Here's some things I wish I knew before stepping foot into the publishing industry: Many times, it's who you know, not what you write. I also learned, through submitting short stories, that editors could be downright mean. I've gotten more than one unkind rejection so much so that I get nervous when I see a response in my inbox. However, I must say that most editors, when taking the time to write personal feedback, are kind in making their suggestions. Most editors are writers and they know how hard it can be to get published. Without this knowledge, I would have still become an author but I think I would have been better prepared if I had known those two main things first.
As I published more stories, and worked on my books, I started learning things. Even in the short story field, many times it depends on who you know that will get you published not what you write. I had a brush with this while submitting a flash fiction story. I published in that particular market before and frequented the same message boards as the editors. When the rewrite request came, I was surprised they originally were going to reject my story but knew that I had more to offer than routine vampire fiction and, from interacting with me, I'd be open to their thoughts on my story. I revised and that market published my story. While working to make the story better, I realized it was the fact the editors knew me that got me noticed. I had read that a writer should go to conventions to meet editors and agents because it's those connections that could land bestseller list status but I didn’t actually believe it until then.
The best advice I can give to aspiring writers is to never give up. Grow a thick skin because everyone has different reading tastes. All that matters is your own opinion of your story or book. Publishing is generally a long hard road but in the end, all worth it.
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