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Guest Simply Southern

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Guest Simply Southern

I have a book that needs to be written, but I need help to put it together because it is so deeply personal. I believe that this book needs to go through a traditional publishing company to reach the public.  How do I get an established publisher to talk to me?  I have previously self-published several times.

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On 2/20/2016 at 0:03 AM, Guest Simply Southern said:

How do I get an established publisher to talk to me?

  1. Prepare a book proposal.  Make it as comprehensive as possible.  Include the first 3 chapters.  The goal is to sell the rights to your book to a publisher
  2. Research to find which imprint/publishing company publishes books like the one you have in mind
  3. Check the publishing company's submission policy. Look for the name of the acquisition editor 
    1. If there is an open submission policy, submit a query letter /and the book proposal (if the company request it as part of the submission packet) to the acquisition editor.  Example Harlequin https://harlequin.submittable.com/submit  has open submissions and an editor will actually critique your submission if you follow their guidelines.  This is really helpful because you'll learn your proposal's strength and weaknesses  - Note this is for novels though but maybe if you have a narrative nonfiction that might work too.  DAW inprint of Penguin accepts science fiction unagented manuscripts too http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers/daw/ again do your research there are plenty publishing houses that will accept unsolicited material - but pay attention to dates and timelines
  4. If the publishing company has a closed submission policy; search for a Literary agent who takes on projects like the one you're proposing. (Note: reputable Literary Agents do not charge fees they take a percentage of projects s/he sells after signing you to an agency contract.)
  5. Check twitter for @writersdigest  There's a lot of information on how to sign with an agent or pitch a company and other publishing/ writers' tips.
  6. If you sign with a literary agent develop a working relationship and follow her recommendations to get your book sold. 
  7. If an acquisition editor decides s/he wants to publish your manuscript...HIRE AN ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY before moving forward. (This is the most important part)
Edited by Mel Hopkins
add a few publishing houses that accept unsolicited manuscript
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Simply Southern, have you had any training in writing?  If not, I would take some classes to learn the craft and join a writers group to get some serious critique of your work.

If you are a novelist you would really need to have a completed manuscript before you do anything.  I would suggest you even have it professionally edited before trying to find an agent. Big publishers (those who pay advances) typically toss unagented manuscripts.  

I attended a seminar recently where someone suggested the following. Paying for the deluxe service at Publishers Market Place ($25 per month).  Then review their deal database.  Look for books similar to yours and see who the agent was.  This will take some grunt work, but you can come away with a really targeted list of agents who have recently done deals for books like yours.

I often recommend The Guide to Literary Agents, which is absolutely better than nothing, but if you have the time, using the technique above will give you more timely results.



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