Comments on Getting a Book Published

how to publish a bookReader Rod Clark, who is editor-in-chief of the literary journal Rosebud, left — as a kind of lengthy aside to a comment on another post — some thoughts related to my my “How to Get a Book Published” tutorial. I had a place to capture these comments at my old blogger blog, but I haven’t been maintaining that blog since setting up WordPress here on my own site. So I’m porting those comments and his over here, and changing the comment links on the tutorial pages to refer here.

I’m always interested in what readers think, and posting here promotes community building. I will also answer e-mail, though not always promptly.

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  1. anonymous

    Great tutorial. Thanks!

  2. “But beware: publishing has a way of turning idealists into cynics remarkably quickly, and this is sad to watch”


    Great tutorial.

  3. “Most people slag off in the middle of the project.”

    I know someone who called it “mid-plot droop.”

    I had that.

    When I went for the 2nd draft, I had to come up with a clear middle. From my experience, working on the 2nd draft has been far more difficult than the first, where I was randomly cranking out scenes (not in order) as they excited me, and filling in later on. (It was sort of like watching a CalTrans Crew).

    Anyway, thanks again for your tips. I agree with all of them!

  4. Thanks, Kanani. That’s good to hear from an experienced writer, as I can see from your blog you are.

  5. I like #2: Examine your values. Motivation. What we are trying to do. All too often, everyone stops at the first question: “Why do you write?” without going into that other stuff that feeds into the answer.

    The result? Melodrama is the first stone thrown.”Because it’s my mission/all I can do/it’s my calling/I’ve tried everything else.” All true, but what compells us is more complicated, personal, and even embarassing and sometimes even borderline moral.

    So perhaps it’s not a question that deserves a direct answer, but something we just need to think about as we do the work and come honest with what we want: to change the world, to reach people (clichés) to the more specific: a limo to pick us up each morning to go to our day jobs, someone do to my housecleaning, a laundress, a cook, someone to answer my phone, love, recognition, respect, someone to give me massages, Dean Koontz’s house and staff.

    But how we get all that is reliant on our process: One word at a time, delete, rewrite, blow off, do laundry, come back and write again.

  6. Your “How to…” was helpful, informative, clear and thought-provoking. Thanks!

    — Jean Goldstrom

  7. Useful stuff.

  8. I think a lot of it applies to short fiction as well. The page lists all the vital stuff you have to do–and you’re absolutely right, a lot of aspiring novelists won’t be happy with it. Why not? For a variety of reasons:

    It emphasizes reading, reserach, and rewriting. (Yuck!) Most of us would rather publish a book rather than write one, would rather write than read, and would rather not revise at all. The champagne party at which our new glossy hard cover is toasted (and in which the nucleus of our fan club is formed) will be the fun part, and the rest of it is kind of boring. So what are the short cuts to glory? And why won’t those in the know tell us what they are? After all, dammit, why should I have to improve my manuscript–there is much worse crap than mine already out there on the shelves!

    Part of the challenge here is how deeply the would-be author is invested conciously or unconciously in the dream machine (big publishing checks, international kudos, crowds of adoring and voluptuous fans etc.). No writer is quite human if they don’t have a teeny tiny touch of this infection, which is a virulent splinter of the disease that destroyed Willy Loman. Unfortunately this disease is particular deadly in America, due to the cult of personality that propels even those who succeed toward self obsession, substance abuse and destruction, ie: many famous authors, rock & movie stars.

    The lesson for writers here is, I think, that unless a delight in the PROCESS of pulling the words in, and pushing them out, and refining our skills is the MAJOR part of our motivation and our primary source of satisfaction–we are doomed to disappointment– since THE GOAL of publishing success does not even guarentee happiness for those that achieve it.

    On some level I think we all know this, and on another we hope that it’s not true. We hope that there are magical short cuts out there, and people who can tell us what they are.

    I believe that good work has a natural buoyancy, and that with patience and reasonable persistence it will find a publisher. It’s possible of course that your brilliant masterpiece is way ahead (or behind!) it’s time. Then, again, it just might be that the product is not good enough, and that it needs more work. Yes it’s true that crap gets published– but do any of us really want to see anything but our best work in print?

    All of this said– it is certainly true that good work can be presented badly. You need good query letters, accessible (and accepable formats), etc. The point is none of this will do any good if the work is not ready.

