how to get a book published?

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how to get a book published?

Postby whyme on January 14th, 2016, 6:39 pm 

Hi out there!
I wanna get tips for getting published, some of you might be through this process already and therefore I am asking for your epxert knokledge - anything to be considered when there is an almost finished manuscript? Where to go now and who to contact?
Thank you so much in advance! I am writing since a long time now, poetry and other stuff, I ever dreamed of holding my own book in my own hands, but never had the punch to get further than just writing ...
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Paralith on January 14th, 2016, 6:52 pm 

What you can do now is start researching literary agents, what they are and how to find a trustworthy one, then finding individual agents and looking up what kind of work they're interested in and if yours would qualify. You can also start researching what a query letter is and how to write one. But do not, DO NOT, actually send anything to any literary agent until you have a finished, polished, ready to go manuscript in your hands. Because if someone requests to see it, you need to be ready and put your best foot forward.

This is the start of the traditional path to publishing, anyway. A literary agent who takes you on will then start showing your work to the big publishing companies. Most of the companies will not look at anything that isn't filtered through literary agents, thus why you need an agent. But there are other paths to publication as well, which include smaller independent presses that you can approach without an agent, or self publishing. Smaller presses have fewer resources and shorter reach into the market, but they are more accessible than the big publishers. With self publishing, you really have to do it all yourself. Editing, formatting, submission, publicity, marketing. But, you can do it anytime you want.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby DragonFly on January 14th, 2016, 8:02 pm 

You can use createspace.com to get it out on Amazon.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby BadgerJelly on January 15th, 2016, 3:31 am 

Send synopsis and first part of your piece NOT the complete piece.

Also simply showing your face at various places may help. Often the personal touch goes a long way and also helps you develop contacts in the industry.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Ormond on January 15th, 2016, 11:13 am 

Here's a site which may help with self publishing.

https://www.lulu.com/

"Since introducing self-publishing in 2002, Lulu.com has empowered creators in more than 225 countries and territories to produce nearly two million publications."
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Paralith on January 15th, 2016, 10:30 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Send synopsis and first part of your piece NOT the complete piece.


The requirements for what you send will vary depending on the agent/publisher you are submitting to. Some want the first five pages, some want the first three chapters, some want nothing at all but the query (which is not the same as a synopsis). Do your research and find out what the requirements are before you send anything to anyone.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby whyme on January 27th, 2016, 6:46 pm 

An agent or publisher to find will be the hardest task I guess - and of course I am also the opninon that everything should be ready as for showing it if requested. Yes, I am constantly working on this know, to have it all together - what else does one need besides a manuscript? Like an abstract of it? What would you suggest?
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Paralith on January 27th, 2016, 8:20 pm 

As I already said, you need to look up what query letters are and how to write one. For most agents and publishers, the query letter is the very first thing they want to see, and if its not good enough, they won't look at anything else. Basically, a query letter is a 200-300 word pitch that will tell the agent what your story is about, and try to hook their interest. There are a lot of good resources and examples online. Some agents and publishers may in addition want a synopsis, just a summary that tells everything that happens in the book (yes, even the twist ending), but the size requirements for this will vary, and this isn't as hard to write. I'd wait on that until you have your set list of people you will apply to and you know what their individual requirements are.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby whyme on January 29th, 2016, 6:56 pm 

Good advice in any way. Just one question came to my mind, what is more important, is it really to have an agent, I would have first of all thought about how to find a publsiher, that is interested in me and my manuscript?
Also a big Yes for the advice of looking that up, I already found some sheets for the query letter.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Paralith on January 29th, 2016, 9:02 pm 

Most big publishers will ONLY look at work sent to them by an AGENT. If you, by yourself, send something to them, they will delete it and not look at it. You have to get an agent first, then your agent will be the one talking to the publisher on your behalf.

Like I already said, there are some smaller publishers and independent publishers that may look at your work without an agent. But you have to find them and check their rules. Some will look at non-agented work for just a few months out of the year. Some will look at it year round, some will always require agents just like the bigger publishers. You have to do your research and find out what each publisher's requirements are.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Serpent on January 30th, 2016, 10:33 am 

Your library almost certainly has a recent issue of Writers' Market - also separate books for Poetry and Scripts. It lists all the publishers, the kind of manuscript they're interested in and their rules for submission, has a section on literary agents and helpful information on the forms and protocols.

