How Do Authors Get Published? Part 3

Steve Carr’s latest release, Getting Your Short Stories Published: A Guidebook, tells you all you have to know, outside the actual business of writing the story, about how to increase the likelihood of getting a piece of work into publication. It does this by reducing his experience over the last few years into a few pages and communicating directly what worked for him and what didn’t work - what he wrote in his cover letters, what he included in his bios, what he studied in order to know where to send a particular story, how he learned from submission guidelines and much more.

It also teaches us something on a different level. It’s a record of how to benefit from listening, from research and from observation.

Many writers set out this way: they write a story or two, straight from their hearts or based on what they think makes a good story, and then they send it out to anyone who is asking for submissions, often to several places at the same time. When rejection messages come back over the ensuing time, those same writers struggle with self-doubt and frustration, wondering what is wrong with the world. But Steve’s approach shows us the way to success, not just with short story publication but perhaps in other fields too: listen, observe, research.

Take what a publisher is asking for in requesting submissions - take that exact topic and write about that. Pay heed to the exact requirements as given in that publisher’s guidelines - things like fonts to be used, word counts, formatting and so on - and apply them to that piece of work. Minimise what you tell the publisher outside what the publisher is asking for. And you end up with a simple formula: what the publisher is asking for, the publisher gets. Almost every time, that publisher will publish or at least will want to publish, what you are offering.

Imagine that you