    The vast majority of the work we receive in the mail at ROSEBUD is not ready for publication in any format. Maybe 80% has fairly obvious grammatical or compositional problems. (I am not speaking of minor typos.) I know it takes courage for a writer to send ANYTHING out in the mail, and I have great respect that courage. Sometimes though–it takes courage for an editor to wade through what you have written–and that deserves respect too. So be patient and competent in your efforts to be published, but put 95% of your energy into the quality of the work if you seek serious rewards.

    Rod Clark

  9. anonymous

    I am 11 yrs old and i decided to publish a book. I found your site vrey helpful because all of the other sites that i went to wanted to sell me books on how to publish, but you didn’t.

  10. CarrieNealLand

    This was my first read after searching Google for info on “how to get a book published.” It was very useful! Thanks.

    One question- any thoughts on posting “chapters” of a (hopeful) book-in-progress on a website, kind of like authors whose excerpts are previously published in magazines for example? Good for practice, good to include if submitting with a query,etc? Bad idea? I have been penning a site since last year and was just curious. Thanks!

  11. Carrie

    The advisability of posting chapters to a website is an interesting question. I’m inclined to think it’s a good idea.

    First the arguments against: 1. Some people would worry about aspects of their work getting stolen. 2. Some publishers could feel the audience for the work might have gotten the notion that it should be free and therefore be less inclined to pay for it.

    And the arguments for: 1. It provides an opportunity to get feedback from readers about what works and what doesn’t and about omissions and inconsistencies. 2. It may be a way of building an audience. If a demonstrable audience exists, that can be a selling point. There have been a few examples recently of serial blogs that turned into good-selling books.

    All in all, I doubt that posting the chapter will do any harm, and it could be helpful. Recently I sold a piece on the possible influence of East Asian printing on the European renaissance to a journal, and I asked if they would object to my posting the piece on the web. They had no objection, and this had led to greater exposure for the work. (I do think there is a chance in this case that others could use my research without attributioin, but that’s a chance I will take.)

  12. donnie

    I wanted to thank you for putting your 10 steps to getting a book published up on the web site. I have been writing short stories and posting to forums (Free) for years but, as a busy professional, I had never started writing “The Book”. I decided a month or so ago to start my book and it is flowing well and the reviews from those I have let read it are good. At this point I have been overwhelmed by “advice” on how to get it published but your site gave me a direct path to follow.

    Thank You for sharing your knowledge

  13. Thank You

  14. Buchi Onwugbonu

    Excellent overview of the process. Like the 11 yr old pointed out, most other sites will want to sell you a book, which in most cases will expand only slightly on the points you mention above.

    For this free advice, if I ever, or when I get published, I’ll send you a copy, free of charge.

  15. Debbie Sudderth

    Thank you for the time to put this out for novices like me. I will try your advise. I will let you know if I get published and send you a copy of the books to come.

  16. Thank you for your comments. After many years of being completely noncommercial, I have finally added a few discreet (I hope) ads, like the ones below. I hope these will not be too objectionable, as I want to avoid crass commercialism (like this). It would be great, though, if I could recover some of my costs. Many thanks to loyal readers.

  17. Burton Kelly

    This i my first visit to this website, i thought it was vary helpful. Since i plan on writing my first book, i have been searching for a website that did not have a membership or a fee in ordor to view its containt on how to write a book. Which is another reason why i like this website. You should include that section on book contract because, there are people that have maid it to that level but do not know how to procede with it. Also you could include a section on how the writing definitions are used and where they are typicaly show.

  18. Thank you so much for the help. I am 12 years old, and have started writing so many different books. I finally decided to get serious about it. (I even bought myself a laptop to write my books on with the money i had been saving for a couple of years.) All of the other websites i went to wanted me to buy books or something like that. i really appreciate it. I am about half way through my book, and have been a reader since I was about two years old. 🙂 Thank you, again. 🙂

  19. Thanks for the excellent advice on starting out.

    I started a little cooking blog a few months back that has garnered some unexpected attention, leading everyone I know to say “write a book!”. Unfortunately, none of the people in my life have any clue how to get that done.

    I am curious if you could direct me on the research route to go for cookbooks and such?


