From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Using Non-Fiction Publications as a Jumping Board to Fiction Publication

Okay, I feel like I'm cheating somehow by discussing non-fiction writing on a blog devoted to fiction, but bear with me.  As any agent or publisher will tell you, it is far easier to publish and sell non-fiction than fiction.  Our instant gratification society makes for a ripe market for information of any kind.  For beginning writers, it's pretty easy to get published in non-fiction on the web, in small newspapers, in local magazines and newsletters.  Once you have a few publications under your belt from smaller publications, move onto bigger fish.

If you're not an expert on any particular topic, you can transform yourself into one. For example, if you're a working mom, start blogging about your frustrations and experiences about being everything to everybody.  Interview other working moms to get their tips for coping.  Pick up some followers, and're a self-made expert.  Use the platform you've established to sell your first articles or essays to local or web publications.  Really, when I mean "sell," I don't necessarily mean you'll be compensated in greenbacks at first.  What you'll get in return is a publishing credit.

Having your non-fiction writing published will give you more gravitas when you are searching for someone to publish your fiction.

How many times have you looked at the fiction submission guidelines for your favorite literary magazine or for a literary agent and realized that they want a listing of publications in which your writing has appeared?  What agents and publishers want to know is that you've been vetted by other publications (and they think you're ink-worthy), and that you are a professional who can work with editors. 

If you have been frustrated with rejection for your fiction, it might be time to readjust your publication plan of action.  Building a platform as a non-fiction expert can take a while, but once you get those first few non-fiction publications under your belt, you will have new confidence in your attempts at fiction publication.

Here are a few helpful resources:


  1. Great post! And this is so true. I've been paid for several medical articles, but never for any fictional pieces I've wrote.

  2. Rachel, WOW!! What a timely post! As I have been utterly unsuccessful in selling my fiction, I have really been tossing around a number of ideas as to where to go from here - from outright quitting to writing nonfiction to - well, who knows; right? Thanks for this encouragement. I think it makes good sense and might even help soothe my bruised ego to try NF for a while.


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