Advice to First-Time Authors

As the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson, I receive a lot of email from would-be authors who are trying to get published. Because I make my email address public, it’s pretty easy to get to me.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dougallg, Image #5182627

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dougallg

However, by the time I hear from people, they are usually frustrated. They can’t get anyone in the book publishing world to respond, and they are convinced that they have a killer-idea. “If only someone would just read my manuscript,” they plead.The problem is that most publishers will not review unsolicited proposals or manuscripts. When I worked at Thomas Nelson, I personally received hundreds of proposals each year; my staff received thousands. Publishers simply don’t have the resources to review these. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

So as an author, what do you do? Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Educate yourself. If you want to publish with a general market publisher, read 2012 Writer’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer. If you want to write for the Christian Market, read The Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2012 by Jerry Jenkins. Both books include writer’s guidelines and submission procedures for publishing houses. These books will give you a good overview of the literary marketplace.
  2. Follow publishing blogs. You can get some incredibly helpful advice and straight-talk from people who work in the industry. I recommend you start with these four:

    There are other blogs, but I have found these to be the most useful.

  3. Write a killer book proposal. If you want to write (or have written) a book, I recommend you read one of my e-Books, Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal or Writing a Winning Fiction Book Proposal. These eBooks will tell you exactly what publishers want in a proposal. They are used by numerous literary agents and publishers alike.
  4. Have someone review your proposal. If you have a friend who teaches English or is a professional editor, ask them to review your proposal. You might even barter something with them. In addition, the Editorial Services section of 2012 Writer’s Market, lists over 500 entries, many of which provide some kind of critique service.
  5. Find a literary agent to represent you. This is usually the only way to get in the door with a publishing company. Most publishers do not accept unsolicited proposals or manuscripts. Instead, publishers let the literary agents do the filtering. If you want a list of general market agents, you can buy 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. I have also compiled a list of agents who represent Christian authors. This is the only list of Christian agents I have been able to find. (This list does not constitute an endorsement, nor do I recommend specific agents.)
  6. Consider self-publishing. It’s not right for everyone, but it no longer has the stigma it once had. It can be a legitimate—and strategically smart—decision for some authors. It all depends on your goals, your circumstances, and your resources. I wrote a post about this when Thomas Nelson launched WestBow Press, its self-publishing division.

Finally, don’t lose heart. This is probably the most important thing I can say to you. Yes, you will be rejected. I had over 29 publishers reject my first book proposal. However, it went on to be a New York Times bestseller. I know scores of authors with similar stories.

Like many things in life, nothing worthwhile comes easily. But if you have a great idea and are persistent, you will eventually succeed.

By the way, I have just published by new audio course, Everything You Need to Know to Get Published. It consists of twenty-one audio sessions on every aspect of publishing. It is literally everything I have learned about publishing in thirty years. It is a great “next step” in your publishing journey.

Question: What advice do you have for first-time authors? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    Great article, Mike!

    One of the best ways to find an agent or to meet editors is to attend a good writers conference. For fiction, there is none better than the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, held this year in Minneapolis from Sept 18-21. (For full disclosure, I'm CEO of ACFW)

    For non fiction and fiction, Mt Hermon is fabulous and is held every year over Palm Sunday weekend in the redwoods of CA. I met my wonderful Ami McConnell there. There are other good ones also. Colorado, Glorieta, Blue Ridge. I'm sure I'm leaving some out, but look them up. Most publishers don't take unsolicited ms and meeting the editor at a conference and pitching your proposal is one way of getting noticed.

    I don't believe I would be with Thomas Nelson today if it weren't for meeting Ami at a conference. That's too sad to even contemplate! Conferences are great places to meet other authors and not feel so alone in the pursuit also.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/lonely1 lonely1

      Hello my name is Roberto Lee Thomas 3rd,I just got done writing one book,Called "STILL NOT FINISHED",and I haven't had it copyrighted or anything,as of yet.I need to know who can i get to tell me or inform me,on what to do?