  20. Kitty, I don’t know much about the cookbook market so I can’t offer much specific help. I think the place to start would be to get familiar with its segmentation: there are recipe books for use in the kitchen, lyrical works celebrating food, personal memoirs, and so forth. Figure out where your book fits and then pursue publishers in that segment.

  21. Thank you very much for the informative website and for offering this information without penalty of membership! I was seriously injured about a year ago and during my recovery, I started to think about writing and maybe getting published. My story has received good reviews thus far, so I am excited to embark on this process and see how far I can take it.

    I would like to ask you the favor of advice, if you have any on my situation. I am writing a non-fiction book about a topic that is written mostly written about by professionals who are in the field (eg. doctors.) I found that there were very few books written from the perspective of someone who had first-hand experience. The research that I’ve done has shown that people would like to hear from an experienced person as it will give them a more down-to-earth and closer-to-home perspective. What do you think about this approach and have you had any experience with a situation like this?

    Thank you again, and if/when I get published I will certainly send you a copy in return for your helpful advice on this website!

    Thank you,

  22. This is the most helpful thing I’ve read about writing. I’ve quoted it in my writing journal as well as answered some of the questions. (Yes, why AM I writing?) I know I’ll come back to it.

    Thank you so much!

  23. Thank you, I learned more from you than from the ten previous sites I researched. Very informative, you have inspired me to move forward in seeking publication. I will use your advice on all counts. Bless you!

  24. Excellent advice. I just added a link to this from one of my resources for writers pages,

    I think what you said about intentions is key. What we truly want for ourselves as writers is not always so easy to discern.

  25. Thanks, C.M. That is high praise.

  26. Christina

    Your tutorial was great!!! I really appreciate t he honesty and insight. Keep up the great work!!!!!

  27. I am in “the Middle” and I am in that slump. Reading through your steps have been an encouragement to me. This is my first book and my greatest difficulty is myself. Your words give me encouragement to persevere, as I know that writing this book, whether published or not is what I must do. Then I can continue with my life’s journey, which this book is all about. I speak for a living, so I must write the visuals that an audience receives by watching . . . I am now rambling, so thanks once again for the honest words.

  28. I am just starting to write a book and wont to get it published
    any ideas anyone about who do i send it to

  29. Connie

    I am older and have been trying to write a book since my teen years. I found out in a funny way that I have been trying to write the wrong kind of book in the wrong way. I am having a blast writing my book. That makes it so much easier to finish it. The section about “examining values” was of interest to me because that is exactly what I had to do. I am well into my book so I am now exploring the options of getting published. I won’t give up because I know as an avid reader that my book is entertaining and very readable. I am writing it just because I want to.

  30. Joe W

    Not sure if someone already posted this – but I believe that Hemingway quote is in the introduction from True At First Sight, written by Patrick Hemingway. I could be wrong about that – but if my memory serves – I think that’s correct. Of course, that is only his memory of his father saying that, and whether or not that was actually written in an earlier work of his or not I don’t recall (but I don’t think so).

  31. Thanks, Joe. That series of pages gets a lot of readers, but you are the first to suggest a source for the Hemingway quote!

  32. Q: To be a writer, is it really necesassy to have a degree in English? What about age? Dose that depend wether one can be published or taken seriously?

  33. Lindsay Weirich

    Thanks, I’m glad I’m going in the right direction (although sometimes I feel like I’m on a Fool’s errand!)

  34. This information was incredibly helpful. Being new to writing, I didn’t really even know where to begin, except to start writing. This guide will serve me well on my quest to be an author! Thanks so much!

  35. This was a great article, with some great points about what it takes to write. Look forward to following through with what you’ve laid out. Thanks again.

  36. Jonathan Patrick

    I’m am not a writer, but I enjoyed the read…JP

  37. Thanks! Although straight to the point (and no nonsense-eque), it was very creative and inspirational.

  38. Also, I totally agree with READING! I have been an avid reader since I truly learned how to comprehend a string of words on paper. There was a point where I realized I was reading the same type of fiction. I decided to go hardcore on non-fiction which was very enlightening. Then I began to choose random authors that I would probably never read. I began to follow up on their work. However, I need to read in genres in which I have no interest at all. This is a challenge. Yet, sometimes that helps to gain perspective and skill. One can never read too much. There is so much out there….

