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How To Get A Book Published

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Featured Topic: How to Get Your Book Published

How To Get A Book Published

Post Number:#1  Postby Scott » 22 Jan 2008, 00:39

How To Get A Book Published
by Scott Hughes

Many people want to write a book and have it published. However, very few ever have a successful book published. Just like "making it big" in any art form, becoming a rich or famous author takes a lot of hard work, talent, and perseverance.

To get a book published, you first need to find a literary agent. You do this by sending query letters to agents. Generally, you want to write a short, concise, one-page letter telling the agent about yourself and the book you want to write. You also probably want to tell the agent about how you found him or her. You can find agents in various directories; try doing a Google search.

If your query interests an agent, the agent will then ask to see an outline or synopsis of the book. Such a synopsis needs to follow strict rules regarding formal outlines, so you will need to learn how to write one if you do not already know. You probably want to write the outline even if an agent has not asked for it yet. That way you will have it ready when an agent wants it.

Most agents will only consider an offer exclusively. In other words, each agent will want you to send your synopsis to him or her only while he or she makes a decision. So when you send an agent your synopsis, tell the agent that you will not send it to any other agents until you receive a response. You also probably want to set a time limit for the agent to send you a response in case the agent takes too long or does not respond at all.

Remember, you may have to query a lot of agents before one shows interest. And you may have to send your synopsis to a lot of agents before one decides to represent you.

Once an agent decides to represent you, they will try to get a publisher to agree to publish your book. The agent will work out the details of the agreement with the publisher, but you will have the final decision of whether or not to accept what the publisher offers.

The publisher will generally pay you an advance to write your book, assuming you have not written it already. Writing the book will also entail working with editors. You will go through many drafts and make a lot of revisions before you have the final manuscript.

Once you already have an agent and a publisher, the agent will help you understand the rest of the process. The agent makes money based on your success, so the agent will want to help you succeed.

During the entire process, most importantly, you want to remember that most agents do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Start with a query letter, and prepare for a lot of rejection. You may have to go through nearly 50 agents before you come close to signing your novel.

Whatever you do, good luck and have fun!

About the author: Scott Hughes owns and manages an internet-based book club for readers. You can discuss books and writing at the Book and Reading Forums.
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"Only the descent into the hell of self-knowledge can pave the way to godliness." -Immanuel Kant
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How to get a book published

Post Number:#2  Postby Denis » 09 Jan 2010, 17:28

The world is changing. Publishing books is getting easier if you can find the right media and publishing company. I just found a new company that will be publishing ebooks only and that are looking for writers. I signed up with them to sell my book and it will be available for sale when their site goes live in February 2010. If you are serious about getting published and tired of getting rejected check them out at wsicebooks.
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Post Number:#3  Postby AdamWest » 07 Feb 2010, 17:24

I hope I get to do this myself some day, terrific post
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Post Number:#4  Postby JoshBransonTeacher » 23 Feb 2010, 19:35

Great information! Getting published is a dream of mine...thanks for the inspiration.
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Post Number:#5  Postby lagym888 » 01 Mar 2010, 17:43

Its my dream to publish my own book. Thank you for sharing those information. It really inspire me :)
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Post Number:#6  Postby JoshBransonTeacher » 02 Mar 2010, 22:30

lagym888 - we are kindred spirits. Good luck with your goal!
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Post Number:#7  Postby ResearchScholar » 31 Mar 2010, 22:49

Most writers will eventually discover that product development -- i.e., writing a book -- is the easy part. Getting it published is also the easy part.

The excruciatingly difficult parts are distribution and marketing. Even if you have a great product, without any visibility -- through distribution and marketing -- it will be buried.
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Post Number:#8  Postby dollhouse » 03 Apr 2010, 22:26

this is great info but it also scares me that i'll never actually get published :-/
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Post Number:#9  Postby ResearchScholar » 04 Apr 2010, 11:59

dollhouse wrote:this is great info but it also scares me that i'll never actually get published :-/


There is something worse than not getting published. It is getting published and then having your work completely ignored by all and sundry. That is the most dispiriting thing to happen. If need be I can elaborate, since I am a published writer (with 3 books to my name).
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Post Number:#10  Postby dollhouse » 04 Apr 2010, 14:05

yes, please do. i'm definitely looking to hear about others' experiences on the subject.
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Post Number:#11  Postby ResearchScholar » 04 Apr 2010, 20:33

dollhouse wrote:yes, please do. i'm definitely looking to hear about others' experiences on the subject.


