Doper writers, about publishing...

I was just kinda sorta wondering if I could get some perspectives on the different means of publishing fiction. Short stories to novels, what are your opinions about online publishing vs. paper? What I’m curious about is, how badly do you want to be paid for your work, or is doing it sufficiently rewarding in itself? What options are most common for paper and how do you believe they compare to internet vehicles? Feel free to answer questions I probably didn’t know to ask about this.

I’m an aspiring writer and have been for a long time. While I really really enjoy the creative buzz I get from writing, I’d love it if my work was good enough for others to enjoy as well, so getting published is important to me. I’m about 18,000 words into my first novels and am aiming for about 90,000, and as soon as I’m done writing and editing it, I’ll be taking the “traditional” route to publication. By this I mean that I’ll be sending the manuscript out to various reputable agents who actually represent writers in my genre in the hope that they will take me on.

I’m not a writing snob and have no prejudice against online publishing, but I’d much rather see my book on a shelf than on a website.


I can only speak for me. I started with short stories and it worked pretty well. Magazines need a steady supply of work so it is a good way to perfect your craft. The old saw of “Practice makes perfect” is a truism for a reason and magazines let you practice a great deal.

Second, it is a good way to make money while you are learning, not a lot mind you, but it is there none the less.

Third, it lets you establish a “name” and create a body of work that will let agents and secondarily, publishers take note of you (breaking in with a book is very hard without an agent).

Finally, I found that editors and staffs of magazines will often make suggestions regarding ones work much better than book publishers and for starting writers this important.

When I broke into the business, I wrote everything, science fiction, Western fiction, romance, mysteries, ghost stories. children’s stories. It helped me hone my skills. I also wrote under a number of different pen names. My banker got to the point that he would just shake his head as I brought him another skimpy check with yet a different name on it.

Finally, however, they were calling me. I then got with an agent and things worked out pretty well.

That being said. I know a number of authors that started with a book and managed to work from there. On this board we have Eve who established her credentials in film and then went on to write about that. McMurtry established his credentials in the academic world then wrote from there.

So who knows.

I’m a longtime aspiring writer. I’ve always, as far back as I can remember, wanted to be a writer.

However, I write for me, not other people. I’ve become a journalist for my bread and butter - but my fiction is for me. I publish it on my Web site, and if, some day, I get enough positive feedback and constructive criticism, I may get the gumption up to submit it to a real-life publisher; but other than that, I doubt it.

The only thing I’ve ever written with the express goal to get it published petered out really fast - writing for someone else just doesn’t interest me, at all. Better, in my opinion, for me to collect a large library of stuff I’ve written and later on see if anyone wants to publish any of it - I couldn’t do what Stephen King does and pump out several hundred novels in a lifetime. I just couldn’t. Worrying about editors and readership would take all of the joy out of it.


Moved to our forum for the arts.

Moved from IMHO to CS.