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Getting Published – Ask Anne The Pro Writer

Hi Anne,

I’ve been writing fiction for awhile how and have some questions:
  • How do I get published?
  • Do I need to copyright or trademark my characters, locations, etc. before even talking to a publisher?
  • Can I be my own publisher?

I want to become a professional writer and have my books on the shelves for people to read/buy. I would really appreciate the help in knowing the steps I need to take to go from writing a book to having it on the shelves.

Thank you for your time in reading this and assisting me in the help I need.


Hi TG,

Let me take the easy one first. No, you do not need to copyright or trademark any of your work. Remember that ideas can’t be copyrighted, only their expression. You actually have an unofficial but defensable copyright already.

You need a copy of 2009 (well, the most current edition) Writer’s Market. It will give you lots of solid information on finding publishers, agents and how to present your work.

Yes, you can publish your work yourself. Stay tuned for self-publishing information this week. Check out What About Lulu, etc? to get a sense of those services.

Write well and often,

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

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