I gave a lot of thought to what the most helpful thing I’ve learned about publishing so far is, and honestly, my list is kind of short. But that’s because it’s only been four months or so since since I learned I’d reached my dream of becoming a published author.

Which means most of the lessons I’m likely to learn, I haven’t yet, because I’m just not that far into the process. But there is one that stands out in my mind. One thing that unpublished writers talk about, worry about, obsess over, and think about every time they know an editor is going to be looking at their work. At least, I know I did. So, for me, learning this lesson was a biggie. Are you ready for it? Yes? Okay, here goes…

It doesn’t matter what font you use on your manuscript, as long as it’s readable.

I’m totally serious. The editors don’t care. At all. But yet, it’s something that unpublished writers really do obsess over. Questions like: What font do I use? What size? Should I use italics or underline the words I want italicized? are asked at writing conventions, chapter meetings, and from one writer to another constantly.

Okay, so I’m being a little silly here, but what I’ve said is true—and it leads into what the most helpful thing I’ve really learned so far is: don’t stress over the little stuff. Your story is what matters—not the font it’s typed in.

Oh—and editors? They really are people, and they’re approachable, and they really care about the books they take on. So yeah, that’s what I’ve learned so far. But I’m sure I’ll learn more, so ask me again in a year!


Tracy Madison’s debut, A TASTE OF MAGIC, will be available in March. For more, visit her website at www.tracymadison.com.