As an author or aspiring author, it’s easy to become consumed with the day to day tasks involved in trying to get published: attending classes, story research, writing, contacting editors and agents, etc. However, it’s important to take a moment to do some reading to stay on top of your game.
* To stay involved: One editor advises anyone trying to get published to get out and purchase a book in their genre by a first-time author at least once a month. Not only does it keep you on top of what’s out there, it supports the industry and may even inspire you toward new directions in your own manuscript.
* To stay honed: Check out a book like Susan Bell’s The Artful Edit (http://www.artfuledit.com/.) She writes for writers, and offers innovative ways to re-understand your own work; including reading aloud (to yourself or others) and arranging all your pages on the floor to better understand them visually.
* To stay current: No one has time to read all the current bestsellers. But if you want to be ready for any bookish conversation, at least try to keep up with the New York Times book review. They’re offered online at http://www.nytimes.com/pages/books/ in print and podcast form. That way, you’ll have a (very) educated opinion to offer, even if it’s not your own.