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5 Pieces of Bad Advice Literary Fiction Writers Get About Publishing

Are literary fiction writers getting bad advice about publishing?

by Mike Sahno

I’ll go out on a limb right off the bat and say that most writers get at least some bad advice somewhere along the way. Literary fiction writers are no exception.

Now, I’m an indie author who formed his own company to publish his novels, and I categorize them as “literary” – I’ll let future generations determine whether they’ve really reached that lofty stratosphere of literary fiction. But I can say for sure that I did the best I could on all three of them.

I haven’t received all the bad advice listed below, but I’ve been on the receiving end of a few bits and bytes over time. Here are the worst:

1) “Just Hang in There Until You Find an Agent or Publisher.”

If there’s anyone subject to Death By Committee in writers’ groups, those of us trying to write classics must be the most vulnerable. If we keep taking chapters to a group before an editor ever sees them, they keep getting marked up.

Literary fiction writers know that the market for our work is not as big as, say, Mystery or Paranormal. So we often figure we need one of the Big Five publishers.


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