  39. This was certainly worth reading and specially for a budding writer like me…

    I think its really had to make it but that should not stop us from trying should it?

    (edited by xensen per policies, no keywords in names)

  40. Fran Fortier

    Would you know if an unpublished manuscript has a statute of llimitations on being able to be published? I was going to write a novel about one of my illustrious ancestors, and in doing the research on his life, found that one had already been written in the early 1900’s, ostensibly for family and friends only, but archived in a museum none the less, as this particular ancestor was such an important character in the history of that particular time. The manuscript contains first hand accounts from many family members regarding the life and times of this person, with interviews and anecdotes that are now impossible to obtain.
    Thank you in advance for your prompt consideration of this matter!

  41. Matthew

    interesting website with several bits that actually made me laugh out loud.

    “But beware: publishing has a way of turning idealists into cynics remarkably quickly, and this is sad to watch”

    i have a very personal connection with this idea. i was in the music business for the last 6 years and lived out a typical story of a new band: started playing music with my friends, got excited about the idea of making money with music, got serious, got management, got signed, released record, released songs to radio, got dropped, became bitter.

    as i read about publishing and the whole business, i’m finding how similar it is to the music biz. i’m new to writing, but i’m not new to how this business functions. i’m hoping that my past gives me some insight so that i won’t become bitter and can just enjoy the process of writing.

    i believe the best thing i took away from this tutorial is the idea that we really need to take a careful look at the purpose behind our writing. in my case, i now realize that i want to write so that i can tell stories. i don’t really care if i’m a success because i love to create fantasies in my head that translate onto paper. if i can continue to be creative and not allow the business side to corrupt me with the possibility of getting something (anything) published, i’ll be a happy man.

    best of luck, everyone!

  42. Marquita

    I would like to say to all my first time writes hang in there we
    are going to make. We just have to continue beliving in ourselves

  43. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I will be referencing it at a workshop on alternative publishing: it is one of the best and clearest explanations of the process I have found.

  44. Fran Fortier

    Can we use info from an unpublished manuscript?

  45. John Holley

    Thanks for such a helpful, clear tutorial. I’m at the stage of finishing 1, and almost completing book 2 of a series. I write because I like it. I loved the bit about ‘getting new friends if they don’t like your work’!

    I can identify with the mid-way droop. I hadn’t read your tutorial when I adopted your recommendation of non-linear writing. Stuck in the middle, I wrote the end of book two, and it helped shape and move on where I’d got stuck. So yes, it does work. And it helps keep the book ‘on target’.

    Has anyone else found, as I have, that in fiction, when you create credible characters and put them in a credible setting, they ‘tell you the story’? When I’m in full flow, I can’t wait to write the next bit. Although I have an outline, and often much more than that, things happen I don’t expect, and the story develops better for it. When writing such material, it’s almost as if I’m reading it, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I think of it like reading a book that hasn’t been writen yet…. It’s fun, and one of the reasons I write.

    I agree with the point about examining your values, too. I tried before to write a thriller, but it ‘got lost’ somewhere and was frankly bad. But starting again in a different genre has been much more successful as well as better to read, and better to write. If the saying is correct ‘we all have a book in us’, it’s important to find what sort of book before trying to write it!

    Like others, I’m sure, I love story-telling, and I want to reach a wider audience. Getting paid to do it is appealing. Thanks for your erudite advice and tacit support.

  46. Very helpful. Thanks so much!

  47. This website has been very helpfull. it has made me stop and think about my writting and really try hard to make my book better. So i thank you for that. But i was wondering does age effect getting your book published? or if you have no histroy in writting?

    once again thankyou your website is the best one i have been to and has helped me alot

  48. Lela Fenn

    Thank you for the advise you listed in this website. I have search for information on how to proceed in getting my book published. Sometimes it can be quite frustrating. Thanks for your information it was very helpul

  49. Bev Brown

    Thank you for sharing your insight. I’ve just had an agent offer to sell my work, only to discover their name is listed in the: Writers Beware network. Anyone wanting to know if they are being scammed, go check it out and keep abreast of those unscrupulous companies and their lies. I would like someone to give me the name of a legitimate company, either a publisher or a literary agent that will actually look at my work. I’ve written a book and all the websites I log onto seem to be self-serving and not writer-serving. Are they ALL crooks out to take advantage of us?

