Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Question of the week: Book Publishing 101

Q: hey slash!  wow, you are INCREDIBLE!  i am so inspired by your dedication and success! congratulations my friend.  i do miss actually getting to correspond with you, though.  you are so busy with all of your endeavors i'm sure it's hard to keep up with everyone!  sounds like a lot of traveling, too!

so i am in the process of writing/finishing my book.  i am REALLY wondering how it is you published your book?   if you can send me just a little information on the process of publishing i would be eternally grateful.  anything you can tell me, any directions you can point me in.  
 this is the biggest project/endeavor of my life and i would be eternally grateful to see it accomplished.  so would millions of women out there!  they need this!  

if you can help me in any way slash, it would truly mean the world to me!

you rock you fabulous artsy boy!

love, L

A: If you want to sel-publish check out www.lulu.com

Q: i would prefer not to self-publish as funds are scarce for me.  did you self-publish?  is that the website you went through? Thanks again, L

A: If you're going to go the publisher route it's all about your platform, not how good your book is. A platform is made up of your accomplishments and how well known you are. Do you have articles written about you in the NY Times, The Washington Post, have you been on NPR, do you have a database of e-mail contacts that total more than 1,000 potential fans you could sell the book to? If not, you should know there are 1,000 writers standing in the front of the publishers house with those accomplishments. Unfortunately, these days, publishers want to know you can sell the book without them before they'll ink a deal with you.

All my accomplishments stem from my desire to build my platform which started 4 years ago. When you write a book and want to get it published you have to send agents and editors a query letter that tells them what your book is about and why they should buy your book.

The last paragraph is dedicated to your platform. Four years ago mine was empty. No one had written anything about me, I had not published anything and so I was really at a disadvantage. I remember making the decision to build my platform. I ended up writing an article for Massage Magazine and they paid me $75.  I suddenly had one thing to put in that last paragraph of my query. Four years later that last paragraph  could take up a few pages.

If you are serious about publishing your book and getting the information out into the world, you'll start building your platform today. And you won't be concerned with a time line. Be it today, tomorrow or four years from now.

I would suggest the website http://writersdigest.com/Books/. Find a book on how to write a query letter and another on how to write a book proposal. And if funds are slim for you, go to the library check these books out.

Join a writing group. Put an ad on craigslist and meet once a month to read pages and give feedback on your work.

Volunteer to work at a writer's conference. You'll get to network with other writers and others in the publishing field.

Also, read my blog at www.twentyonehours.com. Over the course of the next year, I'll be including all the secrets I used to propel my own career and build my platform.

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