The Last Thing A Writer Should Do

Harry picked up a voicemail last Monday morning. It was left at 9:30 Sunday night.  The person asked if we were publishers since he was looking through the phone book, then said something about wanting us to call him back with some tips on how he could sell his writing. He left his name and phone number–then repeated it to make sure we got it okay.

After listening to the message, Harry asked me to listen to it. We both agreed that while the person was probably sincere about wanting us to give him tips, the call left much to be desired.

The first thing the caller needed to do was research–research the company he was calling, research writing sites (both on the Internet and local establishments/courses), read blogs, subscribe to Writer’s Digest magazine (and read the articles), and learn all he can about his customers (publishers he wants to sell to).

The last thing the caller should have done is call a publisher outside of business hours and ask the publisher to educate him.

Publishing is business and publishers want to deal with professionals. There are myriad of classes on publishing. There are websites and blogs filled with information for writers. There are writers groups, writers conferences, and writers organizations all ready to help fledgling writers learn the publishing business. And, finally, there are books and periodicals (many are available free at libraries) to help.

Any writer who’s serious about writing for money should invest in himself or herself by learning as much as possible about the opportunities and options available. But don’t pick a publishing company out of the phone book and leave a voicemail asking to be called back and provided tips on selling your manuscript. That’s the last thing a writer should do.

Happy writing!

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