What's the best way for an online writer get a legitimate publishing deal?
Write something excellent. Surely that has to be the place to start. One cannot hope to get a legitimate publishing deal with substandard writing. Then I would imagine that the hard slog of approaching publishers would ensue, just as it does for any writer, on- or offline.
It's difficult to know what you're asking with this question - are you wanting to know how to get a deal for your online work, or have you written something offline that you want to seek a publisher for?
The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook seems to be the place to find every bit of information one needs to find a publisher or an agent.
"Legitimate" publishers are taking a beating in the market due to e-books and the new "Create Space" type publishers. These on demand sources have really taken a huge chunk of the author's market because writers make more money this way than from "Legitimate" publishers.
That being said I did read about a woman who published her e-book on Kindle and after she reached a huge following she was approached by a "Legitimate" publisher. If you are using that word because you believe the branded publishing house will help your sales then you should know that doesn't mean you'll make more money than you would by taking advantage of the incredible resources available to authors today.
Another article I read, a blog post really, had the author comparing the money he'd made from his publisher versus his e-books. He said that if he could go back in time he would have published all of his work exclusively to Kindle. They pay between 65% and 70% i believe of your cover price, and you choose the price! That's huge! No publisher can touch that!
Now, if you have your heart set on a book deal then you would have to follow in the footsteps of the most famous blogger online Julie Powell. You can read her old blog here http://juliepowellbooks.com/blog.html .
She didn't start writing to get a book deal, she started writing to complete something separate from her life. That being said, it was about being consistant, gaining a following and following through every day. That's how she did it. I have always held to the philosophy that if you want to accomplish something and you don't know which way to go, then follow in the footstps of the person who has done it. You will surely reach your destination if you follow someone who already knows the way.
I think it was a couple of months ago that I saw a woman on CTV morning news with Beverly Thompsom. She had published her own book through Amazon Kindle as Faybe Bay stated. This self publishing system is supposed to be really easy to use and gets you noticed if you work is good. I am undewr the impression that many writeers are using it other wise it would not be available to us. Check it out. I was thinking about using it when I got to the stage of having enough short stories to publish in a book. Good luck!!!
If you want to get the attention of a publisher, whether a major publisher or one of the small independent presses, it really comes down to the quality and marketability of your work. There are a whole lot of books and book proposals that editors have to slog through, and there is a whole lot of sloppy writing they have to endure. Somehow, your proposal has to stand out from the great mountain of mediocrity. The sad truth is that none of us are as good as we think we are. Be willing to receive harsh criticism, so you can polish your work and make it shine.
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