      • Hrmnators

        I highly recommend reading Platform, Mike Hyatt. If you do not have a platform,: blogs with much followers, fb with much followers, tweet with much followers,  website presence with much followers, speaking skills with much audience, you will be a dead “duck” if you self publish or do not get any favorable response from agents or publishers. You can easily publish your work without self pub or major publisher and sell you book. Research Amazon. com Smashboard, etc. Best of effort…  

      • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

        Look up WestBow Press or Innovo publishing on the Internet and follow their instructions for sending them a copy of your manuscript for review. They can tell you whether or not it’s worth publishing. WestBow Press is the self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson and Innovo Publishing is an Independent Christian publishing company that publishes under the traditional, co-publishing or self-publishing models. Hope this was helpful.

      • writeupyouralley

        If I may point something out constructively, you wrote “…I just got done writing…”. If this is an indication of the grammar you’ve used in your book, please have someone else read it and correct it for you. Proper grammar would have been “I just finished writing…”. Hope that helps.

    • nomi

      I highly recommend reading Platform, Surf Movies ike Hyatt. If you do not have a platform

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    Great article, Mike!

    One of the best ways to find an agent or to meet editors is to attend a good writers conference. For fiction, there is none better than the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, held this year in Minneapolis from Sept 18-21. (For full disclosure, I’m CEO of ACFW)

    For non fiction and fiction, Mt Hermon is fabulous and is held every year over Palm Sunday weekend in the redwoods of CA. I met my wonderful Ami McConnell there. There are other good ones also. Colorado, Glorieta, Blue Ridge. I’m sure I’m leaving some out, but look them up. Most publishers don’t take unsolicited ms and meeting the editor at a conference and pitching your proposal is one way of getting noticed.

    I don’t believe I would be with Thomas Nelson today if it weren’t for meeting Ami at a conference. That’s too sad to even contemplate! Conferences are great places to meet other authors and not feel so alone in the pursuit also.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/lonely1 lonely1

      Hello my name is Roberto Lee Thomas 3rd,I just got done writing one book,Called "STILL NOT FINISHED",and I haven't had it copyrighted or anything,as of yet.I need to know who can i get to tell me or inform me,on what to do?

    • destiny

      What do you think about editing services for your manuscript? They cost well over $1500 to $2000. Are they worth it? What do you think?

    • http://bit.ly/bestsellerbook lightman

      I was able to hit the Amazon best seller list for 2 of my books after following EVERY step to the T in "The Best Seller Secret". Pretty amazing stuff and all very easy to do if you put in the time. http://bit.ly/bestsellerbook

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com/ Rachel Hauck

    I agree with Mike and Colleen. Great minds DO think alike.

    Publishing is like any other field, you have to learn how to work the process. No one walks up to GE with an idea for a new, say, washing machine, and hands it to the receptionist with a "have the Veep of Engineering give me a call."

    For some reason, as writers, we think that method with a publishing house is the only way to get in the door.

    Like Colleen said, conferences and networking opened the door for me. Most of the authors I know have the same testimony.

    Thanks Mike for being so accessible and available with your knowledge and enthusiasm for this industry!

    Rachel

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristy-L-Cambron-Author-Page/119631931474126 Kristy L. Cambron

      Hi Rachel,

      I agree with you, Colleen, and Michael as well. (In fact, I met Colleen at the ACFW Conference this year!) Not only did I make some fantastic contacts in the industry by making the investment to attend the ACFW Conference, but I actually had a chance meeting with the agent who is now representing me. It is a first-hand learning experience like no other. In addition, I made many new friends who are in a similar place in their own publication journey; we now support each other through prayer, encouragement, critique groups – you name it. 

      And by the way – don’t take the rejections too hard. I stopped counting the rejections years ago and decided to focus on prayer instead. The pile of rejections really don’t matter much when they’re under the shadow of the cross. ; )

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com Rachel Hauck

    I agree with Mike and Colleen. Great minds DO think alike.

    Publishing is like any other field, you have to learn how to work the process. No one walks up to GE with an idea for a new, say, washing machine, and hands it to the receptionist with a “have the Veep of Engineering give me a call.”

    For some reason, as writers, we think that method with a publishing house is the only way to get in the door.

    Like Colleen said, conferences and networking opened the door for me. Most of the authors I know have the same testimony.

    Thanks Mike for being so accessible and available with your knowledge and enthusiasm for this industry!

    Rachel

  • http://na-dache.blogspot.com/ Matthew

    7. And never, never give into the temptation to go self-published.

    By self-publishing, authors cheat themselves out of the many benefits a legitimate publisher would provide. The first on my list would be editing.

