Tricks of the Trade: Writing on a budget - Before you spend the first dollar


Vision 72


Tricks of the Trade:

Writing on a budget - Before you spend the first dollar


G R Colorado

Copyright © 2013, G R Colorado, All Rights Reserved




While the art of writing itself is free, it is by no means a low budget career. Writers pay an average of fifteen to thirty dollars per shipping between the USA and Canada. Even more for niche market writers shipping partial or entire manuscripts or querying internationally.


And that’s just shipping the finished product. Attending classes, seminars and purchasing books to improve the craft can cost a nice chunk of change. Don’t pull your hair out yet, we haven’t touched building that ever growing platform or the cost of continuously promoting your work.


In addition to writing for enjoyment, professional writers write for publication and to pay bills. Writing time is freed when income out-weights expenses. I’m not an account –except when balancing my own books – and don’t want to spend my creative juices figuring how to double a dollar. Here are some tips to save when writing for publication:




A query is a one page letter written to attract the attention of potential agents or publishers. It is often the initial correspondence when breaking into the market.


The method of querying has changed over the years. Expanding from snail mail to e-mail allowing writers faster response time at a more affordable cost. When looking for a new market – especially if you’re a multi-submitter – consider markets that accept e-mail queries first. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many markets also accept entire manuscripts via e-mail.



  • Follow their formatting and submissions guidelines
  • Never leave the subject line empty. Something as simple as ‘TITLE – GENRE’ will keep the publisher/agent from hitting delete
  • Query only when the manuscript is ready (This is a two for one – time and money saver)


Targeting your markets remains the most effective way to save on time and money. If you exhaust your list of e-mail markets you now have a narrowed list of potential markets suitable for your genre.




Many writers I know don’t consider freelancing while they’re plugging away at their manuscripts in progress, hoping to make that big sale. Many new writers don’t make a big sale on their first novel – Don’t think so?


By all means, if you have the finance, focus solely on that one project. But many professional writers don’t have that luxury. Professional writers know the importance of self-promoting and keeping their work in the public eye. This brings me to building a platform;




Copyright law was created to protect creators of original works. While copyright does not cover titles, ideas and information, it does cover the ways in which they are expressed, giving the artist and author exclusive rights to their works.


Some writers are under the impression that a work is not protected under the copyright law if it is not registered. That is simply not true. Your work is protected from the time your pen brushes across the paper. Does it strengthen the legal footing of the creative holder against damages? Absolutely. But is not necessary, and in most cases, singles the author as a newbie among publishers. Copyright extends to countries covered by an international copyright treaty. Familiarising yourself with the copyright law in your country can save you unnecessary expense.



  • Try these sites for more information on copyright and electronic copyright
    • United States Copyright Office:
    • For Canadian’s try Canadian Intellectual Property Office: