Forum: Arts / Fiction

10 Steps toward finding a book publisher (karma: 12)
By Honeymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jul 24, 2006 01:51 PM
Made sticky by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-10-27 15:04:20 Good advice! Lets sticky this and see if it helps.

10 Steps toward finding a book publisher.

1.) Write the book
If you haven't even written your book yet, this isn't the time to think about getting published. If you're a new writer, editors want to be sure you have what it takes--skill, stamina, dicipline--to complete a full length book.

2.) Define your audience
What is your book about? Who is the intended readership? These are questions an editor will ask; being able to answer them will help you choose an appropriate publisher. If your book is a novel, to what genre or category does it belong?

3.) Research the market
Absolutely the worst thing you can do is "cold-call" publishers to ask if they might be interested in your book. Instead, find out who produces books like yours. Browse your local bookstore, and make a list of publishers who offer books in your category. If you're writing a children's book, for example, note who publishes books for the same age group or of the same type (e.g., mystery, teen romance, horror, picture books).

4.) Do your homework
Look up promising publishers in the current Writer's Market or Literary Market Place (in the library reference section). There, you'll find the publisher's address and the editor to contact. Specialized market books are also available for poetry, novels and short stories, children's books, romances, mysteries, and science fiction.

Writer's Market also tells you what a publishing company is buying, its rates, and how to approach the editor. For example, some publishers want to see your entire manuscript, others want a query letter outlining your story idea, and still others want a book proposal and/or a chapter-by-chapter outline. Some accept unsolicited manuscripts; others only accept books from agents. If you need more information, write or call the publisher to request writer's guidelines.

5.)Prepare your manuscript

These days, editors won't even look at a manuscript that isn't prepared professionally. Print (or type) your manuscript on high-quality white bond paper. Never use erasable paper, and don't use a dot-matrix printer. (If that's all you have, take your disk to a copy center that offers the use of a laser printer.)

Double-space your manuscript and leave a 1-inch margin on all sides. Number your pages. Check your spelling (and not just with a spellchecker!). Use a clear, readable font (such as courier) of a decent size (10-12 pt.). Don't "justify" your right margin; leave it uneven. Don't mix fonts, and don't overuse boldface or italics. (Some editors prefer that you use underlining to signify italics.) If you have any questions about how to format a manuscript, query, or proposal, see A Quick Guide to Manuscript Format, or consult The Writer's Digest Guide to Manuscript Formats.

6.)Submit your package
Always send your editor exactly what is requested. If you are mailing a large manuscript, use a manuscript box (avalible at office supply stores). Address it to the correct person, (not just the "editor"). Seal the package securely, but don't go overboard. No editor wants to spend 30 minutes cutting through duct tape.

7.)Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope
Some writers include only a standard #10 envelope, preferring to save postage by allowing the editor to discard an unwanted manuscript rather than returning it. If you prefer that your material be returned, be sure to include an envelope with sufficient postage, or a return label and postage for your manuscript box. Never use metered postage strips; because they are predated, they are not valid for return postage.

8.)Prepare to wait
It may take 6 months or longer to hear the fate of your query or proposal; it may take 6 months to a year to get a response to your entire manuscript. Because of such delays, it is sometimes acceptable to submit your manuscript to more than one publisher at a time. Make sure, however, that each is open to "simultaneous submissions."

9.)Keep working
While waiting for a response to your first manuscript, get started on your next. Or, build your portfolio with articles, short stories, and other material that will show your skills and boost your reputation.

10.) Don't give up
If your manuscript doesn't find a home right away, keep trying. Don't take rejection personally; just move on to the next publisher on your list. Often it takes time, effort, and many submissions to get published. Successful writers are ones that don't quit.

6 Replies to 10 Steps toward finding a book publisher

re: 10 Steps toward finding a book publisher
By Armwarmermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jul 25, 2006 09:02 AM
Wow, I really appreciate that you posted this! It's so helpful. Someday I'd like to try publishing something, and now I know how.

Are you new? Click here to get adopted by an older member!
re: 10 Steps toward finding a book publisher
By dancergirl1212member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:50 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I would love to be a writer when I grow up (your word meditation on your other post has convinced me for the next few days, lol), so I've already been trying to find a publisher (I think it would help if I actually had a manuscript, hehe. :D), even though I haven't written anything in an entirety yet. But I had more feeling about what I'm working on now, more than anything else I've ever ever started on! In fact, looking back on the others, I think they could use ALOT of work.
Anyhoo, thanks for posting this. It's a good thing they just built a new bookstore not too far away! I can get up-to-date research! :)
By the way, am I the only person here who absolutely hated double spacing? For some reason, whenever I'm forced to do something double spaced, I want to tear it up. I guess it looks unnatural or something. *shrugs* oh, well. I guess I'll have to get used to it!

Meredith! :D
re: 10 Steps toward finding a book publisher
By Honeymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Aug 04, 2006 01:13 PM
^I hate double spacing also. In all my English classes since the 4th grade, they've always made us double space our papers, and I got so sick of it...I think it makes the paper look unofficial.
re: 10 Steps toward finding a book publisher
By Emilia
On Sat Aug 12, 2006 04:59 PM
Thanks so much for the post, really helpful.

*Karma for you*
re: 10 Steps toward finding a book publisher
By GLDTGTUmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Aug 18, 2006 09:17 AM
Edited by GLDTGTU (139619) on 2006-08-18 09:19:21
Thanks a lot for this post. It's very helpful and informative. Be prepared to get karmatized and maybe even stickied :P
re: 10 Steps toward finding a book publisher
By myessence_dancer
On Sun Jul 22, 2007 09:22 PM
Thanks for this very informative sticky! I didn't even know I had to do some of the things that you talked about. This will be really helpful when I try to publish my book in the very near future!


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