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  1. Get to know your local librarian or bookstore owner.
    Talk to him or her and find out what people
    are reading nowadays.

  2. Read lots of popular and award-winning books in your genre. Analyze
    what sells, what doesn’t, and what’s been done before.

  3.  Write about a passion. The more passionate you are about your topic the better your work will be.

  4. Dare to experiment. It can’t be perfect the first time, so don’t try to make it perfect. Write from your heart, and leave editing for later.

  5. Get Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. At just $7.95, it’s the best investment any writer can make. For fiction writers, I also recommend Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King. Both books are available online from Amazon.

  6. Take a course. Some community centers offer cheap or even free writing and literature classes. If your local one doesn’t, try one of the free online courses offered at Barnes and Noble University.

  7.  Read books about literature, writing, editing, and publishing. With hundreds to choose from, you’re certain to find one or more to suit your style and to answer all your questions.

  8. Edit, edit, and edit. Bad writers think they’re finished when they type the words “The End.” Good writers know the real work still lies ahead.

  9. Join a critique group. Get feedback from fellow writers about what does and doesn’t work in your writing.

  10. Share your work with those who will give you their honest opinions. Pay close attention to your audience’s reactions, and listen to what they think. If you hear the same thing from several people, they're likely to be right. Edit, edit and edit until you start hearing, "This is great. I want to read more!"