Most people of any intellect would have a book in them. But what they think may be of interest to the reading public may not be shared by many others. However, if someone has latched on to a good idea that few have explored, then go for it. Write it. But if you write it then take note of the following The vast majority of books do not ignite on their own in the public's imagination without extensive publicity, whether it be book reviews or marketing. If you think a publisher and its distributor will spend time and effort marketing your book, think again. To most large publishing houses, if you are not a star author, you are merely one of dozens that they carry on their lists. They will put in the very minimum of effort for your work.

To surmount all these issues, someone who is in the process of writing a book should, before he completes the last chapter, put in place an elaborate plan and distribution infrastructure, to get the book publiciity and marketed upon its publication. In other words the author has to invest some of his own money in distribution and marketing if he/she is so confident of the value of the work produced. That is why I said earlier on that product development -- writing a book -- is the easy part. The real challenge is distribution and marketing.
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Post Number:#12  Postby TechKnow » 13 Apr 2010, 21:10

Well, I have to say... I just took a "Damn the Torpedoes" go at it.

I spent the time, focused on the book and Viola' it was done.

Then I did not really know what to do. I needed an editor, I needed a publisher and someone to do the cover. Everything was so overwhelming (let's not even get into my actual life that did not seem to care and just relentlessly soldiered on regardless of my aspirations).

So my book sat on my hard drive. And sat... And sat...

Eventually one day, I opened it... I did my best to edit it (ok be gentle I did my best). Then I whipped up a cover in Photoshop.

I created an account and self published though Lulu dot com (sorry can't post URLs yet). It cost me nothing and I got a free ISBN.

My book is now on Amazon and I am hoping to see some sales before long. The book is entitled "What Every Website Owner Needs to Know" and took me about 18 months to write. I spent about 45 minutes a day before work and it just came together.

Lulu was relatively easy and a good alternative for me. The whole process of getting published was simply too daunting. With a wife and kids and all that goes with it, writing the dang thing was tough enough.

I am now working on a sci-fi novel. I have a good 20 or so pages written.

How nice it would be to actually make money doing this...
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Post Number:#13  Postby ResearchScholar » 13 Apr 2010, 21:28

TechKnow wrote: How nice it would be to actually make money doing this...


Well, that is the key -- making some money out of the project. Ultimately that is the measurement of whether the book is a sucess or not.

All the best with your book!
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Post Number:#14  Postby TechKnow » 14 Apr 2010, 15:22

ResearchScholar wrote:
TechKnow wrote: How nice it would be to actually make money doing this...


Well, that is the key -- making some money out of the project. Ultimately that is the measurement of whether the book is a sucess or not.

All the best with your book!


True! Still, it is something to actually have something in print...

Kinda like Steve Martin in "The Jerk" when he first sees his name in the phone book...

I really need to get a life... I have been staring at computer screens too long.
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Post Number:#15  Postby ResearchScholar » 14 Apr 2010, 23:13

TechKnow wrote:
ResearchScholar wrote:
TechKnow wrote: How nice it would be to actually make money doing this...


Well, that is the key -- making some money out of the project. Ultimately that is the measurement of whether the book is a sucess or not.

All the best with your book!


True! Still, it is something to actually have something in print...

Kinda like Steve Martin in "The Jerk" when he first sees his name in the phone book...

I really need to get a life... I have been staring at computer screens too long.


Yes, I can understand this, especially if you are self-published.

However, for anyone who has a manuscript published by one of the known publishing houses, there is tremendous expectation that, after all the effort, the book is widely distributed. The reality out there is that many books merely sell a few hundred copies and even fewer. If a book sells 2000 copies and goes into a reprint, that in and of itself may be considered a success The icing on the cake is if the author also gets invitations to speaking events.

That is why I reaffirm the point I made earlier, upthread, that publishing a book is the easy part. It is marketing and distribution which is the real challenge. If aspiring authors have not given much serious thought to this issue -- and how they, and not others, are going to surmount it -- then I think they would be setting themselves up for great disappointment.
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