The last sea; the final C… maybe. This one will be the hardest and possibly the longest voyage you will have of all the C's discussed. For some, writing the story is the easy part, trying to sell and collect money, is the hardest. If you don't submit your work, it definitely won't be published and you definitely won't collect any money. Bill Alexander of the art world always said: You can not have light without dark. That is true in the world of being an author. You can not get published without submitting. Stephen King doesn't have a 6-digit income because he keeps his stories in a file cabinet.
Better to be rejected than to never know.
A good philosophy is to analyze the market for the story, then select five places to mail it to. Just to make sure we are all in the same boat, always start with the better paying markets first. Make your story shine and as perfect as possible! Send out your story making sure you've met the guidelines requested. If a paycheck comes back. Great. Otherwise, you probably got a rejection letter which should be quickly reviewed and, if you agree, adjustments made. Get out the list of five, check off the first one and mail your manuscript to the next one on the list. This all should happen in less than 24 hours.
If you have just received your story back from the fourth place on your list, when you send it out to the last listed name, once more, review all the notes. Now, re-evaluate your markets and find five more places to mail your story out to for possible publication. Repeat this process as many times as needed.
Non-paying markets should not be relegated the unusable category. I had a friend who said she would rather allow her work to collect in the drawer of her desk than give it away. Think about that for a minute. Would it be better to have your story published for no money than not printing the story, at all? I once read where somebody said "A writer saves stories in drawers, an author gets published." Evaluate the non-paying markets and decide which would sound the most impressive listed as a publishing credit. Yes, even non-paying markets are publishing credits.
Oh, look! Another "C" to discuss...
You’ve seen it… © But what does it mean?
When submitting a story or article for possible publication, do NOT slap a copyright on it. That denotes an amateur. The minute you wrote the piece, it was copyrighted and you were protected.
BUT, if you are going to place it on a web page, make sure you’ve got it visible. Yes, even if it is your web site, it should have the copyright listed.
Another topic - TRADEMARKS/NAMES
And you've seen this… ® or ™ What are they? At the most common denominator - legalities to be dealt with.
You can’t xerox a copy, but you can make a photocopy. You can’t grab a kleenex, but you can grab a tissue. And never take a bayer, but you can take an aspirin.
Funny I should use the last example. At one time, aspirin was a real company name for a headache pain reliever. BUT, due to negligence in copyright protection by the company, the word drifted into common usage and by the time the company decided to fight the battle, it was too late. So, in other words: You can make a Xerox® copy OR use the Xerox® copier; but never, ever go xerox a copy. If you do, the Xerox company will come looking for you!
I hope you've enjoyed this trip through the 7 C's of Writing.