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978-0-02-862392-4 / 9780028623924

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About the book:

Okay, so maybe you aren't a "complete idiot." But if the publishing industry's mysterious ways leave you feeling fairly ignorant, this easy-to-read volume (hey, it's written for idiots) can turn you into a competent insider in no time. If The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published were reduced to one sentence, it would read: The book business is a business--so be businesslike. Don't send a query letter on pink stationery. Don't stalk your editor. Don't bribe the sales reps. That's obvious, but there's more. Between them Sheree Bykofsky and Jennifer Basye Sander have sold, publicized, written, packaged, acquired, edited, agented, and published books. They know whence they speak, and they freely impart their well-earned knowledge here.

The first step to being businesslike is learning the business. While Bykofsky and Sander include the usual stuff about query letters, book proposals, agents, and contracts, they also offer assistance on settling on a subject, information on how manuscripts become books and how books get into stores, and advice on keeping your book in the stores once it gets there. They augment their own publishing wisdom with that of their colleagues. When choosing a topic, don't be put off by a seemingly saturated market; Ben Dominitz of Prima Publishing claims that two of the best reasons to publish a book are "one, because no one has published a book on that topic, and two, because everyone has published a book on that topic." Never settle for a first offer from a publisher; says author and former lawyer Tim Perrin, "You should always say, 'Oh? Is that all?' ... It's never failed for me." And lastly, how does one land that coveted appearance on Oprah? "All you have to do," says La Jolla-based publicist Arielle Ford, "is call ... the Prayer Line." Scoff if you dare, but two of Ford's clients got booked after leaving prayers. The book provides the phone number, as well as other useful ones. --Jane Steinberg

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