Beginner's Guide to Getting Published

Beginner's Guide to Getting Published

Get your writing directly into the hands of an editor and on the shelves of your favorite stores. This course, taught by a successful journalist and author, will help you understand every step of the publishing process and how to give yourself the credibility publishers notice.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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Do you know the five most common reasons why manuscripts are instantly rejected? If your goal is to become a published freelance writer of fiction or nonfiction for books or magazines, this comprehensive course will help you guide your work directly into the hands of an editor and onto the shelves of your favorite stores.

Your success in the writing game will be determined by the amount of credibility publishers attach to you and your work. This course will teach you how to give yourself the kind of credibility you need to succeed. This course will provide you with instant access to critical information most other writers don't discover for years and will walk you through every step of the publishing process. If you really want to be a writer, this course will give you all the tools you need to get published.


As an unpublished writer, what you don't know could hold you back. What you learn here in this first lesson will help you understand what to look for and what to avoid in the publishing industry, as well as how to reach your publishing goals. By learning how to get published quickly and often, you should be well on your way to a lifetime of publishing success!

In this lesson, you'll learn why it's difficult to break into the world of publishing, why publishers prefer to work with published writers, and why editors can be as choosy as they want to be. It'll also teach you about five of the easiest publishing markets.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to use writing contests to gain publishing credibility. It'll provide you with examples to steer you away from contest scams, and show you how to find legitimate writing contests. Then it'll discuss how to retain some rights to your work and resell your contest submissions.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to format a manuscript for submission to a publisher. You'll find out how to narrow down your chances of rejection by making sure you follow all the submission guidelines. You'll learn all the basic manuscript mechanics, from paper to font choices. Then you'll go over all the formatting rules, including the importance of saving your work.

In this lesson, you'll learn the final steps to prepare your manuscript for submission. If publishers perceive you as careless or sloppy in any way, they may reject your manuscript without ever reading it. Publishers don't need to waste their time with writers who submit unpolished material. You'll also learn how to create a submission log to track your manuscripts for future reference.

This is perhaps the most important lesson of all. Before submitting your work to a publisher, make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your work against copyright infringement. That means ensuring your work has copyright protection, as well as maintaining rights to sell the work again and again if desired. This lesson will tell you everything you need to know about that. You'll also learn about using pseudonyms.

Once you've completed your manuscript—that is, finished writing, editing, proofreading, formatting, and printing it—you've reached the halfway point of your publishing process. Finding the right publisher and publishing method for your work can mean the difference between a novel on the best-seller list and a garage full of unsold books. This lesson will teach you how to do that and also go over the pros and cons of subsidy publishing and self-publishing.

A query letter is a very important part of the submission process. In this lesson, you'll learn what a query letter is and why it's important to your submission. You'll see how to format a query letter, including what information you should include and what you should leave out. You'll also learn when and how to submit your queries to a publisher.

Your manuscript must be packaged and delivered to a publisher in a professional manner. In this lesson, you'll learn how to mail your manuscript, including how to submit photos and illustrations with your submission. You'll also learn what a simultaneous submission is and when you can use this method of submission. This lesson will also show you how to evaluate the offers and rejections you receive from publishers following your submissions.

You'll learn all about literary agents in this lesson. An agent isn't a necessity for most submissions, but one is recommended for certain publisher contract negotiations. You'll learn when, where, and why to get an agent to represent you. You'll discover why finding a reputable agent is just as important as finding a reputable publisher. You'll also explore agent contracts, fees, and publisher contract terms.

In your writing and publishing efforts, it's important to remember that you aren't alone in this venture. There are millions of other writers out there who can offer you information, inspiration, and encouragement when you need it. In this lesson, you'll learn how to connect with other writers. You'll also learn what to do when you're face to face with that dreaded writer's block. If you can't think of anything to write, how will you ever get published?

In the last lesson, you'll learn that there are certain publishing taboos that you should avoid. Neither talent nor determination will help you if you fail to follow simple publisher guidelines. You'll also learn how to format the items that publishers request following acceptance of your manuscript. In addition, you'll learn about the future of publishing.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


LeeAnne Krusemark

LeeAnne Krusemark is a journalist, published author, successful business owner, and adjunct professor. LeeAnne began her career in journalism, working as a reporter, then editor, then managing editor for various newspapers in New York and California. She started a successful writing/public relations business in 1988, and has served as Chamber of Commerce president. She is the published author of countless newspaper and magazine articles and two non-fiction books. LeeAnne also spends time guest lecturing about business and writing at a number of colleges, including Purdue and Kent State University.


I just heard that a major magazine is publishing an article I submitted last week. Before submitting, I meticulously followed the formatting guidelines from this class and was shocked at how much better it looked. I guess first impressions do make a difference.

Thank you for helping me get the courage to write a controversial piece. I am currently involved with having my name listed on a book that is in the process of being published. It will be exciting to walk into Barnes & Noble and find my name on the title page of a book!

There sure are a lot of things you need to know before you can even think about getting your work published. It's not just about the writing - that's the easy part! Now that I have all this information, I'm more focused than before. Thanks!

This course was extremely helpful to me. I have already won $200 in a writing contest that I only entered because of a class assignment, and I just got word that an article I wrote is scheduled to be published in the fall! Thanks to Ms. Krusemark for all of her instruction. I'm on my way now!

This is my second time taking this course. I took it first five years ago, and it got me started writing and filling in the gaps in my writing skills. I have since that time had 22 pieces published - articles, short stories and essays.

Since I'd already read several books about getting published I wasn't sure how useful this class would be, but it was definitely worth my time. You introduced me to some great tools and taught me to use them properly. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and found myself looking forward to each lesson. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your expertise with me and your other students.

I had taken another publishing course last year, but I was not confident to go forward with submitting short stories, poems and a completed manuscript. With everything I have learned through your course, I am very excited to move forward with my plans.

My main reason for taking this course was first, to learn how to do things right, and second how to avoid making novice mistakes. Now that I have taken your course I feel more confident that I can proceed on the right track and I want to thank you for your knowledge, references, and a solid background of how to proceed successfully.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I discovered the depth and scope of this course. You have answered all of the many questions I have had about publishing. Now, thanks to your step-by-step, in depth publishing course, I can publish my many stories...Thank you so much!

Thank you so much for building this course. I felt like a little kid left in the big city when I imagined what trying to get anything published would be like. Now, it's not that scary. I know I can do this! You've made a huge difference for me and my dream!

Self-Guided Course Code: T9850
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: bgp