#atozchallenge O is for Opportunity


by Lillian Csernica on April 17,  2019

atoz2019o

There’s a famous saying: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” That might have been true once, but today the Internet has brought the marketplace to the consumers. They don’t have to “beat a path” anywhere. It’s up to us as the sellers of our writing to get our work in front of the people who will buy it.

How do we do that? By making the most of every opportunity.

opportunity-is-missed-edison-quote-bw

Where are those opportunities? Market listings.

Duotrope — It’s possible to glean some information from this site without paying an annual subscription fee. Me, I have a subscription. Best money I ever spent. I credit this site with improving my acceptance rate.

The Submissions Grinder — This site is free. There is a lot of information available. Do be careful to follow through on the links and make sure you’ve got the latest submission requirements. Many markets, especially anthologies, have limited reading windows on very specific themes.

Remember what I said about building a writing community? That’s another crucial element in finding opportunity. The more writers we know, the more contacts we have in the writing world, the more likelier we are to hear about opportunities.

One day I was at the supermarket. I bumped into Deborah J. Ross, a well-known writer and editor who also lives in my part of the world. We’ve known each other for a while now, mostly meeting up at conventions. Deborah happened to be putting together a new anthology. She said she’d love to see a story from me. Holy cats! I thanked her and got to work right away. That story, The Katana Matrix, will appear in Citadels of Darkover.
50540_original

What happens if we can’t find an opportunity that matches what we have to offer?

We take it to the next level by finding ways to create our own opportunities.

Tailor stories we’ve already finished to suit the target market.

When I was in college, I took a fiction course and wrote the original version of Masquerade. The result landed about halfway between literary and genre fiction. Later, when I decided to start submitting the story, I rewrote it and cranked up certain aspects so the story fit into the horror genre. It first appeared in Midnight Zoo, then Karl Edward Wagner accepted it for my second appearance in The Year’s Best Horror Stories.

Push our limits by writing on a subject or in a genre where there are many opportunities.

I started out writing fantasy and horror. I switched to romance because it was easier to break into the novel market there and the money was better. The result? Ship of Dreams. That novel did earn out its advance, and it continues to bring in good royalties.

Ask questions, seek advice, beat the bushes in pursuit of potential opportunities.

Where do we start? Join online writing communities. Join the professional association that suits what you prefer to write. Go to the places where you will meet other writers, editors, and publishers. Conventions, seminars, lectures at the local library. Yes, attending the larger events can get expensive. We have to weigh the potential benefits against the cost. One good pitch session can save a lot of time and effort.

Remember: Be polite. Be considerate. Be grateful. Pass on the kindness to other writers who need help. This is how we grow our community, and how we keep ourselves in the minds of people in a position to alert us to opportunities that could make all the difference to our success.
f2d75753

 

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under #atozchallenge, Blog challenges, Conventions, editing, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, perspective, publication, research, romance, Writing

7 responses to “#atozchallenge O is for Opportunity

  1. I didn’t know Masquerade had appeared in The Midnight Zoo. I guess I’d parted ways with them by then. I don’t regret the time I spent on that. Reading the slush pile taught me tons about how not to write a good story, and that made the occasional gems stand out all the more. And I first met several people there who are still friends and colleagues, and one of them is now my agent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent reminders! Good job on meeting the challenge. For me? It would be an excuse to avoid finishing my novel. Maybe next year! Thanks much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this Lillian – excellent!

    Jo – artist/writer/wild west &ghost nut/renaissance soul/mental health &lifestyle blogger Creating My Odyssey – Liberating the Real Me After Thirty Years Of Depression and Anxiety http://www.jo-b-creative.blogspot.co.uk

    On Wed, 17 Apr 2019, 14:04 Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons LillianC posted: “by Lillian Csernica on April 17, 2019 There’s a famous > saying: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your > door.” That might have been true once, but today the Internet has brought > the marketplace to the consumers. They don’t hav” >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic advice, Lillian!
    I think that especially as self published authors, we need to build our readership. That’s harder than working with a publisher, but I think it may be more satisfying, because our readership like US and what WE write. It’s a lot of hard work, though.
    I love that first quete 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.