Friday, November 21, 2008

Publishing my first book

Finally I accomplished a major milestone! I sent the final copy of my book to the publisher.

I like to write and I also love to hear personal stories because I believe that each person has a unique story to tell. In case you are thinking about writing your story and publishing a book I will let you what I have learned about this exciting process:

There three options for publishing a book:
1- Relax on the beach: Find an agent and they will take care of the process.
2- Half-way: For an upfront fee a publisher will help you publish your book.
3- Wash the dishes: Self-publishing where you will need to take care of everything but printing.

Here is what I did:

First, I decided to find an agent. Many first time writers try this option first with hopes and aspirations.

The best way to get an idea of who are these agents and what type of book they are looking for is to sign up for Writer Markets. The monthly registration fee is $3.99 and you can query the site and get list of agents by name, area of expertise and type of literature. Or you can also try Agent Query which offers free search services.

I began actively contacting agents and publishing houses that matched the profile of my book.

Please don’t be discouraged by all the requirements listed in their websites. Writers need to have A LOT of patience. Sometimes you will find an agent only after you get 100 rejections. Yes, it could take 100 query letters before you can find an agent. I wrote 15 letters and got 15 rejections.

At least, most of the agents and houses treated me with respect and responded back to my letters. Even two agents expressed some level of interest and requested additional information. However, nothing happened.

At this point, I lost my PATIENCE. And I decided to find a self-publishing agency that will guide me through the process.

I checked three agencies including Authorhouse, iUniverse, lulu and a handful of other sites. I selected because of the great interaction with the publishing agent.

Of course, there are two negative side of this model:
1- You need to invest money at front
2- You need to take care of formatting the final manuscript which is cumbersome and time consuming process.

Last but not least, here few more things for you to consider when you are doing self-publishing.

- ISBN Registration
- Bar Code Generation
- Library of Congress Registration
- Copyright

Good Luck Publishing Your Book!

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