Tips for Genre Writers
Read in your genre. Each writer should read widely, but especially in their genre. It keeps you up to date with what is selling, which authors are publishing again, and lets you be aware of debut authors coming on the scene. Reading reviews of new books helps to narrow your choices, and improves your skill as a reviewer yourself. The Locus Online site posts a list of new books published in sci-fi and fantasy, along with book reviews.
Be aware of the news. Who has received the top awards in your genre this year? Do you even know what the awards are? Is there a new magazine (online or in print) published in the area you write? Is there an online forum for writers in the same field as you? These questions are important for writers as they work to become more professional members of the writing community. Locus Online lists all these things for the sci-fi and fantasy community, including a comprehensive list of awards, and an up to date monitor of news in the field.
Join a community. No writer should be a lone ranger. We need each other for encouragement, critique, and to share the excitement of publication. Not to mention help with marketing. Each of us needs to find other writers in our genre who "get" what we write.
This can include attending a convention, going to author events, and gathering like-minded writers for a local or online critique group (here's a great one for sci-fi and fantasy writers).
What else does Locus Online provide? A great blog for up-to-the-minute information. A huge list of links to web pages of interest for sci-fi and fantasy writers. And editorial perspectives from giants in the field like Cory Doctorow.
So, even if sci-fi and fantasy is not your thing, find out how you can keep up with your genre.