Ann Mullen

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Ann Mullen


             Publishing Tips For Writers

Twelve years or so ago, I sat down for the first time ever and tried my hand at writing. I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn't know whether or not this was something I could do. To be honest, I didn't expect much to come of it. Writers have a special talent that can't be made; it's something they're born with. That's my belief. Who was I to think I could write a book? But that didn't matter. All I wanted to do was try. So, try, I did, and it turned out that writing was something I could do, and I loved it! I write murder mystery fiction, and in this atmosphere, you can be anybody, do anything, go anywhere in a world of made-up tales. It also gave me the opportunity to tell folks that I kill people for a living—when asked what kind of work I was in... immediately following up with in my books. In the beginning,  people laughed. What an icebreaker! I thought I was so cool with that line. Then, I said it to a woman at a party, who gasped and backed away, before I could follow-up. The outcome wasn't pretty. The lady left abruptly, and the next day, I received a few phone calls, inquiring about my sanity. So... now I just tell folks the truth. I'm a writer. Sometimes, less is more. And if they want more details, they'll ask.

I hate to say it, but it just goes to show that with the right presentation, people will believe almost anything, whether it's in real life or on the internet. In real life, facial expressions convince you to believe a statement, story, or sales pitch. On the internet, liars, hackers, and basic no-good-thieves can rob you blind with their facial expressions. It's called a website. So, how does one know which website to trust? Can you believe what they say? After you've wasted your time and your money, what does it matter? It's too late then. Research and ask questions before you spend your money.

Enough about me. Let's get to the reason of why you're here. If you're thinking about writing a book, here's the best advice, and hopefully, encouragement, I can give you: First, think about what you want to write. Whether it's true-life, fiction, poetry, etc., you have to know what you want to write about to be able to do it. Open up Microsoft Word, and then sit down and just start writing. Let the words flow from your heart, and don't worry about how it sounds... for now. The next day, re-read what you wrote and make changes if you don't like the way it's going. DELETE and COPY & PASTE are powerful tools. At least, you're doing what you've been wanting to do. What have you got to lose?

Note: Hand-written manuscripts are not accepted by any publisher.

A writer's goal is to write a book and then have it published by a major, big-time, publisher. That's about as easy as becoming a movie star. Not to dampen your spirits, but it's the truth. I've been there. I submitted my first book to every major publisher and was turned down by all of them. But I didn't let that stop me. Once I had written a book, I wanted to be able to hold a copy of it in my hands. I was determined to get my book published. I knew there were other ways to make it happen. So... I did my research and found out that self-publishing was the way to go for me. I used a publishing how-to manual to get me started. I recommend Dan Poynter's The Self-Publishing Manual. You can find this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, at your local library, or visit: It's the only book you really need to get started. Then, if you decide to submit your book to a major publisher, check out The Writer's Market. This book is a directory to the publishing world. It contains a listing of all contacts in the industry.

 There are several types of publishers, but I suggest starting out with e-Publishing.

You won't have a physical copy of your book, but if that's not a concern, I recommend Kindle. More people use it—hence: more sales possibility. Amazon's website for Kindle is easy to navigate and extremely user-friendly, with excellent customer support. Good luck and I wish you much success!

Afton Ridge Publishing 271 Entry Run Road Stanardsville, VA 22973 434-962-4380

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