Anybody here with a yen for writing? I am not what you would call well known, and I have no degree in literature, journalism, or modern media, all of which seem to be vitally important in the 'new client vetting procedures' of a number of literary agents. I tried for several years, without success, to publish a manuscript via the traditional route but hit the new writers Catch 22. A publishing house will often accept submissions only if via accredited literary agents, and literary agents will only take on writers who have previously been published via the traditional route, as 'self-publishing' does not count. Wikipedia only acknowledge, rather grudgingly, one self-publishing author, Geoffrey Chaucer, and I know this because that is what they told me when a page dedicated to a book series of mine was deleted, along with those of several other upstart 'Indies'. So, there is rather a lot of prejudice associated with self-published writers, partly through a lack of writing and grammatical skills which some Indies display, and partly due to a kind of snobbery. I went indie in order to get out of a financial hole, I sold my pages of US and UK postage stamps along with my A4 length envelopes (stamp addressed return envelopes are essential requirements for those all-important rejection notices,) and published a novel through Kindle. It was a gamble, but it worked, the bailiffs did not arrive at the door. Four years, and over a million published words later, I have no second home, nor a private jet, but I do manage to pay the important bills. Writing comes easy to some, but I am not one of those, I have to work at it. I dropped out of school in the early 70s, and it showed in my first efforts, so if you too spent your working life in practical, non-academic, careers, then a course at night school will possibly assist in apostrophication, syntax and sentence structure. Over the last few years, about a half dozen Arrse members who have asked me about getting started as a writer and I can only offer my best advice on the self-publishing route. Traditional publishing relies to an extent on luck, and connections, so if you have a manuscript, and you want to go the traditional route, I would advise that you use every advantage and if you know anyone in publishing, or even a friend of a friend who knows someone, lay on the suck-up factor because the odds are already stacked against Mr or Mrs Ordinary getting published. However, make sure that your manuscript and initial submission are edited, proofed, double spaced, and not one single word over that which was stipulated by the submissions editor. I posted a page on my blog with advice, highlighting some of the cons and pitfalls that newbies may encounter, and also giving pointers on the technical aspects of self-publishing, cover art and interior illustration. It is all free advice and may even save you unnecessary expenditure. I am not an authority on publishing, but here you will find free advice.