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How to Get Book Published: Do Matching Services Work?

Aug 18, 2007
How to get a book published can be a daunting task for any writer. Should you use an Online Matching Services or Email Blast Programs? Are these services worth the money or just a waste of time?

These services, for a fee, put your query letter, synopsis and first chapter online. The fees vary from service to service. Acquisition editors and literary agents then have the opportunity to peruse the offerings. You have to ask yourself if you truly believe that the average literary agent, who receives 1100 unsolicited queries a year, has the time to look at these websites. Don't be surprised if you're contacted by an editor that works at a vanity/subsidy publisher. Or an agent who charges upfront fees to read your manuscript. Always keep in mind that in the publishing industry, money should flow towards the author.

The reverse, or maybe it's the inverse, are services that have databases of agents and publishers. You specify the genre of your book and up pops agents/publishers who have said they are interested in your genre. Sometimes the agents/publishers have provided their acquisition specs and sometimes the owner of the database has just input the information from other sources. These databases are usually monthly or yearly memberships. There is little or no screening of the validity of the agent or publisher.

Finally there are services who will email blast your query letter to agents/publishers. If the participants have agreed to receive the query letters there is a higher probability you will be successful. But, again you have to wonder, with all the unpublished manuscripts out there looking for a publishing home, why would an agent/publisher feel it necessary to sign up for these types of services. Agents who require an upfront fee (remember, never pay an agent upfront) are members of these services. Before you get all excited do a brief search on the agent before you send them your manuscript or book proposal. You can put their name +scam in a search agent to find out what other author's experiences have been.

Every author asks the question "How to get a book published?" If you're considering using one of these services ask for references. You can also ask about the success rate of the program. Don't be surprised if the answer is something like "We don't know the success rate because the authors aren't obligated to tell us." Or "the success rate is based on the quality of the manuscript and we don't control that aspect."

You can get your book published if you are careful and don't give up.
About the Author
Avoid scams get our complimentary report Perils and Pitfalls of Publishing for Writers just visit Free Report
Dee Power is the author of several books including The Publishing Primer: A Blueprint for an Author's Success and the novel, Over Time
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