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Re: [Shop-talk] Book deal Was: 35mm slide scanner?

Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Book deal Was: 35mm slide scanner?
From: Berry Kercheval <>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 10:16:34 -0800
The answer depends on what you want, and what you mean by "published".  If
you just want a handful of books to go to Mom, Grandma and the kids, then
Lulu or Amazon or a number of other places are fine.

If you're going to market the books on your own website, Lulu is still fine.
 They're easy to use, reliable, produce decent quality books and the prices
are reasonable.

If you want a more commercial path, where you actually make a significant
amount of money, then it's more complicated.  First, I'd recommend going to and reading everything so you're aware of all the scams
targeting newbie writers out there.  Especially, since there are predatory "agents" that
will take money from you and deliver nothing.

The general rule is that as the writer, if YOU are spending money on
anything, it's a scam.  OK, you can pay for the paper you use to print out
the manuscript and the postage to send it off, but anything else is
unprofessional. especially "reading fees", "submission packages" and so on.
 A legit agent makes money by getting a share of the sales of your book, and
is worth every penny.

That said, the thing to do is to look up agents who handle material similar
to your own, and send them a carefully crafted query of no more than 2-3
pages saying, essentially:  "I see you handle stuff like this; I have a
completed book like that; do you want to see it?"  If you have a good
proposal, they'll ask to see the first couple of chapters; if they like that
they'll for the whole book; if they like that they'll sign you and try to
sell it.

There are various databases and listings of agents for various fields you
can consult for your list of possible agents.  Cross check with and have fun.

Absolute Write is a good resource too, with lots of friendly people.

(I've published two technical non-fiction books and a handful of short
stories, and am a SFWA member)

On Sat, Nov 27, 2010 at 4:56 PM, <> wrote:
> I don't have a good answer for the slides, but I did write a pretty good
> book about my adventures in two war zones.  Does anyone know how to get in
> touch with an agent to get published?
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