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Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Ever-Changing Publishing Landscape

You’d think after my years in this business that I would get used to the changes. I’m not.  Some times they still hit home to me.

In the early days of my writing, during the 80s, I took a class from the Writer’s Digest School called Writing Fiction to Sell. My instructor was science fiction author Ardath Mayhar.  In light of my present body of work, it might seem like a strange pairing.  One of my cherished autographed books is Carrots and Miggle which Ardath signed to me saying, “To Terry, who will one day have books of his own.”

When I took the course, I had not published any books. The Writer’s Digest School paired you with a personalized instructor who critiqued each lesson and responded with a personalized letter and specific instructions about your lesson. It was a great experience and I enjoyed my interaction with my instructor. Ironically I received a top grade for the course but never published my short story from the course.  Why didn’t it get published? Too busy with other things at that time and I never devoted the marketing energy to get it into the right editor’s hands so it was published.

In the 90s, I taught at the Institute of Children’s Literature as one of their instructors. It was a great experience and I learned a great deal from it and commonly recommend this course to people who want to write children’s booksThe Institute has a quality, first-class set of instructors and instructional materials. I believe their current teaching system is mostly online.

In recent days, I’ve been doing a bit of marketing preparation for my new how-to book—which will be available next month.  Two new excerpts from the book are also available and give you a taste of the book’s contents.

And the change, I mentioned in the opening paragraph? I learned the Writer’s Digest School is not accepting any more students for their printed course.  Everything has shifted to their online course. It means their printed publication for the students will also be ending in another couple of years.

While the publishing world continues to change and shift, I want to encourage you to recommit to learning your craft of writing. Whether you are trying to publish children’s books, magazine article, nonfiction or fiction books or any other type of writing, there is always room for quality writing. It’s my on-going commitment and hopefully yours as well.

2 Comment:

At 7:35 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

This seems to be the case with a lot of businesses. If you don't move with the times, you'll get left behind in the dust of those who will. It's good to be reminded of this. Writing is a business, and things are constantly changing.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger violet Left a note...

Terry, I took the ICL course and would vouch for its value. (I didn't know you were a one-time instructor.) It's the best 'writing career' investment I've ever made.

 

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