Editors want to discover you

As someone who has edited a number of anthologies — some with some very big famous names — allow me to drop a bit of encouragement your way.

All editors want to discover you.

Don’t worry if you’ve never been published before. Don’t be intimidated by all the Big Names who are already in the anthology. Don’t think you have no chance.

One of the great things about the publishing industry is that often, all that really matters is the quality of your story.

I’ve spoken to many other editors and have been on panels with them at conventions and writing seminars, and we all agree: We all want to brag that we discovered a great new writer. In fact, it’s something we can even use in the book’s promotion. It’s a plus. It’s a bonus. WE LIKE IT.

Many of the anthologies I’ve edited recently were done through kickstarter campaigns, where we get some Big Name Authors to commit to submitting a story, thus guaranteeing we can raise enough money to get the book printed. We then open it up for submissions to fill the rest of the book.

Some new authors think “My God, he’s got David Gerrold and Spider Robinson and Jonathan Maberry! I can’t compete with those best sellers!” — and then they’re too intimidated to submit their story to the anthology.

But the fact is that your story may be great. It may be exactly what the editor wants.

The editor already knows the book will be published. The editor doesn’t need more Big Names and is now looking to make the book as entertaining as possible. And if your story is good enough, the editor won’t care that you have never been published before. In fact, the editor may be thrilled that you have never been published before.

Trust me — some of my favorite stories in the anthologies I’ve edited are not from the Big Names but from the new author who either has never been published before or has only published a few times before.

All that matters is the quality of your story.

So aim high.

(However, a caveat: Don’t forget all the other basic advice when submitting a story. Don’t screw up your chance by ignoring the guidelines, having lots of grammatical and spelling errors, or pissing off the editor in other ways.)

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