By Hannah Whittenly
If you're looking to break into the world of writing and publishing, you might be a little intimidated by all of the options out there. This is especially true if you're a young literature or writing major with no idea where to begin. The good news is that it's easier than you might think to get started, so before you pull the covers over your head and give up, here are just a few tips for sharing your work with the world.
Write That Novel
You can't do anything without original content, so your first step is sitting down and cranking out the book that's always been rattling around in the back of your brain. This will be a time-consuming process. You'll need to write, edit, analyze, proof and organize every word that you put to paper, and even after you finish, you'll still have to sell the idea to a publisher. The key is being creative with your pitch. Send it with a unique application. You’ll definitely want to market it with bold designs and themes. To help with that, you’ll want to create a Wattpad cover to help attract people to it. After all, don’t we as a society truly judge all books by their covers?
Experiment with Self-Publishing
If you're unable or unwilling to go through a traditional agent, consider the world of self-publishing. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is entirely free, and thanks to their streamlined uploading system and easy-to-use interface, you can share your work with a few simple clicks. You'll probably want to do some research before you unleash your book into the wild, however. There are certain guidelines about the kind of content allowed on Kindle, and there are formatting techniques that you'll want to review. If you're serious about attracting an audience and turning a profit, make sure that you understand the market first.
Participate In Contests
There are many online contests for both upcoming and established authors, and their fame, exposure and prize money can be just what you need to get a boost for further publishing. If you're a fan of short stories, see competitions like the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award. If you're looking for long-form book and novel contests, try the Independent Publisher Book Awards or the National Book Foundation. If you're already published, enter the Writer's Digest's Self-Published Book Awards. You can also find dozens of contests based on special concepts like genre, gender, age, length and subject matter.
Blog Your Way to Success
Maybe your mind-bending sci-fi fantasy has been labelled too outlandish for mainstream publication. Maybe you just aren't ready to see your words in print. If you'd prefer a smaller, more casual environment for your first publishing endeavor, think about starting a blog. You can hone your craft and build your audience in a pressure-free way, and once you're a little more confident in your skills, you can start monetizing your website with things like affiliate links and corporate sponsors. This will allow you to build some capital before you contact an agent with your pitch.
These are just a few ways to turn your English degree into a money-making opportunity. It doesn't matter if you're writing books, plays, poems, short stories or graphic novels; if your calling can be found in the power of words, you'll want to use these tips to get your words out there.
This article was shared with us by CollegeWeekLive.