What you should avoid: any agency that offers to 'critique' your work for a set amount of money. They're mostly scams: will take your money and send you a slightly-modified form letter that lists all the mistakes amateur writers generally make, whether you actually made them or not, and reject you. (I helped with this survey about 30 years ago, and maybe things have changed. But the basic premise still holds: don't give anybody money unless you have a contract for a specified service.)

What you should definitely do: get a very good editor (a friend or relative; professional editors charge by the page) and at least two unbiased readers (and listen to them! with wide open ears). You may be in love with it, but your work is not the very best that it can be. Make it the very best that it can be, before sending it out to strangers. Many publishers still require hard copy, which can get pretty expensive to copy and mail. Many others accept electronic submissions.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby whyme on January 31st, 2016, 6:11 pm 

Serpent: Yes, a load full of good tips in any way, especilly the Do Nots! Of course it is better to be careful also to who you show the manuscript and how much of it. Like there is a lot of persons that will offer help, I think it always good to shoow it reasonable friends that are also interested in literature.
And what do you think about vanity publishers - any chance to get them involved if they are interested?
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Natural ChemE on January 31st, 2016, 6:31 pm 

whyme,

I figure you have three options:
  1. Try the old-fashion route.
  2. E-publish first.
  3. Order a minor printing from your local office supply store's copy center.
I believe that you and Paralith have been discussing Option #1, so I won't rehash what's already been said.

Option #2 is to e-publish. This a lot cheaper and easier to do, plus it'll make your work accessible to a much wider audience.

Option #3 is to just go to an office supply store, e.g. Staple's, and ask them to print off your work with binding and such. This won't get your work in the public domain unless you attempt to sell/distribute copies of it yourself, but it'll reach your stated goal to hold your own book in your own hands.

You can also combine options. Combining Option #2 with Option #3 could get you physical copies of your book while still reaching a wider audience.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Serpent on January 31st, 2016, 8:00 pm 

url=http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=294327#p294327 wrote:
And what do you think about vanity publishers - any chance to get them involved if they are interested?

You're probably better off with e-books or Createspace. The latter, btw, will also provide you with an ISBN and list your book on amazon.com. But amazon won't pay out until your portion of the profit reaches $100.

I wouldn't worry much about sharing or showing work. As soon as even one person gets a copy, there is nothing to stop them from putting it on the internet. In fact, you have no real protection against plagiarism or theft, other than that there is so much creative writing out there already, so many people doing their own, nobody much is interested in taking yours.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Paralith on February 1st, 2016, 1:43 am 

whyme wrote:And what do you think about vanity publishers - any chance to get them involved if they are interested?


A vanity publisher is as interested as you pay them to be. You are the one paying them. If you book happens to suddenly take off and become successful you may see some profit from it, but for the most part these are institutions that take advantage of people who want to be writers and take their money. I would avoid them.

I strongly suggest you join the forum Absolute Write, which will have many sticky threads and links and helpful advice from practicing, published writers on those shady parts of the publishing industry that are, for the most part, looking to fleece you. A good agent NEVER asks you to pay them. They get paid a portion of your book's profits, which motivates them to honestly and genuinely try to make your book successful. Similarly with a good publisher.

Natural ChemE wrote:Option #2 is to e-publish. ... plus it'll make your work accessible to a much wider audience.


I do not think this is necessarily true. If you mean "accessible to a wider audience" in that if you self publish you can make the cost of the book very low or even zero, then yes, it will be generally more affordable to people. However, even free books won't get read if nobody knows they exist. The biggest boon a publisher gives you, more than anything else in my opinion, is publicity and marketing. They'll put your book in ads. They'll get your book in front of popular reviewers. They'll get bookstores to put your book on a fancy display right smack dab in the front of the store. Getting this level of exposure on your own is much, much more difficult. It can be done, yes, but you'll have to learn and transform yourself into a semi-professional publicist. It takes time, effort, and money. Do you want to be a writer, or a writer AND a publicist?

There are, of course, popular success stories of self-published authors making it big. But you have to think of how many authors have made it this way, compared to the thousands and thousands of self-published authors who haven't. There's nothing wrong with giving it a try yourself. But you should be realistic about your chances, that's all.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby BubbleGum on February 3rd, 2016, 6:48 am 

whyme » January 29th, 2016, 6:56 pm wrote:Good advice in any way. Just one question came to my mind, what is more important, is it really to have an agent, I would have first of all thought about how to find a publsiher, that is interested in me and my manuscript?
Also a big Yes for the advice of looking that up, I already found some sheets for the query letter.


