Thanks to fellow emerging author Stina Rose from Scroll Bag for her comment yesterday. Stina, I'm glad you found the information here helpful! It's good to get in touch with fellow emerging authors. More authors = more stories = more readers. Simple as that!
Here are some useful links for those just getting started on the road to publishdom:
One of the first things I did after I decided I wanted to get published was attend a writer's conference hosted by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers' Group. To find a local writers' association that hosts conferences near you, click here. It's a list in progress - let me know if I missed anything!
After that, I decided to start a small writers' group near my hometown. (I would have joined one, but there weren't any close enough.) Check your local writers' association for writers' groups in your area. If you decide to start your own group, read this article for tips and tricks. Wondering whether an online group would work better for you? Here's a comparison of online and offline writers' groups.
And of course, start connecting as soon as possible with other writers! If you haven't already, create your own blog. Posting regularly to a blog will get you in the habit of writing, and it will expose readers to your work. Just don't get addicted ;) Twitter is another great way to meet authors, publishers, editors, you name it. Follow the people I'm following to start building your network. They'd love to meet you!
Also, here's some encouraging news: I went to Target today, and what did I see but a whole end-cap display with books by emerging authors! Good to know that large corporations have our backs. Now all I have to find out is how to get a book displayed there...