Published Authors

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by njreg, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. njreg

    njreg Member

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    If I recall correctly, I think I've seen mention that a few of my fellow LPSG'ers are published authors. I'm seeking some advice.

    I've had an idea for a how-to book in my head for about a year or so. I'd like to know where to begin as far as seeking out information as to whether this would even be a viable idea or just a "nice idea in my head."

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.
     
  2. SpoiledPrincess

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    The Artist and Writers Yearbook is a good place to start, it will tell you which publishers publish the type of book you have in mind. If it's a how to book it has to be on something that people would be interested in knowing how to do, unfortunately if it's something people are interested in there are probably already books out there on how to do it.
     
  3. njreg

    njreg Member

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    Thanks, SP. I have seen the Artist & Writer's Yearbook, but it has been quite a while since I've looked at it. I'll have to find one again soon.

    My idea is something for which I have never seen a book or manual, even after having done quite a bit of searching. While I recognize that it would be for a very narrow niche market, I think there might be a possibility that others might find it of interest.

    I would be interested in hearing from people who have had real-life experiences in publishing their work.
     
  4. Northland

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    I'm not a fair assessment for the normal methods of breaking into the industry. In my case it was happenstance more than anything else. Back in 1968 my first attempt as a storywriter was made-it was a school composition in the Sci-Fi genre. It was the first time I received recognition from the teacher and it even netted me the coveted gold star sticker on the paper. From then on I was hooked. Book reports written on books which didn't exist-it takes a special madness to pull that off.

    Then, when I was in my teens I had some success in short story submissions and finally authored an entire book. Success was elusive and life came calling. My writing (professionally) was placed on hold. Then in the 1990s it received a boost from my long time nemesis Lawrence and another acquaintance who succumbed to death a few years back; who was extremely prolific in his writing. By talking with each of them, I gradually made some headway and soon was attached to an agent who would work with my genre (low level mystery-low level meaning it's dime store novel quality, nothing too heavy or difficult to digest). I suppose that would be an added feature for you- find yourself an agent and an editor. Most publishers are not going to just accept random submissions, they desire the writer to go through other channels-An agent. (the editor is a formality for many; but, serves a useful purpose as they can catch errors which you may have made-all writers make some error and catching it on our own can be difficult)

    Be advised, do not shell out any money ahead of time to a person posing as an agent. A legitimate agent will work harder to sell your work if they know that they will get a cut when the book is published and an even bigger amount of dollars if the book is successful. They earn a percentage, which will be outlined in your contract.

    You can also go the route of self-publishing. This can be an expensive venture, depending on which 'publisher' agrees to print your book. Basically, the majority of these 'publishers' are merely printing houses. In the majority of these kinds of publishing/printing, the leg work of getting the book on the shelves will be left to you. With a full service publisher (Random House, Harper Colins, Warner Books, Simon and Schuster, Houghton Mifflin...) the agent and publisher work to get the book out and on the shelves-as indicated, they stand to gain a profit as well from the success of the book at the register.

    Do not sign anything without it first being reviewed by a listed and reputable lawyer. There are many lawyers familiar with contracts (contract law anyone?) and they can advise you on anything which seems out of the norm within a contract. The big name publishers tend to have standard contracts- your difficulty after that could be from an unscrupulous agent. When arranging to get an attorney, do not take a recommendation from the agent; since, if they were not fully honest, they could be working in collusion with a dishonest lawyer.


    The main thing to do, is to persevere and remain confident that your idea and book have potential.
     
  5. Not_Punny

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    How-to books, along with other non-fiction books, are in the wonderful position of NOT having to be written before they are sold. :tongue:

    The best thing to do (to help you figure out if it's worth writing) is to put together a book proposal for the book.

    Doing a book proposal is a WONDERFUL exercise. It makes you think about ALL aspects of writing, publishing and promoting the book. And if you write it well enough, you will even sell YOURSELF on writing the book!

    Besides, you need a book proposal to snag an agent or a publisher, so why not start out with the book proposal?

    The sequence is...

    1) Write your Book proposal

    2) Write a couple of sample chapters

    3) Write your Query letters (to agents or publishers)

    4) When they respond to a query letter, send the proposal

    5) When you get a green light, THEN write the book (you'll get it done in a hurry because now you have a reason to write... and a deadline!)

    Some web sites on writing a book proposal are:

    anatomy of a book proposal

    good pointers on what should go in there

    You can also do google searches to get more information.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Please don't take offense but here's a good one.
     
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