How can you use the Internet to support your writing? Here are some of my own ideas:
Online, there’s no genre left unwritten. Thanks to the proliferation of blogs, groups and forums, it has never been easier to connect with people in your own genre.
And it’s probably one of the best things you could do for your writing career. For example, after I joined the Travel Memoir Writers group (now on Facebook, started by Alexis Grant), I discovered that many literary agents actually treat memoir like fiction, and thus require the entire manuscript to be completed. This is COMPLETELY different from other nonfiction works, where you normally just do a book proposal. And, actually, to make it even more confusing, some agents want both a proposal AND a manuscript.
We have also done some online critiquing — by e-mail — which has been super-helpful!
How do you find these groups? Sometimes you can find them through major blogs within your genre, sometimes through a quick and dirty search in Google or Facebook or even Twitter.
Understanding the Publishing Industry
Before the Internet and the rise of blogging, the publishing industry was almost as mysterious as the vast cosmos itself. But nowadays, industry insiders have stepped up to give writers the scoop on what they’re looking for — in the form of blogs and guest articles and more.
There are a lot of voices out there, but here are a few you can start with:
Editorial Ass. While Moon Rat closed up shop on this one several months ago, her blog is still a rich repository about all things publishing, from landing an agent to working with an editor.
Guide to Literary Agents Blog. The definitive blog on all things agents. It’s also a fantastic place to discover newly minted agents, who are hungry to represent new writers. Additionally, they have a literary agent database, and a blogroll brimming with even more agent and publishing related websites.
Nathan Bransford. A long-time literary agent, now author and tech industry worker. But he still delivers some of the best insights out there into the world of agents and publishing.
Query Shark. An agent dissects real queries sent in by authors.
The Book Deal. Written by Alan Rinzler, a consulting editor and veteran in the industry, this blog covers everything from the craft of writing to publishing.
Writer Unboxed. One of my favorite blogs, “all about the craft and business of genre fiction.” (UPDATE)
Here are some helpful websites to keep in your writer’s toolbox:
Poets and Writers Magazine. Not only a great magazine, but also offers an online directory of literary magazines you can submit to.
Newpages. Another directory of literary magazines, with a blog introducing the latest and greatest new mags.
Wordhustler. This site helps writers submit to literary mags, but also has a searchable directory.
Writer’s Market Online Database. Like the Writer’s Market book, but now a searchable online database.
Writing Prompt Generator. Not sure where to start writing? This site offers a random prompt to get those creative juices flowing.
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