PDA

View Full Version : Books How to get published? Advice needed


JOhn
04-15-2011, 06:32 AM
OK with the diverse crowd we have here on CP, I was wondering if anyone has any firsthand knowledge about getting a book published?

What I'm looking for is what the steps or process is, and how to keep from getting scammed.
I'm looking to publish a coffee table type book of funny saying, oxymoron's and cartoons. In addition I also have some writings, short stories and poetry that I'm also interested in getting out there.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially first hand knowledge.:thumb:

CrazyPhuD
04-15-2011, 06:35 AM
How good are you on your knees?

blaise
04-15-2011, 06:40 AM
I would go to the library and get a copy of Writer's Market for the current year. It will have a list of agents and the types of people they represent, and a list of publishers and the type of books they're looking for. It will also have example query letters, and notes by the agents and publishers telling you the best way to contact them.
I don't know if libraries let you check those out, because they're reference. New, the book is like $30.
(I've never been published, by the way. My advice is just what I've seen from looking for other stuff.)

JOhn
04-15-2011, 06:46 AM
I would go to the library and get a copy of Writer's Market for the current year. It will have a list of agents and the types of people they represent, and a list of publishers and the type of books they're looking for. It will also have example query letters, and notes by the agents and publishers telling you the best way to contact them.
I don't know if libraries let you check those out, because they're reference. New, the book is like $30.
(I've never been published, by the way. My advice is just what I've seen from looking for other stuff.)

Well that's a start. Never even heard olf that book.
Funny cause I asked the head lady here at our local branch, and she just had a blank look about what I should do. :doh!:

blaise
04-15-2011, 06:49 AM
Well that's a start. Never even heard olf that book.
Funny cause I asked the head lady here at our local branch, and she just had a blank look about what I should do. :doh!:

I have a copy upstairs. I'll go look for the proper title.

It just says Writer's Market, and it's published by Writer's Digest Books, yearly. The year may precede the title in a library computer system, like 2011 Writer's Market.

rageeumr
04-15-2011, 07:04 AM
coffee table type book

????????

http://sprudge.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/coffeetable.jpg

Hoover
04-15-2011, 07:05 AM
Not to be a dick, but I highly doubt you will get a book deal. You should look at a POD option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Print_on_demand

Just so you know, I have a friend who paid to have a book published, he lost his ass. I think he still has cases of books in his basement.

crazycoffey
04-15-2011, 07:12 AM
first you have to write a great novel with a wonderfully complex and entertaining story line, preferably with fresh topics and thought provoking ideas. Then, yeah - you're pretty much screwed.....

JOhn
04-15-2011, 07:28 AM
Not to be a dick, but I highly doubt you will get a book deal. You should look at a POD option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Print_on_demand

Just so you know, I have a friend who paid to have a book published, he lost his ass. I think he still has cases of books in his basement.

Thanks, I'll check into it.
And fwiw I would not pay to be published

cdcox
04-15-2011, 07:44 AM
Consider a blog, instead?

I have a friend whose wife runs a small publishing company. She will evaluate a manuscript to see if it has potential. If it doesn't she will tell you so. If it does, she will provide quotations for editing services, layout and design services, and printing costs. She will then market the book through local small book stores. She would tell you that the chances of making money on your book are very small. She can also provide a subset of services if you want to self-publish your manuscript. Occasionally for a very promising manuscripts her company may invest up front in a very high quality manuscript. Maybe 1 in 1000 manuscripts from first-time authors will get the full services of a big-time publisher (she is not a big-time publisher) without some level of financial investment by the author. It's a really tough business to break into. If this is a vanity project, a cheaper way to go would be a blog.

CaliforniaChief
04-15-2011, 07:45 AM
It's a terribly competitive field. But don't give up!

You have to do a lot of research before you even think about presenting your idea to a publisher/agent. What's the market? What are some books that are similar to yours? What sets yours apart?

Even more, you have to market yourself. Publishers/agents buy into you just as much if not more than what you write.

seclark
04-15-2011, 07:50 AM
gotta start somewhere.

JOhn
04-15-2011, 07:52 AM
It's a terribly competitive field. But don't give up!

You have to do a lot of research before you even think about presenting your idea to a publisher/agent. What's the market? What are some books that are similar to yours? What sets yours apart?

Even more, you have to market yourself. Publishers/agents buy into you just as much if not more than what you write.

This is kinda what I'm banking on, and have been told to market as well before.
Not going to go into details, but have some truly unique "history" to add color to my story.

