Sunday, October 26, 2008
The Real Secret to Succeeding as a Writer
Ah, the life of a writer. Toiling away over your keyboard, stacks of old cereal bowls and who knows what else accumulating on your desk while your brain turns itself inside out trying to be brilliant. Finally, one glorious day, you finish your project. Hurrah! Triumph! Glory!
But then what?
Then you have to get your masterpiece out there. Many successful writers believe to maximize the chance of publication, it’s best to have at least ten submissions out at all times. Consider it the writing world’s secret to success. But how can one person manage this feat on a constant basis and still have time to write? Suddenly, you’re required to turn your well-oiled writing brain into a multi-tasking business/publicity machine. You have to research writing markets and competitions. Flawlessly copy and package your work. Juggle the Post Office, Staples, and the ATM because sending those babies out to the world is going to cost you, and not just in your wallet. I’ve seen whole days lost while I’ve turned my living room into “Operation Get Published.”Yes, it is of the utmost importance to send your work out. But, as you sit there with four paper-cuts and three annoying “Return to Sender” stamps, don’t you ever wonder if there’s a better way?
I used to wonder this too. Then my partner John and I decided to stop waiting for a miracle solution and create one ourselves. We started WordHustler.com, a website dedicated to providing writers with everything they need to get published. WordHustler is the first website to take care of the whole process of writing and submitting work.
With WordHustler, you can upload projects of any kind, search markets you want to submit to, and voila! We print and ship everything for you. It's easy to track all of your submissions using WordHustler's organized tracking system and we cost less than doing it yourself. Most importantly, WordHustler saves you time so you can do what you're supposed to be doing: WRITING.
One of the basic tenets of publishing success is that you have to submit often and well, but writers face an incredible barrier because of the sheer amount of secretarial work involved. There has never been anything out there to address the issues of sending and tracking work in one complete package. Since John and I are also writers, we want to provide the most cost-effective, helpful service we can. Our over 3,500 literary markets are free, as is membership. The only thing you pay for is the cost of printing and shipping your work, which starts as low as $0.99 for sending four pages or less. For under a dollar, you can send a query letter, a poetry submission, and more. This price includes shipping, a SASE, and WordHustler’s professional tracking services. Due to the overwhelming request of our clients, we are also about to unveil our email submission system so writers can track all of their submissions using WordHustler.
WordHustler offers additional useful writing tools such as unlimited, protected storage for your projects, a sophisticated letter composer, a signature tool, online contest forms, Virtual Office for writers on the go, an Advanced Submission Wizard and more.
At the end of the day, submissions coming from WordHustler increase your chances of landing on an editor’s desk, not the slush pile. We are constantly strengthening our relationships with agents, editors, and publishers so they are aware of what WordHustler is doing in the writing world. Our goal is to create a place where writers can submit flawless, professional submissions and markets are happy to receive them because they know they will be formatted correctly and organized properly. Everyone wins.
We know how hard it is to get your work out there. But after uploading a project, choosing a few markets, and hitting “Submit Now,” we hope you’ll breathe a sigh of relief because the hard part is over. The best part is that you now have time to start your next project. What’s it going to be about? Not sure yet?
Good thing you’ve got lots of time to think about it.
Anne Walls and John Singleton are the co-founders of WordHustler.com. They live in Los Angeles with their two semi-insane dogs and a house crammed full of books. They enjoy movies, tennis, and of course, writing.