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Subject: publishing
Date Posted: 5/11/2009 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2008
Posts: 349
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Can anyone please give me tips about 1. how to get a memoar published 2. any tips on self publishing where or how 3.is it a good idea to find an agent and how to find an agent. Thanks a Milion!

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,341
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A memoir can be published just like any other book.  You send it to a publishing company, and hope they accept it or a self publishing company.  They are called Publish on Demand (POD) companies and you can google that and get a list.  There's quite a few.  Oddly, I just received a book from PBS today that is printed on different paper, and set up differently.  I looked up the publishing company, and it's a POD. 

As far as an agent is concerned, you don't HAVE to have one.  Supposedly you get much better deals if you have a good one, which is probably true because most authors have one.  If you use a POD company, then you don't need one.  There are others in the forums that know more than I do...maybe you'll hear from them too.

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 131
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Getting anything published these days is goin to be tough, even more so when you have not had any of your work published before.  Memiors as a whole don't do well in publishing unless you are famous person. No, not all memiors that have been published have been about famous people but your likelyhood of selling your memiors is pretty low.

As for self publishing:

There are several companies that you can go through but I think  lulu.com and Creatspace.com are the two best. Basically you upload your word file to their site and they print the book for you, as many copies as you want. There's more to it than that like some formatting,cover design and things like that but it's not very hard.

A word of warning: Many publishers won't publish a book that has been previously self published. This is not a hard rule though, Vince Flynn started out as a self published author and everyone of his books is published through a major publisher and is a NYT bestseller. However, self publishing for most publisher is a black mark on your record.

Agents can be tricky. You may have better luck submitting you manuscript directly to publishers, I would try that first. If you get no bites after tyring to sell it hard then you might want to think about self publishing for a while. If you can sell a respectable # of books on your own, an agent then may be able to sell your book to a larger publisher. Generally agents like to work with previously published authors but if you can show them some sales numbers that are relatively impressive for a self published book they are more willing to take you on. Also, be weary of any website that charges you to publish your book, no real publisher will charge you money to publish your book, they should pay you.  Also be careful of agents, generally they don't charge you money upfront either other than maybe a small fee for reading your manuscript.

 

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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You need to ask yourself if you are wishing this to be published so you can reach alot of people OR are you just wanting a book to share with a select group?

If you are just wanting a select group to read it, then go the self publishing route, Lulu.com is great. I've seen books from this company and they are well put together.

If you are wanting to sell to strangers then I would go about finding an agent.  Writers digest (website and magazine) would be agreat place to start.  Writers Market (book and website) contains loads of agents and information. Most libraries have the current issue of this book or you can subscribe for a year on the website.  They ahve great advice on writing query letters.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2008
Posts: 349
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You are wonderful guys!

My husband has published several books on post modernism over seas, and he loves my book. But he is no help here.

I would like to sell the book if I can get that far. I'm not expecting to have best seller, but I would like to try my luck.

So If I understand I should educatre my self about finding an agent and at the same time try to submit my manuscript to diferent publishers (any names here will really help) POD would be the best. and if I have no luck there I should go to place like lulu.com and see if they print the book for me and try to sell it and then impress an agent...

Can you guys explain what PBS stands for?

Also as for the 'reading of my manuscript' fees anyone knows how much I'm looking at?

you said be wary of self publishing that charges money, can you elaborate a little, are you refaring to any fee or the whole cost of publishing the book?

And as for 'selling' the book what number would impres an agent? And how/where do I sell? I can put it up on amazon I supose but any aother ideas?

I really apritiate your help. THANKS GUYS!

Ps. sorry about the 10x edited I have really horrible internet conection!



Last Edited on: 5/12/09 7:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 10
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 145
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I went the traditional publishing route (wrote my novel, rewrote it several times, acquired an agent, sold it to a publisher, etc.) and I wouldn't have done it any other way. Here are my thoughts . . . in most cases, editors won't consider unagented manuscripts, so to get to the widest audience, agents are the way to go. They do all the submitting and negotiating with editors and publishing houses. Never, ever pay an agent upfront--they make money once the writer sells the book to a publishing house (usually 15%). With self-publishing (or POD/print on demand publishers) you will have to pay money up front, but then you keep all the money you get from selling the book. If you have other questions, feel free to PM me.
Date Posted: 5/12/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Everyone else gave really good advice. I just want to add one thing: Stay aware from Publish America. They claim to be a "traditional" publishing house. In fact, they are a vanity press. They accept anything and everything. Google publish america scam and you'll see how people have been hurt by this company.