CaliforniaChief
04-15-2011, 07:55 AM
This is kinda what I'm banking on, and have been told to market as well before.
Not going to go into details, but have some truly unique "history" to add color to my story.

That's a good start. Just make sure you're able to tell your story quickly. Not to downplay your unique angle on life, but everyone's got a story if you know what I mean. Practice telling yours in a way that will get attention in a minute or less.

JOhn
04-15-2011, 07:58 AM
That's a good start. Just make sure you're able to tell your story quickly. Not to downplay your unique angle on life, but everyone's got a story if you know what I mean. Practice telling yours in a way that will get attention in a minute or less.
:thumb:
I know what you mean.

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
04-15-2011, 08:15 AM
1st off - PoD is not the only way to get published. However, there are a lot of "shady" publishers out there who live off of their authors rather than the other way around. Before you begin sending stuff off to publishers, you definitely want to check them out.

a - type their name into Google and add +scam, +complaint to the search function.
b - you can contact <a href="http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/">Writer Beware</a>, which is the public face of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Committee on Writing Scams. I happen to be a member of the committee and help people research companies/agents/publicity agencies/book doctors/freelance editors/etc.
c - you can ask a question via the <a href="http://accrispin.blogspot.com/">Writer Beware Blog</a>. Also, Victoria, Ann and I discuss various publishing events here.
d - you can search the <a href="absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22">Absolute Write - Bewares, Recommendations, and Background Checks</a> forum. If no one has already started a thread about a publisher/agent/whatever, then ask and there are a ton of published writers there who can steer you in the right direction.
e - If all else fails, send me a PM and I'll send you my slides from the talk I give at Writer's conventions called "How Not to Get Published", which addresses scams and dubious plans.

There's a lot more to getting published than just this. Mainly you have to write something at least as good and preferably better than what's out there already - and that ain't as easy as it sounds - but at least, this way you'll be prepared to know the warning signs before you give your work to someone who's going to rip you off.

bevischief
04-15-2011, 08:59 AM
OK with the diverse crowd we have here on CP, I was wondering if anyone has any firsthand knowledge about getting a book published?

What I'm looking for is what the steps or process is, and how to keep from getting scammed.
I'm looking to publish a coffee table type book of funny saying, oxymoron's and cartoons. In addition I also have some writings, short stories and poetry that I'm also interested in getting out there.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially first hand knowledge.:thumb:

This place should give you all kinds of ideas for your books.:p

Phobia
04-15-2011, 09:02 AM
If you're going to publish a book of funny stuff then maybe you should try posting something funny on ChiefsPlanet first. You know, like just to test things out.

Saulbadguy
04-15-2011, 09:05 AM
And fwiw I would not pay to be published

:LOL:

morphius
04-15-2011, 09:07 AM
If you're going to publish a book of funny stuff then maybe you should try posting something funny on ChiefsPlanet first. You know, like just to test things out.
Knowing that he has been holding back his good stuff sure helps me feel better.

JOhn
04-15-2011, 09:15 AM
Knowing that he has been holding back his good stuff sure helps me feel better.

:facepalm:


OK, I should have known I would get crap from you to.

Actually I was thinking of a book on House cleaning....

JOhn
04-15-2011, 09:24 AM
If you're going to publish a book of funny stuff then maybe you should try posting something funny on ChiefsPlanet first. You know, like just to test things out.

Well I guess I could stick to the self help books, like "How to have the perfect Combover" :shrug:

Demonpenz
04-15-2011, 09:25 AM
Alot of times It just depends on where you are at in your life. When I was 10 or so a girl asked me to our dance at school and I was really excited, but then the school bully depants me and threw my pants on the roof, the girl was horrified and left. I was hopefully the teachers would step in and help me but they called my parents and told them that I misplaced my pants. My dad came down to the dance and smacked the shit out of me for letting a bully do that.

Rausch
04-15-2011, 09:29 AM
Actually I was thinking of a book on House cleaning....
:spock:

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
04-15-2011, 10:38 AM
I've talked with a few friends of mine who "slush read" for agents. You're going to hear time and time again that only about 3% of the people who ever try to publish sell a book.

Well, yes and no.

That percentage is pretty accurate in the aggragate sense. BUT:

1) After you throw out the submissions sent to an agent that doesn't represent the specific genre (shows the author didn't do any homework);
2) Throw out the ones addressed to multiple agents in the header of the e-mail (shows again you didn't do any homework and just blasted it off into the world);
3) Throw out the ones who didn't follow the guidelines posted on the agent's web site (seeing a pattern here?);
4) Throw out the ones written in 20 point Comic Sans or on pink or green paper (not professionally done)
5) Failed to include a cover letter/synopsis (pretty standard);
6) Misspelled about half the words in the cover letter or first chapter;
7) Are obviously crazy (more than you'd think);
8) Toss out the cover letters written in crayon (yes, this happens more than you'd think);

that probably eliminates 70% of your competition.

