanks for the great insight here as always.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good luck, Deb!

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I just e-mailed the Perkins paper. That was suggested to me, too. Thanks, Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, that falls under the category that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Keep on them...explain to them how it benefits them to post your articles. Show them what kind of increase in readership they will receive. If all else fails, go to their competition. :) It is a great series of articles and there is a place for it.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I was told locally by a number of people that the local paper doesn't print good material, like they used to. Numerous people stopped subscribing for that reason. I was also told that if the Stillwater News Press published "Life at Boomer Lake with Deb," these people would subscribe again. Wonder why the paper doesn't care about subscribers? I was told that it was lack of space in the paper.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, it does indeed make more sense to take that route. Still, we are left with marketing on our own, and that's a whole new ball of wax, yes? :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Express, I don't have an answer for you on that question but I suspect you may be correct. I understand the logic used by the publishing companies, but that doesn't mean I like it. :)

      Thank you for visiting!

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Your thoughtful article underscores for me, Bill, how it is becoming more and more difficult for a new writer to get a printed book published by a genuine publisher. With all the online opportunities available, it makes more sense to go the PDF way with a self-published ebook.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      This is useful information for those wanting to get published. Knowing what you're up against makes it easier to plan your work and work your plan. I wonder if wanting to go with established authors has also contributed to the declining circulation ( in addition to the internet) of printed books, magazines, and newspapers. Many readers are strong supporters of certain authors but also very open to new ones.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Patriot, go grab them back again. Who knows when and where lightning will strike? It can just as easily happen to you as anyone.

      As for golf....well, the pros get the pretty women, so I can see the attraction to the game. :)

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      Wayne Joel Bushong 4 years ago from America

      Great article, full of information............I just threw the 3 books I was working on in the trash...........heading to purchase golf clubs and take up new hobby............thanks again! voted up! PS I think I killed 3 trees in the process.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Lurana! I know how busy you are and I appreciate you stopping by again.

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      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Very helpful! I appreciate the realistic advice and links for self-publishing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy my dear, you are light years ahead of me regarding exposure and I am so happy for you. Who knows which one of those contacts will eventually pay off? Networking and paying your dues are the key in this business. I just remember that it took Steinbeck seven years to find a publisher, so I'm still five years from his standards. :)

      You have the talent, Amy! It is now a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and you are taking care of being in the right places. Keep doing what you are doing and I'll say a prayer that it all pays off.

      love from Oly

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Art, there is no doubt about it....self-publishing is the way to go. It does not spell success but it is a foot in the door.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, if you found hope then my job is done! :) I hope you do publish again....if for no other reason than you owe it to yourself.

      Blessings and a hug coming your way my friend,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I think that's a marvelous idea. We'll need a name of course, but it is definitely a possible bestseller. :) Thanks as always. Have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, I hope you do my friend because you are a wonderful poet. Thank you and I hope you are having a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      RonHawk, thank you and I'm very happy to know that these help someone. Good luck my friend.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Getting a publishing deal is really hard. self publishing is the best option by far.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thank you for your well written analysis on publishing options, Bill. Though I haven't felt ready to commit to publishing a poetry book yet, I have been developing a portfolio of sorts through writing "Letters to the Editor" at the STL Post Dispatch, where I was published on a regular basis. The competition is fierce and though it wasn't a paying gig, my name was known. The editor of this daily feature in the newspaper called me on occasion to talk. I developed an online writing correspondence with Bill McClellan, a long time columnist with the Post. In addition, I have had many letters to Donnybrook, a highly rated, local PBS program, broadcast every Thursday night, read on-air. Again, no pay, but my name is known by the panelists and local viewers. I wrote SEO copywrite for about a year with online AMS, who maintains high standards for the writers they hire. Though I was paid, it was brutal work involving much research, time and efforts for the meager salary. Yet, I gained a wealth of experience in a field I was completely unfamiliar with when I began. Despite the verbiage that I hear regarding the lack of creativity in copywrite work, depending on the topic I chose from the bulletin board, I got fantastic reviews for the elements of creativity I incorporated into subjects such as travel, places and even window blinds! One of the publishing prizes that excites me most are my pieces published by Vogue and Elle in their "talking back" and letters from readers columns. Both were accompanied by a photo related to my subject, highlighted in Vogue and Elle's artistic style. I recently got word from Vogue asking permission to publish another letter I sent them, which I anticipate seeing in an upcoming issue. Three out of three pieces is exciting, encouraging and keeps my enthusiasm for writing high. Recently, I got an email from a publisher of a Real Estate magazine (published as hard copy and online) who saw my portfolio online at Freelancer. He hired me (for pay), but then, like so much of what happens online, it fell through. This, however, does not discourage me one iota. There will be other opportunities. At the suggestion of one of my reader friends here at the hub, I have submitted four of my poems to The Sun in the hopes of being published in another magazine I admire. The Sun pays well for the pieces they choose to publish, but the greatest accomplishment would be in seeing my poetry in this beautiful, artsy, intellectually based publication. Keep your fingers crossed for me, Bill!