Also stay away from Writer's Literary Agency. They are a scam literary agency. Reputable, legit agents NEVER charge upfront fees. Ever.

This may sound cynical, but self-publishing is really not the right path to take for most authors. There is no quality control. Anyone can be "published" by these presses. In 99% of cases, self-publishing will not further your writing career. It is not seen as a legit writing credit.

You don't need an agent to self-publish. Legitimate agents will not sell your work to a self or vanity publishing house (like Publish America).

Most agents will not accept a self-published book as a real writing credit. Unless it sells an astronomical figure (chances of this happening are incredibly, incredibly, incredibly slim.)

With that said, self publishing works for some people. Mainly people writing with a very specific niche audience in mind. If you imagine seeing your books on actual bookstore shelves, self publishing is the wrong route to go

Last Edited on: 5/12/09 9:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 4

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I would suggest you find an agent.  ALso check out a site called Writer beware. http://www.sfwa.org/Beware/ 

Writers Market has a great list of agents like I mentioned before.

Also a good agent NEVER charges you to read your manuscript or charges for editing costs. (postage and phone calls I believe some do). You should never pay an agent anything until you sell a book and then it comes out of the advance.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I'd also like to suggest Preditors & Editors: http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/
Date Posted: 5/15/2009 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 131
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Let's be clear here, there is a difference between POD publishing and self publishing.

First  Print on Demand Publishing is a printing/publishing model based on a small but legit publisher who uses POD technology to print small print runs of their books. An example of a good,reputable POD Publisher is Permuted Press they publish mostly horror.

So what exactly is "print on demand"? Well it's simply a printing method that uses laser printers much like an office might have (only made to print higher resolution and faster) to print the books. The adavantage of POD printing is you can often print 1 book at a time if you want or 5000 if you want. Traditional publishers that use traditional printing are required to have a minimum print run of anywhere between 500 ot 2000 books. However, for most of the large publishers, they print  10000+ copies if every book and as many as 500-800k for very popular authors sometimes more (I believe Harry Potter and the Deadly Hollows had a print run of  around 12M copies). Obviously the more copies the publisher prints the lower per unit price, and that is the advantage of tradional printing.

To sum it up POD printing is faster, can have smaller print runs, and because of the smaller print runs the publisher is not normally stuck with thousands of unsold books in their wherehouse that is hampering their cash flow. POD publisher generally fill a niche that traditional publishers don't. There is a misconception that POD publishing and self publishing are the samething, which they are not.

A true POD publisher is a legit,quality publisher with their own editors and graphic artists like traditional publishers and they never ask for money from their authors and do pay them.

Self Publishing is simply you sending your book to a company that uses POD technology to print copies for you, they don't do any editing, they don't market your book, and they don't really care about anything but printing your book.

The problem with most self publishing companies is that they offer special services, in their words, to help you get published. They'll offer you editing,book design, a marketing plan....the whole ball of wax. Sounds good right? Well, no, it isn't because they will charge you to do it and no real publisher would ask you to pay them to provide these services. Also, if you were going the route or printing your book yourself and wanted to higher an editor you could probably find an editor cheaper on your own.

As for publishing through Lulu.com, it should be a last choice when you get to the point where you don't think anyone will buy your manuscript. It can take several years to sell a book, so keep that in mind.

 

 

Date Posted: 5/22/2009 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2008
Posts: 349
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WOW! guys you are a real treasure! You have taught me more here then what I got from google so far. Thanks for explaining it all. I hope this forum will help other new writers as it did me. I finally came home from Iraq (yesterday) so I will work on finding an agent full time now. Hold your fingers crossed for me ;0) And hopefully I will get my book on the shelfs of the big bookstore one day soon. I will likely run into other setbacks so it would be great to hear from you then. Thanks a million! Lenka
Date Posted: 5/24/2009 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 760
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Dan Poynter is a self publishing expert who wrote the "Self-Publishing Manual" Writing Non-Fiction" and many others. He does lectures. I attended one many years ago. If you're the hands-on type, his resources can help you learn to publish your own book. When it comes to self-publishing, I think he's the man. His website is:  http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/

Good luck!

Ellen

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2008
Posts: 349
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Thanks I will check it out tonight after dinner (providing I don't make it into charcol like the other day, I was reading and brousing and.....) ;0) L.

Last Edited on: 5/24/09 2:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1