Essay 14 - In Conclusion:
Thanks to all those who read these articles on how to write a novel. I hope these essays helped. Let me close with some basic truths I've learned over the past 40 years of writing:
1: the best advice I ever read on how to sell fiction appeared in a short article by Robert A. Heinlein. His advice -
b) finish what you write
c) submit what you write
d) keep doing a) through c).
2: Write for money. Do not worry about exposure, or fame, or getting well known. All else will follow if you keep selling your work. Submit to the best paying markets and work your way down. Never let your work be published for free. Never.
3: Once you are well-known, if you want to give away your work to literary magazines or small-press magazines run by friends, okay. But not until you are able to sell anything you write. That's when giving your stuff away for free means something.
4: Don't waste time arguing with
no matter what you think, in the end, you are only wasting your valuable time, and theirs. And they won't forget that you wasted their time.
5: Aim high. This isn't baseball where singles can win a ball game. Try to hit a home run every time at bat. Make sure every story you send out is your best effort. Publishing a bunch of stories that pay nothing (or next to it) is not worth as much as selling one for a professional rate.
That's it. Good luck. Sell stuff.