Writing that First Book
As I work myself into the twisted world that is published writing I want to share my experiences and any learned knowledge so that those that may want to get in the business can maybe learn from my mistakes, or at least know a little more about what’s waiting for them.
Finding an Agent
This is by far the hardest step in attempting to get published. If you want to go through a large publishing company an agent is almost a necessity these days. In all reality this is a huge pain in the ass. Agents receive hundreds or thousands of query letters a year and can only read a percentage of them. That means it you want to keep yours from being tossed aside immediately, you have to have something to catch the eye in the first paragraph. I suggest writing multiple query letters and having friends and family you trust read them all and tell you what interested them about each.
Unless you are a writing genie you will go through a number of rejection letters. Don’t let them slow you down. Keep looking at new agents and sending them out. If you believe your work is good enough eventually someone will find it.
Print on Demand (POD)
POD has become more popular over the last few years as technology has advanced. POD means that your work is set up by a digital printer who you work with to set the book up and as the book is ordered a copy is printed off and shipped to the customer.
The good side of POD is that it costs almost nothing to set it up and get your book running. The bad part is you become your own PR department. That means that you have to sell your book to everyone.
The other bad side to POD is that there is no physical inventory(of course this means you don’t have to pay anything for books that aren’t printed) but this keeps people like Barnes and Noble from being able to order physical copies to their stores. You are limited to dotcom sites or pushing your work through smaller bookstores and hoping that the book catches on.
There is as always an exception to the rule. A company called Lightning Source will do POD and they have a distribution company called Ingram. Somehow this company combo shows books as physically available through the Barnes and Noble warehouses even though the copies haven’t been printed yet. Which means you can technically can go into a B&N or Borders and order the book through their system.
This page is a constant work in progress and as I find new hurdles to leap or just stumble across something worth mentioning to my fellow writers, I’ll keep updating.
-to be continued…