  50. Cher Schaeffer

    The novel I have written and I have become one. Everyone I let read it becomes enthraled and insistent upon reading more. I want to start sending it in to publishers, but I’m afraid someone will steal my ideas. Is there any way I can protect my novel. It’s like one of my children, and I can’t stand the idea of anyone else taking advantage of it’s (or my) innocence.

  51. Shacon

    Thank you for your help! The information you gave on “How to….” was simplified and exactly what I was looking for. I can now start my search for a editor and agent. Wish me luck!

  52. Cher, it’s unlikely that a publisher would steal your ideas. But if you are concerned you can mail yourself a sealed copy of the ms. and leave it unopened with the post office date stamp showing on the package. That should demonstrate that your version was first.

  53. Mary Lou

    Excellent suggestions! Thank you.

  54. aj dayo

    All I can say is after undertaking such a daunting task, now I know why Poe lived above a bar–thanks for your help Tom. You’re a fine man.

  55. Thank you very much for the insight. However, you are an editor and I was just wondering how the following sentence is proper English.

    “I recommend against an SASE.”

    Shouldn’t it be I recommend again a SASE?

  56. Kell, “an SASE” is correct (assuming you are pronouncing the acronym and not the words it represents — most people speak this as letters rather than words). “S” is pronounced “ess.” When choosing “a” vs. “an” you use the pronunciation, not the spelling.

  57. After teaching for years, I think I have a story to tell. However, I didn’t realize how difficult it is. Your insight is very helpful. In addition, I’m wondering if there are local new writer support groups. Any thoughts on the subject? Many thanks.

  58. Excellent. Thank you very much for the information. I’ll definitely send you a copy of the book, signed by myself, my agent and my editor!

  59. Carmen

    Thank you for the information. I have always held a story in my heart, I wrote out my story last year and now I know where to start as far as “getting it out there”

  60. Excellent guide, just the sorts of things that we like our clients to consider. Thanks and great job!

  61. I found your site to be very interesting. I am a novice writer and I have been writing since 2007. I’m mainly concentrating my efforts on inter-active childrens books. Nothing published, yet. I have your site bookmarked so I can refer to it when I need to. Thank you.

  62. Thank you for trying to help out some of us that are not so experienced in this area. I have written my first book, finished it 6 months ago and I have been trying to write a query letter for quite some time. I hope to get one out in the next few months, thanks for the information on LMP. I am a full time mother to 3 young boys and a full time nurse as well, so to have some helpful information, that doesn’t take days to read is very appreciated. Thank you.

  63. Shannon Santucci

    This was very encouraging. Thankyou.

  64. nancy aragon

    I am a at home mom who likes to write stories for my kids these step are good to follow. ive been useing them for my storie.Please if you could email me any advice you would have for someone like me

  65. Last night, I woke up with a story. It felt like a girl, a girl who was my age, a girl who looked like me, gifted me with her life. She needed me to write her story. I don’t usually write but she was just so compelling. Right now I am writing a novel about a teenage girl who gets pregnant, the entire story is to be written in verse. After each poem is finished I swear I hear a voice say, “Thank you.”

  66. Christopher

    Thank you for this informative 10-step “guide.” I’ve always felt that these steps are the real way to get my book published once I have completed it and this has given me a such a bright glimpse of the future. I don’t like to look ahead that much, but this has been a delight. While it seems difficult and long, it really isn’t.

    Patience is such a beautiful thing.

  67. wow, great advice! i agree that most people give up. i think i might be one of them.

    im writing a book on vampires and i have a lready done 30 full a4 pages but something just doesnt seem right, i think it s a bit too much similar to twilight but its not the exact same. i dont know whether to start again or keep going.

    if ANYONE has ANY ADVICE for me please let me know on email.

  68. Tamala Mooney

    Your tips helped me out a great deal. I just finished my well lets say its been my fifth re-write of my yet-to-be-published book, i have been working on it since i graduated high school. Now that I fell good about it, I have been wanting to get it published, but have only been finding self publishers, and dead ends. Not knowing where else to turn, i stumbled upon your tips, and now I have a starting point, and i appreciate it…

    Remember my name, Tamala Mooney, because I will be a published author.