      Thank you for a great piece that outlines the options for starving artists, Bill. Writing requires love for the work; the courage to be persistent, and the heart to remain dedicated to the art. There are no shortcuts, and instant gratification is a fairytale in the pursuit of a name in the writing field. Like everything else...baby steps. Love from St. Lou to you

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning and happy Tuesday, Bill

      This is very helpful. I tried years ago to publish a cookbook--years ago meaning 35 years...o my, how can time have slipped away so quickly. I sent it to all of the major publishers, little starry eyed me, and received back manuscript and rejection letter, one after the other.

      Then life happened and I never got back to it.

      One day, I may publish on line, and for free. Watch for it...but not too soon :)

      I read in-between the lines here..and I found HOPE. So there you are.

      Voted up up and away :) ps

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      With all the bookmarking I'm doing on your hubs, I could put together my own book on writing. Sooo...how does a 70-30 split sound to you?

      Thanks for posting this. It good to see what you're up against so you can plan accordingly.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks you Bill for the great information. You always give food for thought. I might consider an ebook for my poems which have accumulated over the years. Passing this on.

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      Ron Hawkins 4 years ago from California, United States

      I always learn something from your hubs. They're so packed with wisdom and useful information. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Joe!

      Honestly my friend, there is no secret, nor is there a machine that gives me more hours in the day. I'm at the computer for eight to ten hours each day. I write for pay for the first four hours, and then write for HP and send out query letters the rest of the day. Mondays are just for hubs, so I usually crank out five on Monday and let them ride the rest of the week.

      I'm somewhat of a driven individual, Joe. Let's be honest....I'm running out of productive years, and I'm trying to make it in this business as quickly as possible. That means I need to write and keep working the marketing game until I'm "discovered." LOL Of course, that may never happen, but ten years from now I'm not going to sit and regret not having tried hard enough.

      That's it, buddy. Just one driven, organized human being determined to make his mark in this literary world.

      Thank you for your kind words. You know as well as i do that what goes around comes around. If I can help others with articles like this one, then eventually the good will come full circle. :)

      Aloha my friend, and blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, that is, indeed, the secret, and those who think they can strike it rich quickly in this business are living in a fantasy world. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always happy to help, Alicia. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! What am I going to do with this stuff? Sit on it? Might as well let others use it. :)

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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for laying out all the information so clearly, Bill. This is a very helpful hub, just like all your other writing hubs.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Still giving out great info. for writers. Thank you for being helpful. Your willingness to help others shines brightly..Thank you...

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Bill!

      Just wrote a comment to penlady about how two sentences in her most recent hub reminded me of how grateful I am to have met you via HubPages. I hope your ears weren't burning too much...and if they were, at least they countered some of our unusually chilly April weather. : )

      Bill, how do you do it? I've seen you steadily write a hub a day. If you could answer one burning question I've had since about a week after I first heard from you, it is this (and if you've written a hub about it already, point me in the right direction and I'll go devour it)--what is your writing schedule? You are one amazing guy!

      We pitchers had to do a lot of cardiovascular work, more so than the rest of the team, because it takes a workhorse to get through a complete game, as you well know.

      Using that analogy, you must have the endurance of a locomotive! What's your secret, my friend? Inquiring minds on HubPages want to know! LOL!

      In the meantime, I'm thoroughly enjoying these writing tutorials. You have a lot of knowledge, and what's really cool is that you're willing to share with anyone who's willing to listen and learn. Count me in for a long time to come, buddy! Aloha and mahalo! Your friend on the other side of the Pacific Northwest Divide!

      Joe

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hmm. Correct, publishing is easy, it's the selling and promotion that are the difficult aspects! Like writing here, it takes time before people know you. Thanks for sharing!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Travmaj, you can ramble on here any old time you want. I'm glad this helps or at least clarifies some options. It is a tough world out there now. It is easier to get published but that does not mean it is easier to make money. That's a whole different ballgame, and one I am still learning.

      Best of luck to you my friend. We will root each other on and hopefully one of us will find a degree of success.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome, Doc! I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lisa, thanks for stopping by and I hope this helps when it is time to get your book published.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      agapsikap, I am glad to hear that my friend. Thank you!

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      Lisa Williams 4 years ago

      This article is certainly very informative and well written! I have not even thought about the route I will go when I finally finish my book, but now I have a clear picture of how to proceed! Thanks for sharing, I voted up!

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      agapsikap 4 years ago from Philippines

      It is very useful and informative. I learn more, Bill. Thanks for sharing.

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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      How interesting, how bewildering from my perspective. (errr think I mean a certain age) I had one children's book published years ago - I thought I was on my way but the publisher went out of business before the sequel. Ouch! That was that.

