Four ways to get published

January 2, 2010


1. Just write something and send it around to Publishers

We’re all doing it, so if you’re new, think twice about taking the route of obscurity to discovery in one step. It does happen, but its more likely to happen if combined with some of the other ideas below.

2. Develop expertise points and cash in

Expertise points come through original research, teaching, experience or practice that makes you immediately relevant to a defined audience. Take a look at who publishes material to service the desires of this audience and contact them if you see an opportunity to add to their line up.

3. Do something amazing

A sixteen year old Australian girl, Jessica Watson, is currently sailing around the world solo, non-stop.
There is no doubt her story will attract a book deal on her return.

4. Know the formulas

The world of books seems to reward writers disproportionately. Original talent can go unnoticed and formulaic work can be wildly successful. There is a good reason for this – Publishers are risk averse and like the comfort of precedent when it comes to investment. Books exist in categories (crime, fantasy, romance, picture books for example) because the formulas please large numbers of paying customers and this is where Publishers continue to invest. In this sense, being “formulaic” is essential. At the Olympic Games, the figure skater who serves up the expected elements with originality and a fresh twist ends up with the flowers and the gold. Its much the same with books.

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6 Responses to “Four ways to get published”


  1. Great to see you back writing on-line, Ben. We need you. Love the simplicity and ‘cut-to-the-chase’ nature of this post. Excellent.

    Best to you, Robin


  2. Thanks for the tips Ben. You make it sound so easy. That’s a good thing though. At least I’m inspired to start and after a while sheer determination will follow. Now back to editting the first draft for me.

    • Ben Dawe Says:

      I appreciate your response Clare. I agree that inspiration alone is great, but paired with determination and persistence, becomes twice as powerful.
      All the best with your project. Are you sharing any of it online?

  3. Leela Soma Says:

    Brill tips Ben. Good to see you back on Twitter. I’m in the editing ‘purdah’mode of novel 2.

    Belated ‘Happy New Year’


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