    Thank you

  69. Your tutorial was beyond helpful, It really helped me see how completely blind I’m running into this thing (smile) and yet it showed a way for me to get better prepared…much thanks and blessings to you!

  70. Tom, what a marvellous 10-point article! It has made things so much more …. ah … easier(?) for me … regarding book writing and publishing. 🙂
    I’m so glad I googled this up …. if you were here, I would hug you right now.

  71. Tom

    You are indeed very real, honest and don’t follow the rules!
    Its very refreshing to hear a genuine person after so many hours spent in company of not-so-very intelligent people.

    I’m only 16 years old but already started to give up after realising the true competitiveness of the whole publishing industry.

    You blog is excellent! Please keep up the excellent yourself!


  72. thank-you Tom. Certainly to the point. I’m writing a childrens book. It’s fun, but seems to easy. Is this possible?

  73. Thank you. I’m definitely going to take your advice. My manuscript is actually completed and I’ve sent it to a friend and she just sent it back saying she really liked it. I plan on sending it to other friends too; I’ve been working on this book forever and its finally done! which is a HUGE accomplishment for me considering that I’ve never finished ANY writing. I’ve always been the one to give up. But this one I actually wanted to see published, so hopefully you’ll see it on a shelf soon. 🙂

  74. Someone

    I read your ten tips on how to get a book published but i’m only thirteen so could you step it down a notch so i can understand it a little better? i would really appreciate it.

  75. Excellent article! You told me a ton of stuff I never even realized about publishing a book. You cleared up a ton of stuff for me. Thanks for the advice!

  76. By your 10 steps, I’m on step 5 and was doubting myself. You were right. Get it written first and then go back and rework it! I have renewed confidence! Thanks, Tom.

  77. sailorjim

    It’s nice to know I have been thinking along the right lines.
    I won’t give up because my ego won’t let me! Unfortunately I’ve left it a bit late in life. However, as an ancient mariner, I have learned the art of looking at the sea and actually seeing something! Perhaps this aquired skill will assist with staying-power?

    I wonder why we can’t get modern and send in manuscripts on discs? Think of the paper and time saving plus you can’t drop a disc and get it’s pages mixed-up!

    Just a thought.

  78. Thanks for posting this. Very informative. Especially since the few published authors I know have not been very willing to offer any type of advice when it comes to attempting to get published…I hope when my own book is published I don’t have that same attitude.

  79. pirate-vampire

    Hey, you. I like this.
    What more is there to say?
    Thanks for this post.
    I’ll be sure to follow up on these not-so-simple steps. (Oh, great creator of procrastination and lazy-ness, please be lenient on me!)

    I wish everyone who reads/comments this post the best of luck! 😀

    ? Pirate Joyce

  80. Charlie

    Thanks for the advice. Looks like I’m not the only one that appreciates it. I didn’t plan on trying to be an author, a short story just kept growing and growing. I’ve been working on it for about 7 yrs now. So I thought I’d just look around and inquire about publishing and stumbled upon your site. Thanks again. Wish me luck.

  81. Andy D

    Dude, Thank you. freely offering for those who wish to partake is sublime, giving in this way, for so many to receive is just magic.
    Gratitude to you and yours my friend.
    P.S. i just may attempt writing after all 🙂

  82. Christopher Cushing

    Just wanted to say thank you for your sober view on this scary/ new area of life… (shopping for a publisher).

    Much appreciated. Be blessed

    Chris Cushing

  83. Cleopatra S.

    I simply must thank you for creating the 10 not so simple steps. I have always wanted to write, ever since I was about eight years old! With these steps I now know how to make my dreams a reality. Thank you so much! 🙂

  84. kate Christmas

    I love this. Its the first time I haven’t felt some one was trying to put me off writing or patronise me. Thanks very much for your help I will send you a copy of my book when it is published AND an invite to the ‘first night’ of the film version !!

  85. Your advice was amazing.., thank you so much.., you’ve really helped me with my first book 🙂

  86. Christina

    Can someone help me? I’m sixteen years old and I am currently writing a book. I would love to get it published once it’s finished, but I don’t think people will take me seriously because of my age. How can I show people that I am serious about what I want to do and who would you suggest I go to to get my book published?

