All posts by Victoria Griffin



Understand Traditional vs. Self-Publishing

Some of the most common questions I get asked working at a traditional publishing house are: Why go traditional in today's market? Why not self-publish? Aren't people making bank without all those hoops to jump through? My answer is always the same: There are pros and cons to both avenues. Here, I give you the benefits and drawbacks of each process and the information you need to decide what's the best route for you.

First, you need to know my background. I have worked in traditional publishing for six years, but I have also been heavily involved in the creation of a self-published book. This has given me enough knowledge, along with all the articles I've read on the subject, to speak on this topic. I have made a conscious effort to be as unbiased as possible. Without further ado, let's dive in, starting with the "traditional" route. ...

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Why You Should Find a Freelancer Friend

Are you friends with a freelancer or two? You should be! We are the best. We’re fun to hang out …

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Compare Your Writing Quirks [Infographic]

Writers can be a bit odd. Sometimes we feel like the strangest people in the world. We talk to ourselves when no one is around (and when they are). We perform strange habits and rituals to help the words flow. We people-watch habitually.

The good news is we’re in good company! Writers throughout history have had weird quirks and habits, including some of the best authors of all time. Custom Writing has put together this infographic of famous writers’ quirks. ...

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Format for Success

Whether you’re submitting a short story or a novel, formatting your work correctly is one of the simplest things you can do to give your piece a fighting chance at acceptance. The hard truth is that agents and editors are looking for reasons not to accept your work. They receive dozens of submissions every day, and incorrect formatting makes for an easy rejection. Why?

1. Correct formatting proves you can follow directions.

If the agent or publication has formatting specifics listed on their website, following them is easy. They don’t want to work with a writer who can’t or doesn’t care to follow simple instructions. If you can’t format your piece correctly for submission, you’re likely not going to be fun to work with during revisions.

2. Incorrectly formatted work is difficult to read.

Formatting rules are not arbitrary. When you’re poring through large amounts of submissions, readability is paramount. Formatting guidelines are designed to make the text easier on the eyes. The goal is to keep the agent or editor from thinking about the formatting at all. If they’re concentrating on how much the font hurts their eyes, they’re not thinking about your work. ...

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Addressing Snobbery in Publishing

I work with all different types of authors, those who are hoping to secure a publishing deal, those who are chasing the self-publishing dream and even a couple who have gone on to secure a deal with one of the big five (or six, or whatever it is). Some of these writers are brilliant, some are really talented, some are steady, dependable story tellers who can spin a good yarn, some aren’t that great, some have accepted help and advice and have improved in leaps and bounds, a few I have advised to go right back to the drawing board and there have been a handful who I have had to advise that writing is perhaps not the path for them (this is at the sample edit stage – I never take a penny from authors in this situation).

You might be surprised to know that most of the authors that I’d put in the first three categories are self-published.

Some of these have chosen this path and some have had it foist upon them, as it were, as they have been unable to find representation. Plenty of them are far better, more skilful storytellers than some of those that have secured representation and publishing deals. ...

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Writers, Get Your Wands

You know the story. Harry’s eleven years old when he gets his letter. A few days later, there’s a large man with an umbrella turning his cousin into a pig and saying, “Yer a wizard, Harry.”

That’s sort of like becoming a writer.

When you’re eleven—or ten, or six—you tell your first story. You write it down and show it to a parent, teacher, or friend. And they like it. Something fires up in your brain, and you know you’re going to be doing this for a long, long time.

Writing makes you feel whole and free in a way that nothing else does. It’s not an easy journey, mind you. There are plenty of hurdles. Sometimes the writing itself can feel nearly impossible. Sometimes friends and family won’t understand why you dedicate so much time and energy to a “hobby.” And sometimes the rejection letters will feel like evil creatures tormenting you. ...

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