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How to Become Published Author

Updated on February 17, 2009

Tips Ad Nauseum

I know, you are thinking it will never happen, yet it does everyday, unknowns become someone. Look at all the junk being written and published and sold, ever wonder how it happens. It is always great to hear from an insider, some sort of gold nuggets to get you through all of the rejects.

That is what I thought. Then I said, heck with it, I will write about topics I love to research and if a book happens, great. Agents? Oh please..........

My keen interest has always been in military history topics, weapons and battles, why something happened as it did. So, one day I get an email from some guy stating that over 15,000 US troops fought in the Russian Civil war in 1918-19. I said to myself, no way. I started researching on this and found out it was true. The deeper I dug, the more interesting it got. So much so, I hired an investigator to go to the archives in London, UK to search for material. I basically told him what I wanted and the detail sought and I paid him accordingly. Mind you, I was thinking of a war game on the topic not a book.

Long story short, after six months of material gathered and boxes of it, some very rare stuff that never has been detailed as I did in the numerous books wirtten since 1919, I decided to create a book. Otherwise, what a waste of rare info. So, another six months passes as I edit and organize the book.

By now I had come to the conclusion that not many, if any, of the books I read on the topic even detailed the military operations as I had. Most paid attention to the politcal aspects. At that point, I felt I had something unique to offer a publisher. The key word is UNIQUE. A few months went by as I drew numerous maps of the battles etc. Mind you, all this work was a part time thing, whenever I could.

The day came when I had both electronic copies and paper copy of the book manuscript, some 400 pages! I now began to look for a publisher, one that specialises in military history. That is another key, find a publisher that focuses on the topic you write about. It will save you time. I come up with several. I send emails, nothing formal at all, basically telling them about the book and contents. A few days passed and several publishers contacted me asking to see the manuscript. One was in the UK, so I sent the files electronically, the other was a paper copy. A week passed and the UK publisher rejected it. The other, Schiffer Publishing in PA, was interested.

Within days, a contract came and we agreed. The topic was unique, not many books had been written on it in the detail like mine, there was a lack of current books on the topic and the publisher was looking for a book on this topic (which I did not know) so, it was luck.

A year later, the 400 page book was published hardback and despite editing snafus that were beyond my control, it is one of best on this topic: STAMPING OUT THE VIRUS: Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War 1918-1920.

Having learned, my second book and third book, on World War 2 battles, followed the same path. I chose unique topics to cover that seldom were at the detail I chose to write about and both were published by Helion Books in the UK, which were immediately interested in the topic when I sent them an email.

No agent needed. why? The other books are:

Corridor of Death: Operation Goodwood 1944 and Panzerschlacht: Armor Operations in Hungary 1944, B is for Beatle.

An inspirational children's book aboutthe fab four
An inspirational children's book aboutthe fab four


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    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the nice post perrya

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      I agree, one has nothing to lose.

    • profile image

      smakram 7 years ago

      It is probably a good idea to take advise from aspiring authors/published authors who started out in a similar position to yourself

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      I very much agree; people are skeptical about the process of getting published and are not looking at the essential requirements; a unique subject or perspective, a well written account of the events.

      Doing the homework and submitting to the right publisher is a must and can eliminate a lot of frustrations.

      It is true that a lot of garbage is being published by “celebrities”, but there is always a good chance that solid and well written material will find its way through the clattered publishing experience.