Getting Your First Sale
By Suzan L. Wiener
© 2007, Suzan L. Wiener
Do you crave that first sale? Do you envy other writers who seem to get
their work published effortlessly? Believe me, published authors work
hard to get their poetry, etc. into publications. Even if they seem like
they are overnight successes, they aren't. Years of revising and
submitting again and again go into that occurrence. Some writers have
had their work rejected many times, but still keep trying. Nothing is
easy and nothing is a free ride. That is the difference between a
published writer and a non-published one. The one who is willing to
persevere and continue sending in manuscripts despite rejections is the
one who will eventually be published.
After three years of trying to get published in Modern Romances
with my poetry, I finally can say: "I made it!" I was just about ready
to give up when the acceptance came in my mailbox. It was almost as if
someone didn't want me to quit, because it was that day I had seriously
made the decision to stop sending them my work. I thought for sure I was
getting nowhere, but I had noticed that an editor would write a nice
"Try again" on my rejected poems. That meant something to me and I'd
keep them nearby so I knew I was making progress. I did get discouraged
quite often, but my husband and my writer friends helped me continue.
Even when I didn't have faith in myself as a writer, they did. When at
last I saw my work in Modern Romances magazine, I realized all
the rejections had paid off. How? By teaching me my craft and constantly
improving my work. I paid more attention to rhyme, meter and other
aspects of my poems. I created more exciting conflicts in short stories
and watched my grammar and spelling to make sure it was as good as it
also studied the work of other poets and short story writers who
interested me and were regulars in their publications. I made my work
original, letting it stand on its own. I learned a lot from them as to
form and style. And, even though the editors never commented on any
rejected pieces except for that occasional, "Try again," I felt they
helped me enormously -- to study and learn in order for me to become a
Of course, if I had given up, my poetry would have stayed at the
beginner's level, which meant my work might never have seen publication.
The old saying "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins" recounts
a very important lesson. Perseverance is the path to seeing your work
online or in print.
Following these tips below will help you to get your first sale and many
more of them as well.
Don't just wish that you could be a published writer, make that wish
come true by doing your homework. Research your markets and create
riveting characters. Make editors want to buy your stories, and
readers want to read them all the way through.
If you don't have a writer's group in your area, get together online
with one already in existence or form your own.
Read all the books you can on being a published writer. Here is a
link to find well-known books that will help you in your quest to
see your work in print:
Don't send in your work the moment you write it. Instead, stay away
from it for a few days and then come back to it. You will probably
find things in it that can be revised and typos you didn't see
before. You will have a fresh outlook on it.
Most importantly, if your dream is to be a writer, be one. Don't
just daydream or hope that it will come true. It won't! You have to
be the springboard to make it work.
If you follow the above tips, you are bound to see your first sale. You
will know the thrill of holding your first check in you hands. I know
how it feels first-hand, and it's wonderful.