Monday, December 22, 2008

10 Tips To Get Your Book Published

RJ Note: Ever thought about writing a book? Here are some tips in case you're writing and are now thinking of the next phase- publishing.

(StatePoint) Over 412,000 books were published in the past 12 months. That means over 1,100 books are flooding the marketplace daily - or almost one a minute.

So how can you break through the clutter to get your book published, promoted, and sold?

"The good news is there's no better time in the history of publishing for individuals seeking access to the marketplace," says publishing veteran Brian Feinblum. "You're no longer at the mercy of big publishing houses. You can get a book published on your own with minimal financial investment - and reap a greater percentage of the profits."

Feinblum, a former book editor and publicist, is the chief marketing officer of Planned Television Arts (PTA), the nation's largest and oldest book promotions firm. He often helps self-published or first time authors.

PTA (www.plannedtvarts.com) has helped many authors become best-sellers, nurturing thousands of unknowns to become household names. Their clients include: Wiley & Sons, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Random House, Penguin Putnam and McGraw-Hill.

Here are 10 tips from Feinblum on how to get published:

* If you want a traditional publisher to publish your book you usually need a literary agent. An agent will take 15 percent of the money the book generates. Once a literary agent agrees to represent you and finds a publisher, it can take another 12-18 months to publish the book. To locate an agent, consult the "Literary Market Place," a directory available at most libraries.

* Self-publish. This means you invest money to print your books. You get to keep all profits and retain control of the editing, cover, and content. It's best to find a distributor who can sell your book to bookstores and libraries, and generate sales to corporations and associations. A distributor typically takes about 25 to 30 percent of the proceeds.

* If you want to get published quickly, keep most of your profits, and lay-out little money, consider using print-on-demand publishers such as iUnivese.com, Trafford, or Blurb.com. Instead of printing thousands of books in advance, they print a book when a consumer orders it.

* Publish an e-book. No printing is involved. People order your book online and it's downloaded or emailed to them.

* To convince a literary agent to represent you or a publisher to publish you, create a book proposal. You must identify what your book is about, why you're qualified to write it, how big the marketplace is, what your competing titles are, and how you plan to promote and market the book. It's not enough to have a good idea or a well-written book.

* Publishers are looking for authors with a platform or following. Create a Web site, blog regularly, build an e-zine mailing list, podcast, speak at local groups, and network at LinkedIn.com and other sites.

* Check if the media is featuring the topic your book covers. If it's fiction, find similar novels. You want to follow a trend and tie into it. However, uniqueness counts. If yours is the only book of its kind, you may have found an underserved niche, ready to be exploited.

* Attend Book Expo America (www.bookexpoamerica.com), the annual publishing event featuring publishers, literary agents, editors and booksellers.

* Read about the publishing industry. "Publishers Weekly" is the magazine covering book publishing. They also have a free daily e-zine. Consult www.publishersweekly.com.

* Tell everyone you know you're trying to get published. Send sample chapters to friends, co-workers, family, etc. You may get lucky and get discovered. At the very least, you'll get useful feedback.

For additional tips on getting your book published or promoted, email feinblumb@plannedtvarts.com. To learn more about book publicity, visit www.plannedtvarts.com.

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