Get your bookmarking finger ready. I've got some links for you.
We're back to addressing the keys to writing books and getting published. Over the past several days, I detailed information on finding an agent, outlining a book, and character development. Today, I'm going to jump out of the writing process and put some important information at your fingertips.
While the publishing industry has always been thick with competition and the task of writing a great book will always be difficult, we are lucky in that the Internet is now vibrant and overflowing with information. In the old days, back when I started writing books meant trekking 20 miles uphill both ways in the snow to get to the library ... I'm joking. But I did have to make a lot of trips to the library for research, whether it was fact-finding for items in the book or just discovering the in's and out's of trying to get published. All the information was in books that either had to be borrowed or purchased. It was a slow process, and frequently expensive.
Now, there are oodles of links and sites on the Internet to make your job easier. But be prepared: there is still a lot of research ahead of you.
1. Groups and Associations
These are great places to get information and assistance. These groups also help you feel a little less alone during the process of writing or publishing a book. They can also offer valuable assistance once you have been published. There are a number of great groups, but take a little time to check them out before jumping on board. Here are a few that I am either a member of or I am in the process of joining.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Romance Writers of America
International Thriller Writers
2. Watch Dogs
Sadly, like in any industry, there are groups who are only interested in separating a writer from his/her money. They don't care about getting you publisher or getting you exposure to potential readers. You have to keep your eyes open and do your homework. Luckily, there are a number of Watch Dog groups that are tying to help you and make your investigation a little easier. Here is a quick list of some of the places that I have discovered.
3. Do Your Homework
There are so many places out there that are sources of great information for you as you work on your book. As with anything on the Internet, you need to take some time to check out your resource. Has it been vetted by someone that you do trust. Double check the information that you are being given. Watch your back and watch the back of your fellow writer. Working behind the computer on your manuscript can be a very lonely endeavor at times, but you aren't alone. There are millions of people all around you doing the exact same thing. If we take a few minutes to help each other and pass along good information, it makes it a little easier for everyone else. And trust me, the Karma Fairy will remember you.
Good luck with your work! Don't get discouraged! Keep writing! Keep dreaming!