  87. I’m inspired!
    Thank you!

  88. Hey Tom,

    I think I’ve read this piece before. I’ve been working on getting my gift books published for two years as I continued working on their content. I got different things out of it the second time around.

    Right now, your query advice spoke to me.
    “Keep your letter to one page. Explain who you are, what the book is in general terms, what its potential market might be…”
    I’d sent off a couple of queries to agents recently with no reply and now I realise that I need to make my blurb more compelling.


  89. Gabrielle von Stralendorff

    This is the first straightforward how-to on this subject that I’ve read. I’ll be back…

  90. Cheron

    Thank you for the honest and concise info. Excellent information….can’t wait to send you a copy!

  91. Rebecca L.

    “How to Get a Book Published” is a wonderful gift. To find advice that recommends committed effort, wise decision- making, and honest self-assessment is not only wildly encouraging but delightfully abrasive to the rather thick layer of magical thinking that engulfs many of us. I am wildly encouraged. Thank you.

  92. I wanted to get my poetry published, and now I feel like I have a chance! Thanks!

  93. Michael D.

    Thanks for posting “How to Get a Book Published”. I recently lost my job in the end of January due to workforce reduction, and I decided to complete the book that I had a concept of for a few years now. I am now at the point to submit, and your info is very informative and motivating. I will definitely send you a copy of my sci-fi book if it gets published. Your posting is a part of the process in this journey that I am on right now to this book published. Thanks again.

  94. I have visited many sites over the past weeks, with regards to getting my first published, your steps are enlightening but most of all, I loved your sense of humour that came through in a few of your comments..

    “Number the pages. I once dropped a manuscript. Its pages were unnumbered. You can imagine how successful that submission was.”

    “When your book is published, mail me a copy!”

    They made me smile at a time of frustration. By the way, when I get published, you can BUY a copy!.. (wink)

  95. Roger Dier

    The internet is a beautiful thing when information like yours is available. Many thanks for your insightful road map.

  96. I simply must thank you for creating the 10 not so simple steps. I have always wanted to write, ever since I was about eight years old! With these steps I know how to make my dreams a reality. Thank you so much

  97. I found this very sincere and helpful. I have been blogging the past few months, and hope to somehow use my posts as a foundation for a bigger project, the steps you’ve listed here give me more consideration as I begin this process. While being both crucially honest, you still gave me hope that with enough insight and perseverance, I might just be able to make this work. Thanks.

  98. Barbara

    Blessed Saint! Straightforward is the only language I know, and “thank you” is the only reasonable response. I know why I wrote what I did, I know my audience, and I know the work is captivating, since we all live in a society so broken that if we didn’t laugh at ourselves, we’d roll over and die of the agony. Friends and strangers alike are reeled right in to my story because what the reader contributes to the dialogue, to the story, to the texture of the text is why good books work. Reader participation is everything; I believe my book encourages it. While I’m figuring out how to present the resolution, I can be working on the list you’ve so generously provided. Got the reading part down cold, ditto the writing part. Query is already written. Resolution is painfully revealing; I just need courage. What have I gained from you? Totally new insight into how my own head works. Self-revelation is the secret gift to writing. Everybody’s got a story. It is startling to recognize that for so many of us it is the same story. Different words; different angle. Same story. It begs to be told. It is a story we keep to ourselves. Thanks to what you’ve posted, I have a clue how to get it where it needs to go. You have moved me so far forward that the closer seems very possible. I just know you recognize yourself as treasure. I sure do. An insatiable reader, back to the stacks I must go, looking for other writers writing my story. Thanks again.

  99. Jaime

    Your step-to-step guide on getting a book published was extremely helpful, so thank you for writing it! Now I know more about what I’m looking at, trying to write a book. Writing is the thing I love most, and I’m glad that one of the steps was “read,” because I do that a lot. 😀 Anyway, thanks so much!

  100. Maria

    Very concise, to the point…I appreciate the honesty and found this article VERY helpful. Thank you!

  101. G Phillips

    I found your article very informative. Thank you.

  102. Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. I am glad that many people are finding the guide to getting a book published helpful. To those who have sent e-mails, I’m sorry I am currently being slow in responding, as I have been working on a big long-term book project, and this has been taking almost all my attention lately. I will get to the e-mails sooner or later though — please be patient, and thanks. — Tom

  103. I’m in the process of writing a science fiction novel and I found this tutorial very helpful — I love writing but I have no idea when it comes to publishing. I have just one question. How might one go about choosing a title for his/her work? Does the author do this, or the editor, or the publisher…?