Then you get past the Twilight rip-offs, the LOTR rip-offs, the Harry Potter fanfiction, and the other not-original concepts.

Now you're down to about 10% of the submissions left.

Then you weed out the trite, the boring, the "good concept, but can't write their way out of a paper bag", the done-to-death topics, the memoirs, the "I survived this horrible experience" but doesn't add anything really to the other memoirs out there other than I survived, books.

Now you're in the top 5%.

Now's when it gets hard.

Can you write? Can you write a story that a publisher will believe can make them money? (Not the same thing, trust me.)

If you've taken your story, edited it, re-read it, edited it some more, had someone else read it, edited it again and when you're absolutely sure it's as polished and tight as you can possibly make it, you edit it once again just to be sure.

Then, you can try to make that top 3% or top 1%.


Or as another writer friend told me, "You rewrite your story until you edit all the suck out of your writing. Then, you consider submitting it."

jidar
04-15-2011, 10:53 AM
:facepalm:


OK, I should have known I would get crap from you to.

Actually I was thinking of a book on House cleaning....

"Two"

...

writing?

jidar
04-15-2011, 10:57 AM
If you're serious though, I heard the other day that authors have been getting their work published on the Kindle and it's a lot easier than the traditional route and the author gets a much larger percentage of the sale.
As I understand it some of them are making really good money at it too, as in millions.

Rain Man
04-15-2011, 11:02 AM
Knowing that he has been holding back his good stuff sure helps me feel better.

Yeah, I'm a little hurt. I've been reading his stuff for a decade, and now all of a sudden I find out that he's got funny and insightful stuff, and he wants other people to read it?

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
04-15-2011, 01:12 PM
If you're serious though, I heard the other day that authors have been getting their work published on the Kindle and it's a lot easier than the traditional route and the author gets a much larger percentage of the sale.
As I understand it some of them are making really good money at it too, as in millions.

Electronic publishing works IF people know your stuff is out there.

Not to be a downer, but the people making money on the Kindle have a following. Either they're really popular bloggers, already established authors, or already famous people.

Unless people KNOW your stuff is out there, how are they going to find it among ALL the stuff out there?

E-Pub works, but it's not just fire and forget. You've got to actively promote the hell out of it to make a blip.

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
04-15-2011, 01:16 PM
Look, I'm sorry if I'm coming across like I'm trying to shoot down your ideas.

E-Pub, Self-pub, large press, small press, blogs, v-blogs, etc. All of them are viable ways to get your ideas/stories/information out there. However, each has its own strong points and weak points. As a potential author (or hell, even as an established author), it's on you to make yourself smart about the field.

Writing is a business. Learn about the business before jumping in. You can lose a lot of money/time or worse, control of your ideas by signing bad contracts. You put a lot of work into creating your stories/movie scripts/comics/whatever . . . spend a little more time to know what you're getting into AFTER you write "The End".

Rausch
04-15-2011, 01:18 PM
Electronic publishing works IF people know your stuff is out there.

Not to be a downer, but the people making money on the Kindle have a following. Either they're really popular bloggers, already established authors, or already famous people.

Unless people KNOW your stuff is out there, how are they going to find it among ALL the stuff out there?

E-Pub works, but it's not just fire and forget. You've got to actively promote the hell out of it to make a blip.

Yeah, not so much fun.

You either take the risk of funding your own publication, milking the advantage of local markets/shops/stands, or live for the dream of that one smarmy comment bringing everyone to your site for that $9.99 book...

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
04-15-2011, 01:23 PM
I know a bunch of people are releasing stuff on Kindle/iBooks/Nook, etc., but they're people who own the copyright to their older books. They're out of print and the publisher has said they're not interested in releasing newer copies. So, the authors are releasing some of their older stuff and then using that as a springboard for releasing newer stuff.

I see mentions on Twitter all the time "If you liked "X", then see "Y", the latest novel by Joe Schmoe, exclusive for the Kindle (or whatever).

However it starts to get annoying when ALL you see from an author you used to like reading is advertising for their latest book. I didn't follow you for you to hawk crap to me, numbnutz, I followed you because once upon a time you actually, you know, had conversations here. . . :banghead: