Advice on Getting First Short Sci-Fi Story Edited and Published


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Thread: Advice on Getting First Short Sci-Fi Story Edited and Published

  1. #1

    Advice on Getting First Short Sci-Fi Story Edited and Published

    Hello, new member here - nice to meet everybody.

    I've written fiction as a hobby on the side for 15+ years now, since I was in school. I'm trying to get back into it and actually take a serious stab and finishing and publishing some work. That said, I'm looking for some advice as to how to break into the market and succeed. It has always been a dream of mine to get published in a well-known publication.

    I currently have a longer science fiction short story (novelette / 16K words) which I am trying to have published. I am aware of a few magazines that do accept longer submissions - Analog and Asimov's for example. It is my hope to be published here (granted I understand this is a very competitive place to be published).

    Since this would be my first time publishing, I am trying to figure out how to proceed with finding an Editor, if I need one at all. I have had several Beta readers, including one friend in particular who has a much more critical eye for writing. I have done a serious amount of editing and rewriting .... countless hours.

    1. Is it worth getting a Substantive Editor, and a Copy Editor? I can afford it, but I don't want to throw money away.
    2. How do I know when something is "done" / "good enough" to pass the test of submitting for publication?
    3. Any other advice on breaking into the market?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    How well do you know these markets you intend to submit to?
    You may consider subscribing to them if you do not already.
    Get to know their content so you understand how they are trending.


    You could start with the Writer's Guide for publishers, see who is looking for shorts.
    But these days it seems like even if you have the Guide, you are still expected to check their website for updates before submitting...so why did I pay $20 for the Writer's Guide...?

    Find the markets you want to sell to, follow their submission guidelines, send in queries, and only pay attention to the responses. Some never respond, so don;t waste your emotional energy wondering when they will reply. Query and steam on.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rexofficial View Post
    Most times it could get hard detecting your own errors. It's always best to hire a professional editor. Check for recommended professional editors
    I agree with that. My question is more towards the general standards for short story submission - and when to fork over the $$ to hire an editor (thus losing any potential money made on the story getting published) vs just using using beta readers, self-editing, etc.... It isn't that I am worried about spending the money, its just that I am not sure what I should be doing.

    I understand that some publications have their own editor that would edit your work after being submitted too - but I assume its just basic editing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    How well do you know these markets you intend to submit to?
    You may consider subscribing to them if you do not already.
    Get to know their content so you understand how they are trending.


    You could start with the Writer's Guide for publishers, see who is looking for shorts.
    But these days it seems like even if you have the Guide, you are still expected to check their website for updates before submitting...so why did I pay $20 for the Writer's Guide...?

    Find the markets you want to sell to, follow their submission guidelines, send in queries, and only pay attention to the responses. Some never respond, so don;t waste your emotional energy wondering when they will reply. Query and steam on.
    Thank you, I appreciate that advice, and this was my thought exactly - to monitor and read the content currently being accepted to see if I can find a "fit".
    Last edited by Darren White; July 19th, 2020 at 07:17 AM. Reason: removed link

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Daveallen10 View Post
    I agree with that. My question is more towards the general standards for short story submission - and when to fork over the $$ to hire an editor (thus losing any potential money made on the story getting published) vs just using using beta readers, self-editing, etc.... It isn't that I am worried about spending the money, its just that I am not sure what I should be doing.
    I'm in the same boat and decided to view any potential money earned from publication as something to offset the cost of an editor.

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