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Working With Major Publishing Houses

Oct 30, 2007
Publishing a book is one of the best ways to build credibility and gain exposure. Not only can it position you as an expert in your field but it could also open the door to entirely new opportunities just because you are now an author. Indeed, almost any author will tell you the best thing they ever did was publish their first book.

There are three primary options for getting your book published. The easiest way is to self-publish the book yourself, meaning you complete the work and send it to a printer. Done. The second option is to use an independent publisher. These are legitimate publishers but they're smaller than the big boys and tend to specialize in one area or another. The last option is the most ambitious and it involves the industry majors like Penguin and Random House.

Any aspiring author would prefer to get their book published by a major publishing house. It gives you far more credibility and enhances your chances of selling the book once it's on retail shelves. But getting one of the big publishers to publish your book is no easy task. There are a number of things you need to keep in mind before you even get started.

Most importantly, the big publishing houses only work with proven authors. That means it's extremely difficult to get them to work with you on your first book. They want to know you've successfully sold books before. And if it's your first book, you better have an impressive platform and an audience you can easily tap into to promote sales. Bottom line; they don't really care what your book is about. Their top priority is your ability to sell it.

The big publishers generally don't deal directly with the author anyway. They prefer to deal through Literary Agents. These are basically screeners who receive hundreds of book proposals each month and sift through them looking for those with real potential. Getting a Literary Agent is step one if you hope to get your book published by one of the big publishing houses.

A great way to find Literary Agents is to go to a book store and find books similar to the one you'd like to write. Then look at the acknowledgments. In most cases, the authors will thank their agents in that section and you can simply make note of their names and then look them up on Google. Then contact them and see if they're accepting new proposals.

Book proposals for the big publishing houses are generally quite large. It's not unusual for the proposal to be 100 pages long. In fact, you're almost better off writing the entire book ahead of time and then putting the proposal together afterwards. You'll end up including a sample chapter in the proposal anyway and there are plenty of other things it should include. You can find more information about what needs to be included by doing a Google search for book proposal.

Getting your first book published by one of the industry majors is difficult but it's not impossible. Do your research on the front end and learn how the system works. That will be your greatest asset when starting the process. You can find a lot more tips and tricks for getting books published on my website and I hope you take advantage of the free information available there.
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