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Writer Beware

Updated on May 10, 2012

Get It All in Writing

Make sure you have a contract
Make sure you have a contract

You Wrote a Book-Now What?

You have poured your heart into writing a book. You now want to find a publisher. How do you do that? First, go to the library and look through the current Writer's Market. If you are looking for an agent, I suggest Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents. Check them out thoroughly.

You can type into your computer, writerbeware and get that website. You can also go to preditors an editors; Check these sites for a run-down on scams. There are a lot of scams out there.

I did my first three books through what I later learned was a vanity press. That means I paid a ridiculous amount of money to have my books printed. My fourth book went through I have no issues with them. My fifth book went through Createspace,com which is owned by Again I've had no issues.

I was lucky enough to find a small publisher to take me on. I think I have been fortunate. Not everyone is. There are names out there that are known by people in the industry that have shady dealings. Ask other writers and you will soon learn who they are.

Attend writer's conferences and workshops. If you can find a conference or workshop in your genre that's even better. I attended the Midwest Writers Workshop sponsored by Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana for three years. I am still in touch with many of the people who attended at the same time I did. I also did a week at the University of Iowa's Summer Writing Festival. I highly recommend both.

Become a presence on the Internet. Connect with writers on LinkedIn. Many are going through the same things. Get a website that reflects you or your writing. Remember you will have to sell yourself as well as your work. Blog about your genre, writing in general, about your work. Build a following.

I have been writing since I was twelve. I had a teacher tell me that one day he'd see my work in print. I believed him. I started with poetry. Poetry will not put food on the table, but I get excited when one of my books sells. I blog. You can find me at I write hubs under my nickname. I have a profile on LinkedIn and on Facebook. I believe I have one at Goodreads, but I admit to not using it often. I have a Twitter account that my blog and hubs feed into.

Make sure that you get a contract when you get a publisher. Do not publish on faith. You will only get burned. Your contract should tell you what rights you retain and what rights you are giving to your publisher. It should also tell you what your publisher will take and what you will get in royalties. It should also tell you how often your publisher will report to you on sales. If you have questions that are not answered, be sure to ask and get them cleared up. Do not sign anything that makes you feel pressured. Do not sign anything that seems a bit off. Do not turn your work over to a publisher without something in writing. I speak from experience. You will get burned.

So, now that you've finished your book and it's polished to the best of your ability. Write a super query letter and start sending it out.


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    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 5 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      John, I am very happy with my current publisher but they have currently closed submissions. I guess it would be dependent on your genre. I have heard good things about Poison Pen Press if you write mysteries. They are on the approved list by Mystery Writers of America. I would look somewhere other than the Big 6 Or 7 in New York. They really only want best sellers. Again it's going to take research to find the right fit for you.

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 5 years ago from Ireland

      Great Hub. Lots of useful information and advice for any writers out there. Nice idea about having a LinkedIn account.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I'm working on my novel and would love advice from someone who is experienced. If you had to choose on publisher, who will it and why? Can you answer that question.

      Great hub by the way - voted useful


    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Duchess, thumbs up because you are providing in clarity great advice. I agree that Jeff Herman's book is probably one of the best to have. I first published through Createspace and found no issues at all and thought it was good experience after many query letters sent out. I think Linkedin is a great resource of connections with writers and groups of writers. You are very right--never ever agree to anything without a contract once you land a publisher and never ever sign anything without reading every single word. Over-zealousness can burn you in the end. Thanks for sending out this hub.