Monday, April 27, 2009

Tips to Query a Publisher

Your first step in querying a publisher should be to order the book Writer's Market. The book is available through for about $20. Writer’s Market includes 4,000 listings for book publishers, consumer magazines, trade journals, and literary agents. Most publishers’ listings in the book will tell you if they accept new authors, with or without agent representation, what types of manuscripts they want, what they pay, their contact information, and where to obtain authors’ submission guidelines for their company. Confirm all information by visiting the publisher’s website if available. Most publishers’ Websites will have authors’ guidelines as well.

Once you have chosen the right publisher and are ready to submit your package, you will need to write the all-important query letter. The query letter must get the attention of the acquisitions editor, or, more likely, an editorial assistant or reader. Many packages are thrown out after the first sentence is read. Your query letter should be a brief one-page tool used to get the editor interested in your book idea. The idea of a query letter is to draw enough interest in your book that the editor will request your entire manuscript be sent. Some editors want to see the entire manuscript on first contact. Check the submission guidelines to determine exactly which method the editor prefers.

Editors change job positions and companies regularly. Don’t assume the listed editor is the current one. Always call the publishing house and ask who the current editor is and then address your letter to that person.

When formatting your query letter:

• Limit it to one page.
• Use single spacing with one-inch margin.
• Use an easy to read typeface such as Times New Roman and a 10- or 12-point type.
• Include your complete contact information including e-mail and phone number.
• Address the letter directly to the acquisitions editor by name.
• Be creative. Get the editor’s attention with a catchy opening line.
• Let the editor know briefly what your book idea is about.
• Include whether or not you have illustrations.
• Inform them of any expertise you have in the subject matter.
• Let them know if you have been previously published.
• Close with a polite offer to send the entire manuscript.
• Thank them for their time and say you look forward to hearing from them soon.

You can locate sample query letters and book proposals in the Writer’s Market book.

When a publisher requests an entire book proposal be sent, your submission should include the following:

• A query letter as described above.
• A chapter summary that gives an idea of your book’s subject and shows in detail how you plan to develop your idea. For fiction books, cover the basic plot.
• An outline of your book’s chapters and what is included in each one.
• Your author biography that includes why you are qualified to write this book as well as any previous writing experience. You can include relevant clubs and organizations you belong to.
• Sample chapters or the entire manuscript. See the publishing house’s specific guidelines to learn how much of the manuscript the editor requests.
• Marketing information. Editors want to who will buy your book and how you plan to reach those people. Be specific.
• Competitive title analysis. Include similar books on your subject and how they differ from yours. Why will your book be better?

Most publishers will let you know through their submission guidelines exactly what they want to see included in your fiction or nonfiction proposal.

To learn more on this topic and the entire process of book writing, publishing, and marketing to help you get your book finished, read A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story, ISBN 9780615199245, available at and wherever books are sold.

Friday, April 10, 2009


PROMO DAY makes its return in 2009 and promises to be the best yet. Mark your calendars for Saturday 9th May 2009!

An all day, online, international event for people in the writing industry packed full of tips and advice along with a variety of opportunities for writers, publishers, editors etc to promote their work and services. Readers are also welcome to drop in and get to know the authors better in the online chatroom, view the video trailers or read the sample chapters on site.

Founder and Organiser of the event, Jo Linsdell, had this to say “PROMO DAY came about because I was looking for opportunities to promote my books using the internet at little or no cost. After attending the Muse Online Writers Conference back in 2006, I searched the internet for similar events aimed at what to do after you’ve written the book and found none. I decided to fill the void and so PROMO DAY was born. PROMO DAY is a great opportunity to network with other members of the industry, take part in online workshops and promote and best of all it’s FREE."

New features for this year is the Official Blog for the event,, where everyone can keep up to date with new announcements and information regarding the event and the official PROMO DAY book, packed full of information and resources, which will be available to buy during and after the event.

Visit the website for more details of how you can be involved.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thank You All!

Thanks to all of you who voted for us! We did it! We are listed with Writer's Digest as one of the best 101 Websites for writer's for 2009! I can't express how thrilled and honored I am to receive this award--thanks to you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Find Everything Under the Sun about Writing and Publishing

I've just added a new "search box" to A Book Inside Blog. This is the most complete search tool I've seen on any Website or Blog and I'm really excited about this useful addition. Find and try out this wonderful new toy on the top right of your screen, just above the Follower box.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Create Your E-Book FREE!

First, please allow me to apologize for my recent absence from posting. In early March, while attempting to add a chat service to one of my other sites, my computer crashed (or more likely, I crashed it). Anyway, I'm thrilled to be back and grateful to my loving ol man for allowing me access to his new laptop to get things rolling again. Thank you for your patience.

Let's talk about converting your manuscript into an e-book. I've recently received numerous e-mails from writers and authors asking me how to create an e-book and some even went so far as to ask me to do it for them--for money. What an easy way to make a buck! But no fear, it's really quite easy and FREE to do yourself.

First off, go to the following linked page at Microsoft and download the free file for creating a PDF file. This is the link:

Once you've properly edited and laid out your book, simply save as a PDF. PDF is a fixed format where edits are not allowed. This way, readers are not able to copy or change your work.

An e-book is no different than a traditionally produced book in that it should open as such. For instance, the Bastard Title page, Table of Contents, Introduction, and the beginning of each new chapter should appear on the right side of the open book; the copyright page to the left.

Play with the file until you have the pages in proper order. Quite often, what seems to be the correct layout goes wacky once the file is converted to PDF. You can always re-save again if the pages don't line up correctly for you the first time.

If this is your first book, or you had little success with your first and are attempting another, please consider reading my book, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell your Story. This book explains in detailed and easy-to-comprehend fashion the proper way to layout your book along with many other important facts about publishing.

As always, your comments are welcome and encouraged!