HELP!!! How do you get a book published? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-25-2005, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have no idea how to go about this. Could someone please help me!?!

Thanks!
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#2 of 12 Old 01-25-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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I'm wondering about this too!
I did a google search but didn't find anything at all helpful....
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#3 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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#4 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 09:57 AM
 
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#5 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 11:44 AM
 
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do a search because there is a good thread about that somewhere in WAHMwell where a publisher commented on the process.

I sent three query letters out and it took about 3 months and they all came back in my SASE with rejections, but from what I understand you have to keep sending and be very patient when trying to get first published.
Send send send again!

Good luck!
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#6 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 11:55 AM
 
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Two ways to publish a book. Have someone do it for you, or publish it yourself.

Have someone do it for you:
Write a book proposal which includes:
An outline, 3 sample chapters, a marketing plan, and a query. Send it to agents using the Literary Agents Guide. Wait 3-6 months for a response. If someone agrees to represent you, they will shop your proposal around. If a publisher offers you a deal, then you will write the book, send it in for editing, and production, you'll get a small advance against royalties, and then you'll wait up to a year to see your book on the shelf. You'll make between 35 and 80 cents per copy sold, and you may never see a dime. Likely you'll end up taking your publisher to court to get your money. And they will drop your book as soon as the rush is over. You'll spend countless hours and money marketing and promoting your book and your publisher will reap the reward.

Or

You can self publish. Get Dan Poynter's Book "Self-Publishing Guide", write your book, have it edited and produced, get it printed, and start selling it! Get a distributor, sell it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble's websites. You'll make between $2 and $15 per sale, and your book can sell for years or as long as YOU want it to.

Can you tell I'm biased? Self publishing has been very very good to me.
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#7 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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Self-publishing can work in certain niches, but as a former publishing professional, I just want to throw out the caution that self-published works are generally not well-respected by publishing industry people. You may think, well, of course not, self-publishing means they're not getting business. But more than that, in general (and not to disparage Erin's book; it looks great!) self-published books are lower quality. When you are paying someone to edit and publish your book, they are not going to tell you that some aspect of it is bad and should be changed or chucked entirely, because they want you to pay them. They are not invested in the quality of your book the way a traditional publisher is. So, yes, big houses take money away from your profits, I guess, but they also spend money on you in terms of making sure your book is of the highest quality, and then they spend their marketing dollars on it. Literary agents are one way to go, but not always necessary. The type of book you want to publish makes a difference in how you should go about trying to get it seen. My basic advice is to research smaller but good publishing houses (and also ones that serve a particular niche--like Barefoot does a lot of fairy tales for children) and find out about their unsolicited manuscript policy and then send it to anyone who accepts unsolicited submissions, as many as possible. You will probably get a lot of rejections, but perserverance is key!

Good luck--

Beth
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#8 of 12 Old 01-27-2005, 01:16 PM
 
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Yes what Beth said is very true. I probably shouldn't disparage having a book published by a publisher. There are many cases where that is the best course of action.

In my situation I was able to sell my book directly to my readers so I had a marketing outlet that many people don't have. But I haven't run into any trouble with the book being rejected due to self publishing. I had the book professionally edited and produced, and such, and I have several distributors who are doing a great job getting the book onto store shelves.

A few advantages of going the traditional publishing route are that you don't have to do any marketing, fulfillment, and production. And you don't have to pay for the books up front either, which is nice.

And it's true, you don't need a lit agent.
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#9 of 12 Old 01-27-2005, 01:47 PM
 
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Erin, your book (I checked it out on amazon) looks like it was a good one for self-publishing. It serves a very specific niche and the people who want that information are going to seek it out. There are also likely not a lot of books out there for them, so when they find the few that exist, they will likely buy or at least look at them. But if the op's book is a novel for adults or a children's book or any number of other general mass market genres, I personally think a traditional house is best.

If you can afford self-publishing (paying for your copies upfront, and paying for a good, and honest!, editor) and can devote the time to promotion, sales, and getting distribution, then self-publishing can work. It also matters, I believe, whether your goal is to become a writer or if you simply have a great idea for a book and this is a one-off. If your goal is to become a writer, I think you need to work your way into the system. If you simply had an idea that you wanted to get out there and don't plan to write other books (or your other books would be closely related to your original idea), then perhaps it is worth costing out self-publishing.

Remember, I'm biased toward traditional houses, because my background is as someone who worked in that industry (in several different forms--educational publishing as an editor, mass market consumer mag as a proofreader and copyeditor, and a small trade mag about children's lit as an editor).

--Beth
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#10 of 12 Old 01-27-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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WOuld it work the same way if you write a children's book?
It's always been a dream of mine - I told my daughter that I would write the book and she would illustrate it
Maybe one day.....
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#11 of 12 Old 01-27-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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For a children's book, my best advice is that if you do not have any personal connections in publishing, then research which are the smaller houses that accept unsolicited submissions and first focus your energies on them. Prepare your manuscript and write a great cover letter (and I'm sure there are books out there on "how to submit your manuscript to a publisher"). And send it out to as many as will take it. As for illustrations of children's books, they generally do not want the author to have anything to do with illustrating it, unless you are a trained illustrator. They have their illustrators that they work with and they decide who will illustrate the books.

On a side note, about your wanting to write a book and have your daughter illustrate it, why not go ahead and write it and have her do the illustrations and then bind it yourselves? It would be a great project to share and a beautiful keepsake for you to have. And I'm not saying this to discourage or dismiss your desire to write and publish a book. It's just that quite honestly, a publisher is not going to want to see a manuscript with a child's drawings (yes, I know it may be ironic). Regardless of whether you pursue writing and publishing as a career for yourself, I think you should do this project with your daughter. Make two copies, one for you to keep and one for her to have always. You could even take a bookbinding class together to prepare for it.
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#12 of 12 Old 01-28-2005, 07:01 PM
 
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My mom is a published author, but I think I am not too much help. She loves, loves, loves to write. She would go to writing conferences often, and through those she met an editor. I *think* that prior to this she had won an O'Henry Award and that may have been her first published work in an actual book.

But anyway - this editor loved her work and took her to Doubleday and she ended up publishing with them. As it turns out, she hated being published. She is a very private person and she felt that it was too much having such personal info out there. Her former editor still bugs her to write more for her. :LOL

In her case, she loved writing so much that she did everything she could to be around it. I guess that came through and being published found her instead of her finding it. If you love what you do, chances are you will have great success if you stick with it.
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