Getting early feedback on your writing: Turning good into great

Sharing your writing in its early forms can cause anxiety. I liken it to going to a middle school dance. It seems like a good idea, but it is laced with a fear of rejection and insecurity.

Developing positive habits early in your writing career, however, are important. Seeking feedback makes writers better and more confident.  Here are six ideas to help move you toward embracing the valuable feedback loop:

Writing and publishing for everyone; Not just the 90%

Authors need to consider accessibility when creating materials and choosing a publisher, but how can they this when it is such a misunderstood word?

Accessibility, in regard to publishing, means making content available in alternative formats for individuals with visual impairment or learning disabilities.

People may conjure up Braille as making content accessible to people with disabilities or learning issues. Publishing, however, has progressed so much farther than this. Using such technical standards as ePub3, HTML5, alt text, and other specific initiatives, publishers can make their content accessible to a growing audience.

Smiley faces in your journal articles?

Language has always been evolving. For better or worse, the formality of language has changed including embracing new words. Publishing, undoubtedly, has been changing. Too slow for some and too fast for others. I was wondering how emojis will start to creep into scholarly writing in the next five, ten, or twenty years. Sounds farfetched?

I am not a big emoji person. Maybe I will do a 🙂 every so often. I use this to ensure my meaning cannot be misconstrued. I progressed to the occasional thumbs up.  I know; radical.

The other day I scrolled through my iPhone 7’s emoji options for texting and was dumbfounded.

Cultivating a relationship with a publisher; sooner rather than later

Most academics and authors want to have a productive relationship with a publisher or publishers. It eases the road ahead and makes the process less mysterious. A good (or dare I say great) relationship with a publisher will also give an academic market knowledge about their chosen area of authorship and its readers. But how do you go about cultivating such a relationship?

The first step is to start now. Waiting until after the research and writing is done it like going on vacation and only reading about your destination after you’ve landed at the airport. Sure, you know about the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, but what else is there to do?

Querying literary agents

Literary agents, to many, are elusive creatures; difficult to find and communicate with in their native habitat.  Maybe like a panda or a snow leopard. Last month I wrote about whether you needed a literary agent. The majority of academic authors likely do not need one. Some, however, will need or benefit from one.

Briefly, an agent represents writers and their written works to publishers. They assist in the sale and negotiation between the writer and the publisher.

Let’s say you do want to try to secure one: how do you proceed?