I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, minding my own business, when I saw a post from the literary agency, Craftsy. The post offered a free course on how to become a full-time writer. Naturally, I clicked on the link to find out more.
The premise of the post was simple: with the rise of the self-publishing industry, more and more people are finding themselves with a story to tell and the ability to write it down. Having a good, solid writing voice is only the beginning, however. You also need to know how to pitch your story to agents and editors and where to look for publishing deals. In other words, you need to learn how to get a writing job.
The Need For Writers
Writers are in high demand and there are plenty of gigs to be found. What’s more, if you learn how to pitch stories correctly, you can find work even if you don’t have a degree in literature. You just need to know how to look for the right opportunity.
Whether you’re an experienced copywriter who wants to take on a new challenge or you’re just looking for a change, there’s plenty of work available for writers who are looking for gigs. It seems like every industry hand-me-down cliché is turning out to be true: technology is creating a glut of jobs, especially ones that don’t require a traditional four-year degree. While it’s always good to have a backup plan, you should also consider this as an opportunity to establish yourself as a freelance writer.
The Four-Step Process To Becoming A Full-Time Writer
To get started, you can take advantage of the Craftsy offer and sign up for their one-stop-shop for all your writing needs. Once you’ve completed the free course, you’ll have access to their writer’s platform, which provides you with all the tools you need to build a professional-looking portfolio. You can use this platform to write and publish your own book, become a contributing writer for a magazine or newspaper, or start a blog and build a following.
As a writer, you’ll need to consider all the different platforms available to you and determine which one suits your personal style and content.
The Rise Of The Self-Publishing Industry
Let’s take a step back and remember where we came from. Back in the day, if you wanted to put out a book, you would need to find a publisher that would take on your project and print your book. If you wanted to write a magazine or newspaper article, you would need to find a media company that would take you on as a staff writer and give you the opportunities to grow and develop as a journalist. If you wanted to become a full-time novelist, you would need to find a literary agent that would handle the business end of the deal. You had to trust them to take care of everything while you focused on writing the next Great American Novel.
Today, thanks to technological advances and the self-publishing industry, anyone can become a full-time novelist. With self-publishing, you essentially run the show. You write the book, edit it, and decide what format you want to make it in. You market and distribute it yourself.
While it’s always a good idea to learn how to get a job, now is the perfect time to pursue your literary goals. Not only are there more opportunities than ever for writers, but the barriers to entry have been lowered, literally. All you need is a good idea, a willingness to learn, and some motivation.
Why Learn How To Pitch?
When it comes to becoming a full-time writer, knowledge is power. You can learn the ropes from the get-go by taking advantage of workshops and masterclasses offered by reputable organizations such as Craftsy. By understanding how to pitch a story, you will be better able to connect with an agent or editor, gain access to resources, and find out about opportunities.
Pitching is an essential element of being a successful journalist or writer. It’s not enough to simply have a good idea – you have to be able to communicate it to someone else. As a journalist, you’re used to pitching stories to editors. As a novelist, you’ll need to learn how to pitch to literary agents and publicists. Pitching is a necessary skill if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.
How To Pitch Your Story To Agents And Editors
Let’s assume you’ve decided to write a book. To reach the widest audience possible, you’ll want to pitch your story to agents and editors. After all, they have access to more media platforms and more readers.
To pitch your story to an agent, you will need to prepare a pitch package. This package should include the following elements:
- The completed manuscript,
- A short bio about yourself,
- Three sample chapters,
- A marketing plan (if you’re looking for publishing deals, the better your plan the more likely you are to get one).
The key to a successful pitch is preparation. You can’t show up to an agent’s office with your pitch and expect them to take you seriously. They will not, in all likelihood, even look at your material if you haven’t prepared any pitch materials. This is where having a good pitch outline comes in handy. You can use this outline to create the perfect pitch package, which will put you ahead of the competition.
Where Do I Find Publishing Deals?
The best place to find publishing opportunities is in the magazines and journals that specialize in literary fiction. In other words, you’re looking for a market that will pay you to read and write stories that are meant to be read by a select audience.
The downside to finding your stories in literary publications is that there will be a small audience for your work, which can lead to less exposure and, subsequently, less sales. Although, the good news is that you will have the satisfaction of knowing your story was received well by those who did read it.
What are some of the other options available to you? You could submit your story to magazines and journals that specialize in non-fiction or action-adventure. If you’ve got a comedic inclination, you could try submitting to a comedy magazine or goes where no one has gone before and submit a science fiction story to a fantasy magazine.
What you need to remember is that regardless of what type of story you write, you need to learn how to get a job as a writer. This means knowing how to pitch, which topic to focus on (and then how to promote it), and learning how to network. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to find work that suits your personal style.