  104. Rebecca Jones

    Thanks for your honest and helpful tips! I found them much easier to understand and use than most of the sites I’ve read so far.

  105. This information was very helpful and to the point. Thanks a mil.

  106. Christy

    Thank you for your advice. I am going to follow your suggestions. I appreciate the time and experience you were willing to share.

  107. Thank you for the tutorial. Your advice was perfect.

  108. Thank you for sharing your insights and tips ~ very useful!

  109. Marjorie

    I have had a very interesting life, and have been told many times to write a book. I don’t really know how to write well, but I have a great story to tell. Where would I Start? Is there a way that a publishing company would pay someone for their story?

  110. Rachael C.

    Just wanted to say that this was informative and encouraging. I sort of stumbled into this writing thing and it has captivated me. I am pleased to see that I am on the right track based on your advice and comments. Now on to the query letters. Thanks again for your candor.

  111. thanks! this was really helpful. recommend people to my blog please? i’d like to get published before i go to college. i know it’s very unlikely, but i’d like to try to put myself out there.

  112. Reading makes you a better reader, writing makes you a better writer. That’s the lesson people need. What little gains you could make by spending your time reading are dwarfed by the huge strides you make by writing more. In addition, by reading you allow yourself to become unduly influenced by others.

    By doing the thing you get better at it, by absorbing what someone else has done you distract yourself from doing the thing.

    If you drive a car every day, you won’t become an expert at designing/building a car even if you spent a lifetime driving. But spending a year designing and building cars will likely improve your ability greatly. Or at the very least you will learn whether or not you’re good at it.

  113. Karen K.

    I found your steps very informative and encouraging! After reading this comment page I want to comment on the question about posting a book in a blog. I have been doing this for the past 5 months. I don’t know in the long run if will hurt or help, but I have gained an audience which has built my confidence and encouraged me not to give up. Prior to blogging and just writing on my own with no feedback I gave up. Now I know I have an audience and I am entertaining people…that has kept me going!
    Thanks again for your great advice, hopefully it will help get me and others to the next level.

  114. Yes! Very helpful. I’ve always felt I had a book in me, and love to write. My criss-cross creativity can sweep me away, and the process of rules becomes the chain that binds. Wonderful tips. I’m grateful for google and your post. Thanks again!!!!!!!

  115. Your tips are very helpful but I have a question…would a 12 year old girl be able to publish a book?why or why not? And do you have any recommended publishers that you may suggest to me?thank you for your time and the wonderful tips (:

  116. Jessica

    Thank you for the helpful tips! I have recently written a children’s nonfiction book about the history and influence of blues Music (3rd-5th grade reading level) and I was wondering how I would go about getting it published. Do these same rules apply to children’s literature? Are there certain publishers I should submit it to? I did get an acceptance letter for publication by a small publication house, but they wanted quite a bit of money so I was too weary to go through with it. Any help at all would be appreciated, thank you.

  117. I guess I’m a little late to the party but I found your article very helpful, THANK YOU! I’m currently working on a YA novel that originally started as an idea for a TV show (which I hope can come to popularity similar to the Vampire Diaries/Pretty Little Liars/Twilight series–values!)… I’m in the early stages; I have more ideas written than actual chapters and I’ve outlined my outlines’ outlines, so now I’m working on actually building the story.

    I’ve done many of these steps (research, reading/watching, etc.) But the query is a new idea for me. Can you recommend places to find example queries? Can you also recommend articles on how the process works once you’ve knocked on doors and sent queries and followed up? What happens when you’re actually picked up by a publisher? What if you can’t afford an agent or lawyer? What does a bad contract look like?

    AHHH so many questions!!! ????

  118. Jennie Bisese

    The link for the recommended reading list goes cold. I think I understand though, not all our brilliant thoughts will be rejoiced by all, that’s life. I like your post. Thank you for sharing. Since you wrote this I wonder how many steps have changed, I’m thinking none. People are desperate for praise these days leaving them cold and judgemental, but that’s just my opinion. Stay safe.