You want me to read your writing? Comment on it? Read this post.
The authors you know from online social spaces like Facebook, Twitter, goodreads, and so on, are never going to help you get published by introducing you to their publishers. That's absolutely true unless you have persuaded those authors to read your work. And that is usually very, very difficult to do, because it takes time the published authors just don't have. When an author writes a blog, for instance, s/he has to write it as if it is a published piece out there for review. It takes a lot of time for most authors to do that. Sometimes they have to go to their stats to know if anybody actually visited on a certain day, because no comments from visitors says to the author that there isn't any point in writing this blog. And they still have to do their own writing and keep dinner on the table in their own homes. So, you have to make the writer of a blog feel as if their work is worthwhile.
When I started this blog, I said that I hoped to be able to help you. I've picked (out of the air, mostly) subjects that I felt would be useful for you to know, but I don't think you're getting all you could out of me. I gave you something last week that I felt we could spend another day on, and there wasn't one single comment on what more we could do. That means to me that either you are shy, or you can't think of anything to say, or -- I sure hope this isn't the case -- you don't want to have to do any work. But I know some of you personally through our networking, and so I really don't think you aren't willing to work. The people I know are just not willing to put themselves, and their writing, forward. But, you know, if you're ever going to be published, you are going to have to do exactly that. You might as well get the practice here.
And so, here's what I propose.
1. I will read pieces from novels or short stories you have written or are writing. You will have to commit to posting them publicly as comments to this blog.
2. The work you give me must be understandable as it is, without you explaining a whole lot of things first.
3. You must give me a name to work with. It doesn't have to be your real name. But you must use the same one on this blog all the time.
4. If you want me to respond to what you have publicly written with a public response, you have to trust me not to hurt your feelings, and you have to understand that even though other people are going to read and learn from your postings and my reponses, those other people are not going to be allowed to respond to your work.
5. The person who has posted gets my response, then that person gets to ask a couple of questions, and I'll respond to that, and then we go on to the next person's piece of writing.
6. Before I start this, simply to find out that only two people are interested, I need a sign-up sheet. Please write a post on any one of this week's blogs (today, Monday to Friday October 8th) saying that you want to participate, if you do. I need fifteen interested people to start off with, because what I'm going to be doing is too much work for just a couple of people.
7. If you want this, and if on Thursday it looks as if there aren't enough people signing up, then you will have to ask your friends to sign up, with the same sense of commitment from them.
8. Unless I get sick or need surgery or anything, I will respond to your work with kindness and concern for you as a writer and suggestions to make your writing better, and I won't be doing it for my ego. I'll do it to help you, and to help all of those people who read your post and are exposed to what I say about it. Don't expect an immediate response. It will take time for me to write it. Meanwhile I'll keep going with the Tips Blogs.
Note: What I am offering you here is something you would normally have to pay a lot of money for (I used to charge $150 - $200 an hour of my time). So you can choose to be shy, or you can choose to have the courage to take advantage of this genuinely free, genuinely sincere, and always before (to hundreds of other clients) very helpful editing offer from the traditionally published author of ten books. I'm at a time in my life where I feel I have to give back some of the good fortune that has come my way. So, take it or leave it. I will never offer it again if I don't get at least fifteen names signed up by Friday. Twenty names, even better. Thirty, terrific. Take a chance, folks. Get your friends out here. Tell them what they can learn. Tell them they'll be able to quote me when they submit their manuscripts. My name still has clout. So: Use me or lose me. Meanwhile, I'll carry on with these dull but true posts about Tips to Get Published (Traditionally).
Don't be shy,