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For most authors, writing is a labor of love and not necessarily a major source of income. While you should never, ever cut corners when it comes to the quality of your writing, cutting expenses can make it possible for you to reach more publishing markets. For a more budget-friendly submission process, these thrifty ideas are right on the money!
Money-Saving Tips For Frugal Writers
Time is money—don’t waste it! This may not seem like an obvious way to save your hard-earned cash, but consider this: The less time you spend sending out your submissions, the more time you will have for earning a living, whether it’s your day job, selling pottery on Etsy, or investing in the stock market.
The best way to save time is to complete all the prep work before you start submitting your writing. Research potential markets, know submission guidelines, confirm reading dates (if applicable), and check that you’ve properly formatted and proofread your writing. Have your cover or query letter ready to go. If you’re submitting a book, you should have your entire query packet (query letter, synopsis/proposal, and first 10-12 pages) prepared.
Carefully researching and targeting the right publishing markets, rather than using an indiscriminate submit everywhere! approach, will ensure that each submission you make is worth the time (and money) you put into it.
And by preparing and organizing your work in advance, you’ll complete the submissions process in record time!
Focus on making online submissions. Many literary journals and agents prefer to receive submissions via email or online submission managers. As a budget-conscious writer, choosing markets that allow you to make electronic submissions will save you the cost of postage, ink, and paper. When you’re sending out simultaneous submissions, these expenses can quickly add up!
However, keep in mind that some journals charge a nominal fee for online submissions. Be sure to note these magazines when conducting your preliminary research so you can decide whether or not to submit your work there.
Compete on the cheap. Most writing contests require an entry fee—and there’s no guarantee you’ll win. Instead, quench your competitive spirit by submitting work to anthologies.
Cut snail mail costs. When you do use the postal service to send out submissions, keep it cost-effective. If you’re mailing a book manuscript, ask for the media postal rate. Don’t pay to have the entire manuscript returned—just include a #10 SASE for the agent’s reply. And there’s really no need to request (or pay for) tracking or signature receipts.
Resubmit your work. You often have to make more than one round of submissions with your writing. Successfully submitting work to literary journals or agents can be a numbers game; on average you might get ninety-nine No Thank Yous before you get one Yes! Since work you’ve previously sent out has already been proofread, formatted, and researched, you don’t have to spend any more money or time on those tasks. All you have to do is pick new markets (from those you have already vetted) and send!
Recycle your paper. If you are printing drafts while doing edits—save your used pages, flip them over, and print your working draft on the other side! You’ll save money on paper and make a tree very happy.
Shop smart. Save on office supplies by watching for sales and purchasing refurbished printers and refilled ink cartridges. Clip those coupons, and never pay full price!
Photo by skpy