Words to money
October 27, 2009 7:23 AM   Subscribe

(Pro)sefilter: want to sell prose. Looking for advice.

So I want to sell some work, get published. Now, for all intents and purposes, let's consider me to be unpublished. But I am confident in my words and confident in my ideas. Currently, I'm working on travel stories from my recent time in America - I'm a New Zealand citizen.

However I fear that the combination of the internet and the recession - and a generalised apathy towards the written word - means that it is particularly hard to make money writing these days.

Wise and generous denizens of Askme, I humbly request advice - preferably wide-ranging and learned - for a newcomer.
posted by schmichael to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
People are still paying for books that thrill them.
posted by meadowlark lime at 7:31 AM on October 27, 2009

It's hard to answer your question without more specifics, but check out some previously asked questions here, here, here, and here. Also check out the AskMe posts tagged with "publishing" for more good stuff.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:01 AM on October 27, 2009

You might be able to sell a story to a magazine that specializes in that topic. For example, if you did some rock climbing, maybe you could sell a story to a rock climbing magazine. Maybe a America vs New Zealand comparison or something.
posted by backwards guitar at 8:07 AM on October 27, 2009

Be aware that it's hard to make money by selling your writing, especially at first. It doesn't mean it's not possible, of course! But you might have to take some time and build up a portfolio, placing some pieces in magazines that don't pay (or pay much). Since you're interested in travel stories, you might check out the Matador network. They don't pay much, but they are fairly well-regarded and a good place for travel writers to get a start.

Good luck!
posted by Ms. Informed at 8:46 AM on October 27, 2009

Well, what kind of prose do you want to sell? Come up with a synopsis. Find an agent. Depending on the agent's requirements, you'll send him/her a query and/or a proposal for whatever you're wanting to write. If you get an agent, he or she will tell you what to do from there. Or you could self-publish and sell your work on your own. I highly recommend seeking out an agent first, but not until you've figured out what you want to do apart from just general prose.
posted by katillathehun at 11:07 AM on October 27, 2009

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