Never Spend Any Money on Getting Published
Never Trust the Experts
Find a Publisher Who Wants Your Book, Not Your Money
Death of a Writer, Birth of a Salesman
Only Trust Your Own Eyes
POD
To E or Not to E
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NEVER SPEND ANY MONEY ON GETTING PUBLISHED

Becoming a published author used to be one of the hardest things in the world. Ever since book printing was introduced to the western world by Johannes Gutenberg, only the chosen few would ever see their books in print. The main reason: publishing someone's book required steep investments by the publisher. And since it's all about profit, 99 percent of all would-be authors were left out. Too high-risk.

The Americans and the British never liked this. The more affluent among them decided to take matters in their own hands, so they offered publishers money, and got their books accepted that way. It is called vanity or subsidy publishing, and it was stigmatized overnight. Paying to be published is not the same as getting paid to be published.

Then there were the few that chose to become their own publisher. They self-published their book, and mostly got nowhere because book stores do not deal with non-established publishers. To be sure, there is always still an occasional money shark out there reminding people that they can all become the next Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, or James Redfield who also were forced into self-publishing when they first began, but that's like saying that any nextdoor girl can become Princess of Monaco, just because Grace Kelly did it, too. In reality, self-publishing and vanity publishing is sheer horror. It never pays back what you paid out.

So where does a brand new author go? You have just finished that book that you spent many, many months on. What path to take?

First rule: never spend any money on getting it published, period. Don't fall into the trap set by legions of subsidy publishers who promise you the world and charge you anywhere between a few hundred bucks and a few grand for doing what other publishers, the legitimate ones, do for free.

Second rule: query as many big houses as you dare. Postage is the only money you should ever spend. Take a chance, mail those manuscripts their way. Try Random House, Putnam, Penguin, HarperCollins, Knopf, Time Warner, a University press or two. The odds are tremendously against you, all the cards are stacked the wrong way. But that does not need to keep you from trying. And if those big boys require that you submit through an agent, get yourself that agent. But again, beware! Never pay any money to an agent, not until they produce results.

Meanwhile, prepare yourself for a long, long wait, and for a string of desillusions. The major league of publishers accepts less than .5 (that's right, less than one-half) percent of all submissions. You will hear back from them, sure enough. Within two years, if you are lucky. And the answer is always a firm, "No!" If it's a Yes, you were either opening a letter that was not intended for you, or you are the luckiest writer in the world. Being drafted by the publishing major league is like a lottery. If you win, millions will envy you.

As for the rest of us, reconsider the game you are playing, the one that used to be, and still is, one of the hardest things in the world: getting published by walking the beaten path. What do you do while you await your next rejection from New York? Do you sit idle, or do you grow smart?


| Never Spend Any Money on Getting Published | Never Trust the "Experts" | Find a Publisher Who Wants Your Book, Not Your Money |
| Death of a Writer, Birth of a Salesman | Only Trust Your Own Eyes | POD | To E or Not to E | Discussion Board | About Us |