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How to Get Your Book Published


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Presented at the second annual Avondale Writers Conference, October 29, 2011. …

Presented at the second annual Avondale Writers Conference, October 29, 2011.

Published in: Education, Business

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  • 1. How to Get Your Book Published No Nonsense Advice James D. Best Author of The Shopkeeper Leadville Murder at Thumb Butte Tempest at Dawn The Shut Mouth Society Principled Action The Digital Organization © 2010
  • 2. Non-Fiction Books Other Non-Fiction Writing  Magazine columns  Journal articles  Ghost writing1997 2011 © 2010
  • 3. Historical Novels Steve Dancy Tales © 2010
  • 4. Historical Novels Contemporary thriller with strong historical elements Dramatization ofConstitutional Convention © 2010
  • 5. Going Public How to Get Your Book Published © 2010
  • 6. Three Ways to Go 1. Traditional Publishing 2. Indie-Publishing 3. eBook Only“All I need is seventy thousand words and a head shot.” © 2010
  • 7. Nonfiction vs. Fiction Credentials vs. PlatformNonfiction • Book design more complex Annotations, index, illustrations • Good News Journal & magazine articles and blogging Sell direct to interest groups Fiction • Harder to find audience and build following • Good News Easy eBook publishing More attuned to large print and audio © 2010
  • 8. What’s HappeningThe book industry—a storm is brewing• Traditional publishers consolidating• Amazon challenging industry norms—retail, formats, publishing• Web retailers duking it out• Web retailers no longer the Wild West• eBooks garnering increasing share of sales• eBooks becoming off-Broadway for book publishing• eBook pricing (and quality) all over the map Generally good news for first-time authors © 2010
  • 9. The Three Rules for Getting Your Book Published 1. Perseverance 2. Perseverance 3. Perseverance “Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met were temporary setbacks.” Dottie Walters“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” Reggie Leach © 2010
  • 10. Traditional PublishingAdvantages• Advance instead of money out of pocket• Free professional design• Broad distribution possible• Potential for publisher promotionDisadvantages• Difficult to break through & getting harder• Rights, especially eBooks• Little recognition until branded• Royalties• Glacial Pace © 2010
  • 11. Traditional PublishingFirst, you need to get by the gatekeeper © 2010
  • 12. Traditional Publishing How to get a traditional publisher • Still best to get an agent first • Query letter—straightforward and tight • Send multiple queries staggered by time • Aim for new agent in established agency • Pitch at conferences • Non-Fiction • Stress credentials • Book Proposal—Absolutely best writing • Fiction • Complete manuscript • Aim at appropriate agent/publisher © 2010
  • 13. Indie PublishingAdvantages• No barriers other than money• Speed, royalty percent, and control• Ancillary rights, especially eBooks• Faster payDisadvantages• Expensive to do right• Limited distribution• Limited access to reviews, prizes, MSM• Self-marketing © 2010
  • 14. Indie Publishing How to Indie-Publish • Pick your publisher carefully • Cost, royalties/margins, return policy, reputation • Rights • Basic package always insufficient • Expensive to do right • Editing, proofreading, design • Best to do your own eBook publishing • Print edition adds credibility • Look professional • Amazon—Look Inside, reviews, Kindle • B&N—reviews © 2010
  • 15. eBook Only Publishing Advantages • Can be zero cost • High demand for popular genres • Explosive growth • Fast and flexible • High royalty percent Disadvantages • Trend to low pricing • Limited distribution • Limited access to reviews, prizes, MSM © 2010
  • 16. eBook Only Publishing How to eBook publish • Free—except for professional editing • Fiction & narrative nonfiction—you can do it yourself • Pricing crucial • 70% royalty from Amazon and B&N • Smashwords for iBooks and Sony Reader • Professional help for nonfiction with charts, tiered headings, sidebars, etc. © 2010
  • 17. Tips & Advice• First and foremost, write a good book• Polish your book until it sparkles: revisions, feedback, editing, proofreading• Striking book cover and clean interior design• Know your market and sell to your market• Recognize that promotion is going to be your responsibility• Focus on good word-of-mouth• Persevere• Write a second book © 2010
  • 18. How to Get Your Book Published “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that.” Mark Twain © 2010
  • 19. Thank You © 2010