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Anyone have any experience getting a book published?

honkymcgoohonkymcgoo Registered User regular
edited March 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So, Ive been working on a book for a while. It started out just as a way for me to sort of get thoughts out on the things that have happened in my life, but now Im about caught up to present times and its actually pretty substantial. Ive had more than a few wacky adventures and whatnot so I thought I might see if anyone was interested in publishing it. Anyone here have any experience and consequently tips? Things like whether or not I should get an agent or what to put on a cover letter etc.

I didn't even know what the fuck and avitar was until about 5 minutes ago.
honkymcgoo on


  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    You may want to ask in the Writer's Block forum. I know there are a bunch of published authors over there and I'm not sure how many of them also read H/A.

    I've heard stories from both sides of the fence -- finding an agent or submitting directly to publishers -- with successful results. It will in part be dependent on the genre/intended audience of the book, as publishers of some types of books may be easier or harder to submit to directly. So basically, I'm offering no help except suggesting you might ask in Writer's Block :)

    Daenris on
  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah recently a guy in writer's block just posted a thread about getting his first book published, hes been really helpful about answering peoples questions. Go try to get a him he should have some great info for you.

    MoSiAc on
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  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    To sum up what I've read, get a literary agent; they work on commission and because of this, will actually want your book to get published as well. They'll handle all of the submitting and resubimitting, and from his experiences, it worked wonders for him. In the process of talking to one myself.

    1ddqd on
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    a) If you get an agent, do not under any circumstances pay him any money for anything. The only thing a legitimate, reputable agent should ask for is a cut of the royalties the publisher pays you--usually somewhere on the order of 10-15%. There are plenty of con artists out there who will take a "filing fee" (or a fee with some other bullshit label) and then slap your manuscript in a pile and never do anything to get it published for you.

    b) You don't necessarily have to get an agent to shop around your manuscript. You can write query letters to publishers which basically provide your credentials (if any applicable) and a (very short) synopsis of the book and ask if the publisher would like to read a full manuscript. Do not send a manuscript with the query letter, and make sure that the publisher accepts such queries first so you don't waste their time. Only when the publisher solicits the manuscript should you send it to them, and then only to one publisher at a time. If the publisher expresses interest in buying your manuscript, then hire an agent to negotiate the contract (it should be no problem getting one since you already have a sale!).

    c) Watch out for self-publishing houses; these, like literary agents who demand up-front fees, aren't much better than con artists. Sure, they'll bind your book for you all nice and send you a thousand copies of it, taking a hefty bit of profit for themselves in the process. They will, however, do nothing to get your book into stores--they'll send it to you where your thousand copies can proceed to waste away in your garage/attic/closet doing nothing for anybody. If you want to self-publish (which is not recommended) go to a printer yourself. It'll be cheaper. A good rule of thumb is this: If you can't find a publisher's books in your local Barnes & Noble, Borders, or [insert major bookseller chain here], they're probably not worth your time submitting to. (There are small presses who actually have a following that they sell premium-priced books to, but they are the exception, not the rule).

    OremLK on
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  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    If you're submitting to different publishers yourself, make sure that their books are of the right genre - there's no point in sending your memoirs to a house that deals primarily in sci-fi. :P

    Willeth on
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  • honkymcgoohonkymcgoo Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Thanks for the advice guys, the writers block thread was useful too. Basically my only issue with getting an agent was not having a ton of spare cash to pay up front, which apparently is not a concern with any legitimate agent.

    honkymcgoo on
    I didn't even know what the fuck and avitar was until about 5 minutes ago.
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