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yougetagoldstar

Completely New Writer Here. How Do I Publish A Book?

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Posted (edited)

My first time writing a book. I know near nothing about book publishing so I'm just looking for any advice. I looked into self-publishing and sent my manuscript to a publisher. They liked what they read, but then they told me that I would have to pay a large amount of money to get my book published. I definitely couldn't afford their fees, and right now I'm not sure what to do. I've written a Christian book and have a manuscript. How do people go about publishing books? Do you always have to pay up front to publish a book? I've heard people publish through agents. How do you find a literary agent? Is there anything I should look for so I don't get scammed?  I have all these questions and don't know where to find answers.

 

If anyone could help I would appreciate it.  

Edited by yougetagoldstar
punctuation.

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Your instincts are good - you should never pay money to a publisher, money should flow TO the writer instead of AWAY from the writer.

We just recently posted a link to an article about how to do everything you need to do for free:

 

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No, no, no! That is a vanity publisher. Stay clear of that type. I was typing as Phy responded. 

 

First, you want to make sure it's the best you can make. Take out over-used words, Edit, edit, edit. And then pay a professional editor to edit it. This is your best bet for having a great book. There are so many things to tell you. I would suggest you thumb through the writers' forum for all the topics. And ask a bazillion questions. No question is dumb or outrageous. Most of us have been through it all and will give you the best answers we know. 

 

I hope you'll hop over to Meet and Greet and introduce yourself so everyone will know you are here and can welcome you. :D

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Thanks Phy, checking that article now.

 

@lynnmosher Vanity publisher? Yikes. Seems like I have a lot to learn. Funny how you emphasized editing. I'm on my third edit and I'm still amazed at how many things I've overlooked. I'll definitely check out the other forums as well. Thanks.

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LOL Yup. We are so into getting it all down that we get blinkered by individual words. Stepping away from a manuscript, putting on the shelf for a while, is necessary so that we come back to it with fresh eyes. Yay for you that you're doing your edits. :D

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If you post a bit in Critiquing and Feedback, there are folks here who will read through what you give us and help with all kinds of editing. 

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Posted (edited)

After the editing, there are a number of steps to take.

 

1) Genre. Are you writing for a particular genre, like Romance, Thriller, Fantasy, Cookbook, Physics Textbook, etc? Do you know the expectations of readers in the genre? Have you met them? Or are you mixing genres? That's okay, but will need to be made clear to publishers. Most importantly, do not send a book to a publisher that does not handle that genre! See their website.

 

2) Word count. Every genre has a typical range for word count. Some publishers or agents will tell you their numbers, while others will not, but they all have a number in mind. New writers will be expected to be on the low end, while successful writers who have several books published already will be allowed to hit the high end. 

 

3) Manuscript Format. Every agent or publisher has their own submission guidelines. Adhere to them like they come from Moses. You may need to reformat for each submission. There are format choices that are common, so start there, like 1 to 1.5 inch margins, double spaced, 12 pt Arial or Times Roman. They may want the author name and title on the header and the page number on the footer, but positioning could vary.

 

4) Proposal elements. Read a few books on book proposal writing. There are common elements from which any given agent or publisher will choose. These elements include cover letter, platform or marketing plan, author bio, endorsements, competitive analysis of similar books, synopsis (for fiction) or outline (for nonfiction). The synopsis can range from a half page to three pages, with one page and two pages being the most common. They may ask for a back cover blurb or log line (two sentence summary). The proposal should also appeal to the similar types of books that they already publish, to show that you have researched them and not blasted off an email to the whole publishing world. Your proposal MUST include the word count and genre. 

 

5) Submission window. Some publishers accept no unsolicited work, only agented submissions or personal recommendations from colleagues and client authors. Other publishers have a one month or one season window each year. They may accept submissions at writers conferences and will usually specify which they attend. Some publishers will consider manuscripts from a few well-regarded manuscript submission services.

 

The other writers on this site will undoubtedly have more specific advice, but that should be a start. Don't give up. Finding a publisher may take a long time, or happen quickly. 

 

Paul

Edited by paulchernoch
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Posted (edited)

omit filter words and expletives!!!

Expletives are empty words that add nothing to a sentence. like "Very".

Filter words are anything like "Saw felt heard".

Take those out.

Edited by Nicholas Reicher
I took out filter words and expletives.

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Can't add anything to the great advice already stated,...all the high points have been hit, and it's true:  researching all your options, there are pros and cons for every publishing avenue, and editing, editing, editing,...are key!!!

 

God bless your writing endeavors!

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If you find that your manuscript is too long for the taste of the agent or publisher that you approach, you need to cut. I recommend the book Write Tight by William Brohaugh. I apply his techniques all the time, because I am way too wordy. I am able to cut thousands of words without sacrificing content.

 

Paul

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11 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

If you find that your manuscript is too long for the taste of the agent or publisher that you approach, you need to cut. I recommend the book Write Tight by William Brohaugh. I apply his techniques all the time, because I am way too wordy. I am able to cut thousands of words without sacrificing content.

Thanks for this resource. I too am wordy.  Why use one where six would make the concept so much clearer, right? 

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12 minutes ago, yougetagoldstar said:

Thanks for all this input, everyone. Reading it now.

Thanks for asking the question.  Read this whole forum, going back many years.  And keep asking questions because the rest of us benefit, and the information changes as the years roll by.  

God bless all our writerly efforts!

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