      Nowadays, many publishers will not look at unsolicited manuscripts and will only deal through an agent. But you can't have an agent without being widely published. Not much hope.

      I write travel articles for newspapers here but it is becoming more difficult.

      Your hub prompted me to examine files jammed with old 'stuff '. and I look at the options on line and panic. (Enough to make me run off for a shopping day.)

      My techno skills are lacking Nowadays it's a time thing too. Will look into all the options seriously though.

      Meanwhile I'll continue hubbing and hope I can make it work - there are so many brilliant writers here on so many topics - hard to write when so much to read.

      What I'm really saying is thank you for spelling all this out in such a clear concise way. From your hub and the comments I can clearly see other options for various manuscripts. Options I hadn't considered or known about before. Sorry rambling on...

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Thank you Bill for this useful and valuable information. I will come back to this again when I need to.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, never fear, Bill is here. I sent you a message to email me...I'll answer all of your questions then. Okay?

      Thanks for the comment....and yes, the laugh....and we'll get you straightened out right quick.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you, Velzipmur. I appreciate your kind words and best wishes as you continue your writing career.

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Very informative, Bill.

      I am not needing this information at this point, but I will keep this

      just in case the stars all line up for me!!

      Bill I am embarrassed to ask, but I have read and re-read "posting pictures" and watched the 'simple videos' and it is all Greek to me.

      I do not know how to find a picture from Creative Commons or Public Domain or any other place and get it over to my hub page and place pictures to accent my hubs. (yes, run on sentence)

      If you ask me what kind of computer I own, I would say, "black".

      For the second question you might ask me, "yes, the computer is turned on".

      I don't want to sound like I am boasting, but it took me ONLY

      two months to learned to 'copy and paste'.

      I am ashamed to admit that I have an entire page of written notes taken from the learning center.

      Yes, I am the one looking for "any key".

      I understood the first thing to do is hit, "edit", and the last thing to do is

      hit save. It is the part in between that has me in knots.

      No hurry. If you have a slow day and feel the urge to deal with a woman who knows zilch about posting photos, I'll be around.

      You might want to e-mail these instructions. Please start with #1.

      Thanks,

      DJ.

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      Shelly Wyatt 4 years ago from Maryland

      billybuc, you are a great inspiration. Your hubs are interesting and filled with good information. I strive everyday to become better writer. Thanks for your great hubs.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Annie, if it is your dream then it would be a shame for it to die. No, there are few excuses regarding getting published....all we have to do is write the book, right? LOL No big deal. :)

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      Annie Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      Well, I guess now that I am armed with this great Hubful of information, I have little excuse to pursue the dream of putting my self into print!

      Winning Hub, Bill ... thanks!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickels, it is a battle for sure but still, it is one that is doable if we are willing to do the work. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, don't let it scare you off...good writing will be rewarded and I really believe that. :) Thank you my friend. I hope you are having a great week so far.

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      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      You got it right! With e publishing, at least you can get your book on ipads, kindles etc..., but we still need a publisher to be accepted by brick and mortar book stores. Informative hub!!

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, great article, one to keep. Wow.. thank you for the reality check.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jon! I appreciate you stopping by. I need to be a bit better about visiting you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheri, I couldn't agree more. Write a great story and people will find it. :) No problem, right? :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, vkwok, and thanks for stopping by once again.

      Aloha

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Abrushing, you are very welcome and thank you for the visit.

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      Jonathan McCloskey 4 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

      Great answer to a great question. As always billybuc, you've filled us with wisdom and insight, well done on another great article.

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      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Well there are some incredible success stories out there. Fifty Shades of Grey (my idea of trash, but millions disagree with me) and The Help for intance. The world always longs for a great story. This is very helpful Bill! Thanks!

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      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the great hub. I can definitely use this.

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      Aaron Rushing 4 years ago from USA- Florida

      Thanks BillyBuc very informative.

      Peace

      ABR

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, it is always a pleasure to see you. I apologize for not being by lately. Going through some changes that are taking up too much time. I'll be by soon my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, one bird cage and one hell of a book is all you need. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      KT, my gut feeling is the number of queries have not gone down much. Some agents have told me they still get over one thousand query letters each month. That is not encouraging. :) The same figure was quoted with regards to finding a syndicated column gig.

      Thanks and I agree, the Indy route is probably the best route.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I've done the title...what more do you want from me? Sheez!

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      Linda Compton 4 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      Sir William, as always a thorough, thoughtful, informative hub! Thanks for all you do :0) L.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Now all I need is a thousand bird cages. Cool.

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      KT Banks 4 years ago from Texas

      I wonder if agents and publishers are receiving less queries, now that so many people are self publishing so easily? Do you think the slush piles may be a bit smaller?

      When I first read the title to this hub, the answer in my mind was, "Damn near impossible." But honestly, I prefer being Indy!

      Voted Up and Interesting.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Are you challenging me, Bill? I still haven't seen your grocery list and limerick! :-)