Becoming a book published, while being an unknown and inexperienced author, is a pretty difficult thing to do… you need a lot of patience and preseverance and may not let problems get you down that easily! But I have heard about publishing houses that also accepts such writers like you are ;) A friend of mine has already written a few novels and it has been very hard for him, finding a publishing house that is willing to accept his manuscript. After getting rejected over and over again (mostly due to his lack of knowledge and reputation) he found Novum Publishing… As far as I can remember, they have nearly all possible genres in their publishing list and I am pretty sure, that your book would fit into it ;) They are also really good at all of the PR and advertising side of things but won’t make any decision without your permission… therefore, you will have to fill out a big questionnaire at the beginning of the “process”, so they are able to consider your preferences not only in terms of this PR and advertising stuff, but also in terms of layout, editorial report, graphics, language, design and so on. He was rather satisfied with their services and his contract, but if you like to know more about them, don’t hesitate asking me ;) Kind regards!
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby whyme on February 26th, 2016, 3:36 pm 

kk - sounds quite interesting, but how did he found them, like over internet research or direct contact or by suggestion of friends? What cann you tell about their services they offer?
And for me I also think that if someone helps you and offers you services like layout etc. that can cost and is a job worth to pay, so no problem with that.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby Natural ChemE on February 26th, 2016, 3:46 pm 

Paralith » February 1st, 2016, 12:43 am wrote:The biggest boon a publisher gives you, more than anything else in my opinion, is publicity and marketing. They'll put your book in ads. They'll get your book in front of popular reviewers. They'll get bookstores to put your book on a fancy display right smack dab in the front of the store. Getting this level of exposure on your own is much, much more difficult.

I figured that this level of service from a publisher was the exception rather than the rule, generally for popular titles and established authors. I don't recall seeing many (any?) ads for new books from unknown writers.

Is it realistic for a first-time author to expect these services?

PS - First Time Authors Normally Get a $10,000 Advance from a Major Publishing Company seems to paint a rosier picture than I'd have guessed. I figured that getting into writing fiction would've been harder - ya know, the stereotypical route actors/actresses follow where you have to do a lot of low-end work 'til you're recognized for a larger production. Perhaps that impression was wrong?

whyme, I should disclaim that I don't have any experience or expertise in professional entertainment, so my perceptions of the industry may be off.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby BubbleGum on February 28th, 2016, 10:29 am 

@whyme: As far as I can remember, he found them on the Internet.. but before he sent them his manuscript, he has done a lot of research and asked some other authors for their experiences (you have to be pretty careful, because there are a vanity publishing houses that ask for a lot of money and then do nothing to promote your book) Novum offers three different packages, but in comparison to others, you wont have to pay that much… however, like I said before: they are really got at layout, editorial, advertising and so on. They basically don’t make any decision without the author’s permission, so you don’t have to be afraid that you loose control over your own book ;) my friends book got also exposed on book fairs and events… not only in the UK but also in other countries like Germany. Besides this questionnaire, he got his own personal custodian who holds his hands during the whole process and considers his preferences in terms of pr, layout and so on. But if I were you, I would take a look at their website or simply make a call… there you will find some more detailed information ;)
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby whyme on February 29th, 2016, 3:51 pm 

Is this vanity publisher just UK based, do you also know that?
I will have a closer look, thank you so much for all the infos you came across, still there is always a lot to do, like writing your manuscript is not the only thing, I need a short excerpt and and and ... a hard work.
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby BubbleGum on March 4th, 2016, 8:21 am 

No worries, I am always happy to help ;) Nope, they are also based in Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and a few more… so, it doesn’t matter where you live or in which language your book is written! If you want to, they translate it into German, Spanish and so on ;) all of that depends on the package (out of three) you take… but if you need further information, don’t hesitate asking them! They are very kind and pretty helpful ;) Good luck anyway, I am sure, that you will find the right way to get your book published ;)
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby whyme on March 4th, 2016, 1:24 pm 

Well, thank you so much for your detailed insight, I will definitfely give it a try and may email them - maybe a first way of contact. Good to have an alternative to the normal system, as the chances to get published are now increasing, like that idea!
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Re: how to get a book published?

Postby GaryCGibson on April 9th, 2016, 7:48 pm 

Lulu.com is a free do-it-yourself publisher providing free I.S.B.N. numbers. It offers print-on-demand, paperback, hardcover and e-books. It distributes through the I-store, Amazon etc.

Take a look at my page for example... http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/garycgibson
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