Getting a Book Published

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by A Faithful Sidekick, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. A Faithful Sidekick

    A Faithful Sidekick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi!

    I realize someone could probably do the "self-publishing" thing online or something, but I'm curious about how folks get a "real book" published. I'm working on one based on the archives of a former e-mail list ministry that, for a time, was a very effective tool for helping "scattered sheep" find their way to safety. I have found many books that touch on the subjects I'm covering, but not really many first-hand accounts of the journeys of these folks out of chaos and "back to basics" in Christ, grounded in His word. My book is intended to be a compendium of their testimonies with lessons they can teach the rest of us.

    When you write a book do you just send manuscripts around to publishers until one says "okay we'll publish that?" Does it need to be copyrighted? Then marketed with ads or something?

    I'm sure there is an author or two among all you learned brethren. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Robin
     
  2. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,468
    Likes Received:
    138
    I Respect Your Goals, BUT....

    ...finding a publisher today is a difficult thing to do. It is kin to finding that proverbial "needle in a haystack!"

    And if you happen to find a publisher, you will find what so many self-published folks found, the publisher is only going to give you crumbs when it comes to royalties.

    Self-publishing does have its draw backs, but many very good self-published authors have made it big in this world, and they get to keep at least have the cost of the selling price of the book.

    May I suggest that you contact Amazon/Create Space. They are inexpensive when it comes to getting your book in print, and you will end up with the kind of royalties you deserve for the toil and sweat you put into the book.

    Godspeed!
     
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,114
    Likes Received:
    52
    Don't many today get known as a Blogger, with a large following, then goes to publish to their fans?
     
  4. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,468
    Likes Received:
    138
    That's a Great Point....

    ...in fact, I have one Christian blog that is extremely popular on the site I use. And I have many followers. It is quite possible that the things I've posted over the last four years would make a great devotional book, and I've been nudged by the Holy Spirit to do just that.
     
  5. Monster

    Monster
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wall-o-text follows, read at your own risk and remember, I'm just a first-timer and only know a teensy-weensy little bit about the topic...

    1 - About your last points. I don't consider myself learned, but I guess I'll fit the bill of "Author" in month or so. I'll tell you what my experiences have been so far.

    2 - A lot has changed in the publishing industry. The big houses have all but pulled out of the "new" author market. Very few accept submissions that don't channel through known agents. The smaller, local publishers have embraced the new media delivery formats quickly (maybe more so than the big guys) and are more willing to look at first-timer manuscripts.

    3 - What follows will be a brief rundown/list of my experiences;

    - All of my submissions to big houses and agents went directly into slush-piles or were rejected off-hand for "marketability". The one straight answer I received was along the lines of "If it's not dystopian, vampire, love-triangle, angsty or very-VERY dark by nature, no one's interested and it won't sell." My book has many Biblical themes, it's not a "christian" book though. I did not look into "christian" agents or houses.

    - I looked into self publishing and vanity press, asked a slew of questions from authors that have gone through both experiences. To a person they expressed regret over their decision. They are more or less considered "untouchable" by most (not all, Amazon is one big exception) real publishers. This isn't a market sample, it's just the anecdotal information I've gathered. Also, you have to consider the cost and there's plenty. Transforming a manuscript into the various Ebook formats is easy...transforming them into QUALITY Ebook formats is possible for the layman, but is miles-n-miles away from easy. I spent hours doing, re-doing and re-re-doing this and never even arrived in neighborhood of quality. To have that done professionally requires the outlay of many $$$. The same goes for making a quality layout and final product for the print-on-demand model. Amazon has this sort of thing available, it's handy and automated, BUT what you can do yourself is vastly limited in quality compared to what you get if you pay them. It's all a balancing act of your personal tech skill level, patience and possibly your wallet.

    - I eventually landed in a small house that offers a vanity press side (at first this caused trepidations) and a full-on publishing side. They accepted my manuscript submission, responded immediately with confirmation of receipt and kept me informed of where it was in the review process. This was a refreshing and unusual experience. They offered to fully publish my manuscript and gave me a very market-competitive contract offer. It's actually more generous than a big house like Random would offer for someone that's untried, like me. There's practically no such thing as an advance for a noob like me, but I was expecting that, so no surprises there. The one big catch going small is that they do not have the marketing muscle of the big guys. I've seen the end product they produce and it is top-notch, I'm very excited to hold my creation for the first time in final form but I'll be required to do the bulk of the street level push...we'll see how that goes.

    - The process, once the contract was negotiated (ha! I read through it, compared it to what's typical, liked what I saw and signed that baby with fear and trembling, sans any negotiating) was simple;
    a) The "rough" manuscript went to a professional reviewer.
    b) It came back to me with detailed criticism, suggestions, proddings, kicks to the shins, blows to the ego and brain.
    c) I sat and stared at the wall for two weeks thinking, noooooo! There's no way! They know nothing, how could they! And then, "but what if I try and apply just a little bit of what they said", and finally... "Hey! That's not a bad list of suggestions and the criticism was very incisive. Someone really-really read my scribbles and offered honesty. Yay! I can do this!"
    d) I was able to set the timeline and went to work.
    e) They have the whole pile'o'words now with various and sundry (read - amazingly wonderful) illustrations, created by my amazingly wonderful wife. This was one of those "bonuses" that came from using a small house. You have a little more flexibility if not control over the final product.
    f) They're talking sometime in September for completion. Then we go back and forth to hammer out the dents and buckles until it's press ready, again in September.

    - My suggestions no matter what route you choose;
    a) Cut, polish, clean, edit-edit-edit, rinse and repeat until you can't stand it anymore. And that's BEFORE you submit it to anyone for any reason. Publishers and agents are very clear about what they expect when they "open" a new manuscript. I was told it's a matter of ten pages or less that make it or break it.
    b) Take any and all criticism you can get. All of it helps, the harshest helped me most. Know your target, enroll them in the process and listen to what they say.
    c) Don't fall in love with it; look at it as a problem that needs addressing not an accomplishment that others should admire. It's hard to remain objective but when and if you can be, that's a good place to find yourself. What I just mentioned was my "trick" to keep perspective. Or maybe I'm still completely deluded, who knows? I do know that what I ended with was miles better than what I started with and it required a lot of pain to get there. Others will be the judge about the final results.
    d) Don't give up. It's hard work but very satisfying to cross the finish line.

    I'll add more when and if I think of it. I'll give you updates when I get them but I'm very reluctant to post links and such...I don't want to violate any rules, protocols or trusts. My purpose in replying was to share my experiences and encourage whomever to "go for it" and not to find customers.

    Phew!
     
    #5 Monster, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2012

Share This Page

Loading...