Inventing Reality: A Guide to Writing Science Fiction

Getting published

How do you submit your short story or novel for publication? What's the difference between a blockbuster and a midlist book? The topics on this page address these and many other publishing-related questions.


Manuscript basics 
When submitting a story to a magazine or a book publisher, your story should appear in a specific format.
Don't trust your spell check
So you’ve got your story typed in manuscript form and are about to send it out. You decide to do one more spell check before printing the final copy. Good idea, right? Wrong.
Get-it-in-the-mail syndrome
Before sending any piece, make sure you’ve done more than just write the piece. Revising almost always is a key step on the way to publication.
Manuscript editors
For beginning writers, an outside editor is a useful step in helping develop your craftsmanship. After all, no apprentice becomes a master without a mentor.
Word counts
When you’re deciding where to send your story for publication, pay close attention to the directions about word counts. Editors have only so much space for a story, and if your story goes over the word count, it won’t fit the space and so likely will be rejected.
Heinlein's Rules
Science fiction great Robert Heinlein said writers only needed to follow five simple steps to ensure they were published authors. These steps since have been coined “Heinlein’s Rules”.
Submitting do's and don'ts
Now that you’re ready to send out a short story or novel, there are some professional guidelines to follow.
Markets for science fiction short stories
So you’ve written a science fiction short story. Where are you going to send it?