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Getting a book published

(28 Posts)
london13 Tue 01-Mar-16 07:09:26

Has anyone got first-hand experience of getting a book published?
Obviously I'll use the internet for information etc, but just wondering if anyone has knowledge of do's and don'ts or any hints and tips for more chance of success? Thanks

LineyReborn Tue 01-Mar-16 07:14:47

There's a board on here called Creative Writing which has invaluable threads relevant to fiction and non-fiction, and both traditional publishing and more modern routes e.g. self publishing through Amazon / Create Space, Smash Books.

london13 Tue 01-Mar-16 07:18:28

Thanks! I will look at that:-)

niceupthedance Tue 01-Mar-16 07:22:00

Get the Writers and Artists year book.

london13 Tue 01-Mar-16 09:03:33


nipersvest Tue 01-Mar-16 09:19:21

i have had a book published, a sewing book. i was approached by the publisher direct so didn't use an agent, still had to go through the whole process of putting together a full proposal. what kind of book is it you're looking to write? i can give more info on what happened with mine if you think it's relevant.

CreamofTartar Tue 01-Mar-16 09:28:58

What kind of book? Novel, textbook, technical manual...?

CaoNiMao Tue 01-Mar-16 09:38:47

I can tell you, as someone in the throes of it right now, that it is really, really fucking difficult.

ImperialBlether Tue 01-Mar-16 09:40:36

My book is going to be published!

(Sorry, couldn't help screaming that!)

And you're right, Cao - it's really hard. Best of luck.

Pufflehuff Tue 01-Mar-16 09:43:36

It really depends what you've written and how you'd like to go about publishing.

The traditional way: first, you need an agent, so it's agents you need to pitch to. Research how to craft a good pitch, cover letter and so on. Miss Snark is a good blog to read for tips on that first approach - it's dormant now but the archives are valuable. Some agents want sample chapters or pages, some don't. The Writers and Arists Year Book will help you find appropriate agents - don't pitch a Sci-Fi novel to one that only does Historical Romance, for example. Do not send to a publisher directly. Few accept unsolicited manuscripts.

There is also self-publishing. You can look into that a little further online, going via Amazin Kindle. You're responsible for the cover art, for example, and can find artists online who will make one for you. You're then also responsible for publicity and marketing.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 01-Mar-16 09:45:29

You must read 'Write to be published ' by Nicola Morgan. It's brilliant.

IJustLostTheGame Tue 01-Mar-16 09:55:23

I've done a few mills and boon books.
You don't get paid a huge amount (about a grand or so) but it is good as a starting point for writing.
You email them three chapters and an outline. You have to fit their format for novels though so read a few first. My sister got rejected by them and ended up self publishing and it did really well so she's going to do more.

I've also got a self published novel too.
I like self publishing but it's tough getting it to scan. You have to look at it through outside eyes as well as your writing ones.

If you're going down the self route it can be tough to make money. I'm lucky in that I have a script editor in my family who does mine for free. They have been amazing at helping get it to flow and pointing out anomalies.

ImperialBlether Tue 01-Mar-16 10:27:32

Do you only get £1K for a Mills & Boon book? That's really cheeky of them; they sell them worldwide. You might as well self publish.

RhiWrites Tue 01-Mar-16 10:38:19

£1k might not be a lot but it's really difficult to earn anything from self publishing.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 01-Mar-16 10:43:30

I think it would take a good while to build up the readership in a crowded market to make 1K from a single self published romance.

LineyReborn Tue 01-Mar-16 10:53:46

I saw advice on the Creative Writing board that it's best to (self) publish a series of two or three books, at the same time or very close together, to ride on the coattails of the consequent additional promotion by Amazon.

phoebemac Tue 01-Mar-16 11:10:28

Self publishing is good if you write romance but IMHO your best bet is still trade publishing if you write in other genres.

Miss Snark is a great resource. Read all the crapometer and happy hooker entries as they will really help you understand how to make your work stand out.

It is very very hard to get published. I wrote several books which got nowhere. I now have a multi book deal with one of the big publishers but it took a lot of hard slog and a lot of rejection to get there! Some people do make it with the first novel they write but I think that's quite rare.

phoebemac Tue 01-Mar-16 11:22:05

Imperial that is great news!

DeoGratias Tue 01-Mar-16 11:35:22

I had 30 books published about my area (work). For the first one I sent ideas to publishers and one took it up - I was very excited at the time (not that there is much money in it for most writers). I do make quite a bit of money from writing and also update sections of textbooks too for fees. I get fees from the CLA (and PLS as I publish and own some journals too) and tiny tiny sums if books are borrowed from libraries.

Like most things you need to work very hard at it and produce the work and do it on time and do it well.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 01-Mar-16 11:40:56

There is an Amazon community called WriteOn which is quite good for getting advice on self-publishing and promotion as well as feedback on your writing from other authors.
I'm using it just now as I plan to self-publish a trilogy following Liney's advice to make the most impact.

london13 Tue 01-Mar-16 11:47:56

Really appreciate all the good advice and pointers! It's a children's book I'm hoping to get published if anyone has experience of that also?

LineyReborn Tue 01-Mar-16 11:54:53

No, I don't know anything about the children's market, I do non-fiction, a bit like Deo but a different field.

Good luck, coffee. I hope it takes off for you.

phoebemac Tue 01-Mar-16 12:03:37

London I write for children too. You could try joining SCWBI.

A few writers have found success through the Golden Egg Academy:

But main advice would be read lots in your genre write lots and submit to good agents who rep the sort of storiesl you write.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 01-Mar-16 12:03:41

I write YA. Have you already written and polished a fantastic book and are ready to try to get it published, or do you have an idea that you want to write? If the former there is a children's version of the artists' and writers' yearbook which is very good. If the latter, I would recommend that you prepare for a lot of rewriting and editing - people often don't realise how much work goes into children's books.

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 01-Mar-16 12:07:02

Are you being unreasonable about what?

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