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.
I thought I ought to put down for posterity that the Book of Boff is now published in eBook form, and available as 'Austerity Housekeeping' on Amazon. Cost me £38 to have it converted because I was too lazy to do it myself. It's selling quite well, as eBooks of this type go. The blog has had nearly 70,000 hits and is also popular. Thanks to everyone who gave me advice.
I think Lulu (and all the other big players) is a really bad idea - mainly because you can never sell the book for a decent price. Much better to upload it to Kindle. They say you can do it yourself but I got a specialist to do mine - with design and layout included - and he was very good but I am sure there are other people out there who can do the same. Self-publication is not a bad option (many books that eventually sold millions started out as self-pubs) and the cheapest way is to go to a company that can get you listed in the main part of Amazon (which Lulu can't). And although Lulu says it's cheap you still have to pay for an illustrator and an editor so it's actually not any cheaper than one of the dedicated companies that help people get their books available as print-on-demand paperbacks. But of course do avoid 'vanity publishers' - not the same thing at all. Whole cost likely to be around £600 (possibly £1,000 all in including decent book cover design, professional layout and uploading ebooki version.
Some progress to support ... there is the possibility of self-publishing my oeuvre on Amazon for the Kindle! Yay! Just getting my mates checking out the details, legals and so on before I plunge. I am quite excited about this.
Stuff like Facebook/Twitter profile are all very nice as support, but pointless if the book is not publishable. Not publisher is going to say "oh, well, I don't like the book very much, but on the other hand this person does have a great platform..." Sorry to sound brusque about this one, but it really is one of the great publishing myths of the last 10 years!
Have you only tried one agent and one publisher? Try more. Try agents first. Many people try several before they get any interest - even published writers have to shop their books around. Publishers are deluged with stuff, most of it unpublishable and seriously bad.
As others have said, make sure you have a really good businesslike proposal for an agent - it should include sample chapters, a synopsis and a bit about your suitability for writing the book, and it should be very clear about the market for the book too.