Where to get the Book of Boff published?

(165 Posts)
BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 14:55:53

As some of you may know from other threads, or from being sent bits of my housekeeping book to help you out, I have written a domestic manual for those short of time and money that I'd like to get published. I did a lot of research into pitches, wrote what I think is a good one, and susequently approached Darley Anderson, a literary agency, and also Dorling Kindersley, the publisher, and have got absolutely nowhere (not that I expected to, tbh). Not even a standard 'thank you for your email' response. I would welcome any advice people care to give me on how to move this on, as I think it would be a real shame if it never saw the light of day.

BeatriceLaBranche Mon 14-Feb-11 15:57:12

I need samples - the most useful ones grin

Seriously, I hope someone helps you soon.

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 16:39:51

What type of content would help? Cleaning schedules/time management/monthly menu plans/deluttering/surviving high days and holiays? Shopping lists, packing lists, printing out your own family planner? Tell me your biggest domestic woe and I can probably find a section to help.

BeatriceLaBranche Mon 14-Feb-11 17:07:15

Pretty much everything but decluttering, I am good at that at least.

I would like to know how to be more organised, get out the door in the morning without tears and tantrums. How to keep the house clean, whilst having an open fire and children.

Anything really.

BeatriceLaBranche Mon 14-Feb-11 17:07:57

Losing weight whilst doing the above would be genius.

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 18:00:45

Yup, it has all that, even a nod in the direction of the weight thing for those so inclined. Email me at boffinmum at hotmail dot co dot uk and I will see what I can do.

See, everyone wants this book and nobody will publish it! And if I self-publish I will be Uncool.

BeatriceLaBranche Mon 14-Feb-11 19:02:20

I will give impartial opinion!

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 19:04:41

In that case I will attach a feedback form as well. Insult it as freely as you like! wink

midnightexpress Mon 14-Feb-11 19:09:21

Do you have a blog? It seems that pretty much everyone getting a deal these days blogs. And your book sounds as if it would be good blog material. I'd try that first - if you can pull in some fans then it will show publishers that there is a market for your book. Use FB and Twitter to pull in fans/readers.

The trouble with non-fiction is that it is relatively expensive to produce (more highly illustrated, non-standard formats, shorter print runs etc) so I think you'd be well advised to show people as clearly as possible that it's qa winner.

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 19:11:55

Aha, excellent idea.

<runs off to start blog>
<realises she's not sure how>

I'll be back for any tips you care to give me on this later.

midnightexpress Mon 14-Feb-11 19:12:59

Ah, now there I can't help you I'm afraid grin.

<clueless>

CarrieABag Mon 14-Feb-11 19:14:22

Can you get some "names" to endorse your book?
Publishers like expert/celeb links.

No disrespect, but targetting DK is aiming very high. Lots of other lesser known publishers to try - one approach to one publisher is nothing in this business.

Keep knocking on doors. Remember that JK Rowling had some rejections before she was published and they are still kicking themselves .

sethstarkaddersmackerel Mon 14-Feb-11 19:15:20

getting a blog is easy - just go to wordpress.com and sign up.

CarrieABag Mon 14-Feb-11 19:18:18

Maybe try a pitch to serialise excerpts in the first instance in a women's magazine or Sunday newspaper mag?

Or find a journo to write up a "organisation for the modern woman" type article using your own vivid been to hell and back anedotes. May attract the interest of a publisher.

CarrieABag Mon 14-Feb-11 19:19:22

P.S. You're right that self-publishing is usually a very bad idea.

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 20:24:52

This is all brilliant. grin

<kicks self for not posting about this before>

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 21:08:50

<busy on wordpress>

Yes, I think I looked at that for an agent and so on but got nowhere.

theyoungvisiter Mon 14-Feb-11 21:29:20

Is your proposal good? Do you know how to write a non-fiction proposal and what to include?

At a minimum it should include:
1) Pitch/concept
2) Sample chapter[s]
3) Chapter breakdown/detailed contents overview
4) A short biography of you, explaining why you are the right person to write this (here is the place to slip in your hugely popular blog with 000,000 followers)
5) Information about the market and a list of competitor titles, explaining why yours is different/fills a gap in the market

A proposal normally runs to about 15-25 pages and they are a real art.

If you've done your research properly on point 5 you should already have a looooong list of publishers who do exactly this type of book. You don't always need an agent for non-fiction, but it can still help, so it's a good idea to find out who reps the authors of these books (it often says in the acknowledgements, or google, or as a last resort try phoning the publisher and asking).

Also do keep an eye on the bookseller rights deals as they can be a goldmine of information about who is buying what, where, and they give specific names which is very helpful when you are addressing the letters.

Good luck! It's bloody tough getting published.

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 21:35:41

Youngvisitor, that is more or less what I have done. I have pitched academic books before (successfully) so used the same structure for this pitch and it seems pretty similar to what you are suggesting. However I think I need to spend more time on the rival publications, as you say, so I will put some work in there.

<scuttles off excitedly to blog, which now has three pages!>

theyoungvisiter Mon 14-Feb-11 21:40:47

Oh good! Sorry if my post was a bit patronising - people often don't realise how different it is writing a fiction pitch and a non-fiction proposal - but it sounds like you have it nailed.

I think the blog is a really good idea - publishers are usually enormously impressed by connected, promotion-savvy authors.

But mainly they will be wanting a USP - a quirk - an angle. Something which makes this particular book different from all the other housekeeping books out there. This is where point five comes in - you have to illustrate why they need to publish this particular book.

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 22:59:10

Done my blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Very enjoyable process it was too. grin
Two posts on there already. Rising dawn header, very tasteful and naturalistic.

How do I do the Twitter/FB publicising thing?

whethergirl Mon 14-Feb-11 23:03:13

Could I have a link to your blog please BoffinMum?

BoffinMum Mon 14-Feb-11 23:42:44

Um, don't know how to link to a blog, not sure it would be appropriate to post it here as that feels like free advertising, and not sure whether I would out myself again and consequently be very annoying to MNTowers as I beg them to delete things later on. Advice on any or all of these matters?

theyoungvisiter Tue 15-Feb-11 07:45:23

you could put a link on your profile if you want people on this thread to view it, and then you could delete it from your profile yourself afterwards?

But completely understand if you want to stay anon!

Are you a member of facebook and twitter already? If so, obviously you just start linking and tweeting your blog entries. If not, well, to be honest I would concentrate on getting a following for your blog first by getting friends and family to view it and comment. Then when you've got a small following, you create your facebook and twitter IDs and start talking about your blog on there, invite your friends to friend/follow you, friend/follow related pages and celebrities, and hope that strangers join in.

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