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The Insider's Guide to Getting Your Book Published Paperback – 24 Oct 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: White Ladder (24 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954821955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954821951
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


I've been a publisher for 42 years... it is the best book I
have read about the nature of book publishing. --Leo Cooper

Before you write a book you should read this one.
--Jilly Cooper

From the Author


Do you have a burning desire to write a book? Or have you already written it and just want to know how to get it published? Is it just this one particular book you are passionate about, or do you want to become a full time writer and need guidance on what to write and who to sell it to? Whatever your situation, the quest to get into print can seem an utterly daunting one. Unless of course you have an insider to guide you.

This book reveals how publishers operate, who makes the decisions, what influences them, how you can make you and your book instantly more appealing to an agent or publisher and how to create the brilliant submission that will shine amongst the pile of tired words on a commissioning editor's desk.

It also reveals what to do if you get a rejection (or 10) and, if you can't find a publisher who wants to take your book, or you don't like any of them, then you'll discover what your other options are, from using a publishing service to complete DIY self publishing.

We're assuming that you've got the kernel of a good idea (we'll test this as far as we can along the way) and that you can write, or are willing to work with somebody who can. However, many good writers and great books go unpublished. This is about making sure you and yours aren't among them.

In the same way that many good books don't make it to the shelves, plenty of books do get published but don't sell. This book is also about doing all you can to make sure that doesn't happen. In the process of constructing a brilliant pitch, you can usually pick out areas that might be weak, and either re-evaluate the proposal or the book to deal with it. This will make the project and the book more appealing to readers as well as to publishers. We'll also look at how you can work with a publisher to maximise the chances of your book selling well once published.

What's the secret?
Getting published is more a combination of art and luck than it is science. There is no single magic formula that will absolutely guarantee you success; however there are plenty of strategies that will vastly increase your chances of getting published. That's the `art' bit and that's what this book is about.

Luck undoubtedly does play a part: the biggest hurdle in getting published is whether what you propose tickles the fancy of a single person - either an agent or an editor. And that in turn depends on that person's personal preferences, their experience, what they happen to be looking for at that time, their gut feelings and possibly even whether they got out of bed the right side that morning (if we're being really honest).
However, getting the right book, explained in the right way, in front of the right person isn't all luck - far from it. This book will show you how you make sure you do just that.

What kind of book?
Obviously, there are many different types of publisher and many styles of publishing. Not everything in this book will apply to all genres or categories, but there are a surprising number of commonalities. Different attributes are needed for a good children's book as opposed to a good history book or business book or novel.

However, the principles of how publishers work, the process of choosing and approaching a publisher or agent, and the crafting of a winning submission are pretty similar. Sometimes advice applies particularly to fiction or non-fiction, and I've tried to flag clearly where this is the case, but the best advice is that you read with a filter of `does this apply to my book?' running in your head. Discard whatever doesn't seem to apply, and just pick up on what does.

Most existing general books on getting published are biased towards fiction rather than non-fiction, yet there's a lot more to be said about how you submit non-fiction ideas (i.e. the pitch as opposed to the sample text itself). I've tried to find a balance between the two and hope I've succeeded.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Though publishers like to distinguish themselves from other companies (witness the term 'publishing house'), when it comes down to it almost all are, as you would expect, commercial enterprises. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Previously I have been reading books that focus on getting your own baby (read: novel) published. They seem to, in general, have the aim of building up your resistance to rejection, which they all declare you are likely to face time and time again.
Rachael’s superb book provides a somewhat new angle for all authors to consider. She is a publisher who genuinely wants to publish great and best-selling books, and she is fantastically successful in her field. What ‘The Insiders Guide to Getting Your Book Published’ will give you is ideas on how to make you, the author, publishable as well as your book. She is open and frank about what types of authors are easy to deal with, and gives hints and tips on how you can go about becoming an expert in your field, thus greatly increasing the chances of getting your manuscript accepted, and you being re-commissioned for future books.
In addition to this ‘The Insiders Guide…’ is very thorough, and will be a great help when you plan the start of your writing career. It gives a detailed and precise overview of the trade and how it works, helping you choose what type of publisher to aim for and what type of agent (if any) you should have, depending on what type of book you are writing. It also has very clear chapters on how to write your proposal, how to follow them up, negotiate a contract and very importantly: how to work with your editor from then on. This is the first book I have read that gives you this ‘working with your publisher’ bit of guidance. It is hugely relevant of course, as it is the editor that decides in the end whether or not to ever commission you again.
This book genuinely does want you to succeed, not just clinching that first deal with the fat advance that so many writers dream of, but it wants you to succeed as an long term author. It is a very good investment for your career.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
The Insider's Guide is a very enjoyable read, from an accomplished publisher. It shows how to get your (potentially bestselling) book out of your head and into print. As an author myself, I thought it was spot on, based on the realities of the marketplace. Rachael Stock knows how to shape a good idea into a successful book, as shown by her track record in a very tough marketplace - one that that most publishers could only dream of. The book is clearly structured (as you'd expect!) taking the reader by the hand, using great examples, pro's and cons of various approaches and "insiders" anecdotes. A masterclass. Highly recommended.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Count Kostov on 3 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Breaking into the world of publishing is very painful: no one wants to know you unless you are already a successfully published author. Catch-22. I wish I had access to this book years ago: it demystifies the process. It breaks it down into simple steps. Most important, it helps authors see the world through the eyes of those mysterious beast who inhabit planet publishing: editors, agents and publishers. Once you know how these beasts think, you can work out how to sell to them effectively. The book also has one key characteristic authors need to get published: it is well written and readable rather than just a dry and dusty "how to" book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Connelly on 29 April 2008
Format: Paperback
I am so pleased I bought this book. I have become a little tired of the "this is the way you must write" and 'don't bother because you won't get it published anyway" books. I had written a children's book (the first in a series) and simply did not know how to reach the publishers or agents. I now have a copy of the Children's Writers and Artists Yearbook, a good letter, a synopsis and a properly formatted three chapter introduction and I am underway at last. Time will tell if anyone likes it, but them I would never know if it just sat on my computer would I?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graham P. Barrow on 10 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book with some trepidation, knowing the likelihood was that by the end of it I'd be wondering why I was bothering to write in the first place (or, at least, with any hope of getting published).

In reality, by the time I got to the last page, not only did I know what I now need to do in terms of writing and presenting my book for publication, I actually felt MORE optimistic about being published than before I started reading. That's quite an achievement for this particular genre.

I'm sure that you've all read those terrible statistics about the tiny fraction of books that actually make it through to publication but the great virtue of this one is that it takes as its premise that the fact you've bothered to go out and buy such a book in the first place is a big step in the right direction. It would appear that a large number of rejections are because people simply don't do their homework (or just can't write sensible English) which means that for the likes of you and me (who can write and are doing our homework) the odds are substantially greater.

It is also full of priceless pieces of advice, any one of which would be worth the price of the book.

If you are serious about writing (be it fiction or non-fiction) you will be better placed to getting accepted and published after reading "The Insider's Guide to Getting Your Book Published" than you would ever be by relying on your own instincts.

Like pretty much everything in life, an ounce of planning is worth a pound of action and this book should definitely be part of your planning.
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