    Additionally, self-published rarely offers a retail discount sufficient to get you in the door at a brick-and-mortar outlet.

    Maybe this seems obvious, but I get so many lovely people walking into my bookstore wanting us to sell their self-published book. It's a shame.

    • claudia garia

      why wouldnt you sell a self published book? Im sure there are many good ones out there.

      • Anonymous

        Just now seeing this, but Claudia, while there are many good ones out there, the decision to stock a book is ultimately an economic one. Consider the following factors:

        1. As Matthew indicated, if we can’t make a reasonable profit on a book, we can’t afford to sell it. I work for a small religious bookstore. There are some things (like hymnals) that we almost sell at cost after you consider shipping fees and bulk discounts, but we sell them as a service to our customers. However, in general we have to make a certain percentage profit on an item for us just to recover the cost of stocking the book. Often self-publishers either don’t give us the discount or give us the discount but price themselves out of the market to do so.

        2. We also have to consider whether someone will buy the book. I’m sure there are many good self-published books out there. However, if people don’t buy them, why should I sell them? I’m going to have to eat property tax on that book for as long as it’s on my shelf. A couple of things about most self-pubs. First, they don’t have the name recognition to generate an audience. A lot of books are bought because we recognize a name and recognize them as an authority on a subject. I preach, but I can guarantee you Joel Osteen sells a lot more books than I ever will. Second, there is no marketing mechanism to overcome the recognition factor. A good publicist and a good publisher can help with that.

      • Anonymous

        There are many excellent self-published books out there Claudia! The publishing industry, like journalism, is undergoing a shift in the status quo and it’s the “wild wild west” for many of them. No one tells golfers they can’t play and enjoy golf because they’re not playing for the PGA. There are many excellent golfers who are “amateurs.” It’s the same for writers. There are thousands of excellent writers who haven’t had their first book “picked” by a publisher (99% of whom are overwhelmed with submissions). They’re only “amateurs” because they haven’t been recognized by the industry. Their writing is excellent, they just haven’t proven themselves on the market yet. J.K. Rowlings, Charles Dickens, Frank Perriti and thousands of other writers were once “undiscovered.” What makes them “great” is their content sells well. I read a lot of best sellers that have a strong concept, but mediocre writing. It’s like anything in life—read what YOU enjoy and forget the masses. If you have a great idea and great writing it WILL spread. It may take longer, but people who love a book share it. I’ve rarely heard anyone promote the publisher. They talk about the impact the book had! 

        • Janet

           Thanks for your analogies Becky. to quote my college professor: “writers write.” Whether I write in my journal, blog, or get published, I’m a writer.

        • Jstefan711

          Your words transformed my self confidence to finally toss away my self doubt/procrastination/fear of following my dream. I want to thank you for getting me off that vicious circle, stuck as I waste my life and dreams because It will not happen. No college means low paying manual labor right? It’s true for many amazing people except for this 24 year old. I already know if I lose all the negative aspects of my life and dedicate my love of  writing, eventually I will write a best seller. Before im done I just want to list a few things. My name is Joe and I am a recovering adictt at 24. Long story short, the several years of  addiction wasted valauble life ( Im glad it happened because going to Hell and back made me a better person). All I cared about was drugs, women, women LOL, and It was all about me. Anyways I have severe Generalized Anxiety, ADHD, and not great self esteem. Those  issues led to my drug use, self esteem low, bad anxiety, and ADHD. Drugs and women, and more women ( I’m very good lookig…haha jp) Its very early and im just rambling so you understand me. Finally all those medical issues i have are a gift to me because my mind never stops..seriously. There are hundreds of true and fantasy stories flowing through my brain. I can write a 100 page story right now and it would be very good (except grammer, not the best when it comes to that haha) I’m extending my friendship to you becasue I want a person like you to ride to the promise land (your or my book at bookstores) I know we have the talent and love to leave our mark on the world and touch many people. I did not write to impress you lol, I just typed words that will start our friendship and journey towards our dream. My name is Joe Stefan, 24 years old, live in Raleigh, NC. I also hate to brag..seriously. However put a smart young man with severe anxietyand adhd. Then become a addict ( bad). Hardcore street drugs no. Went to hell and back and witness a lot. So put that all together with a talented writer and I can use my words and stories to change that person, capture, and crave their attention.

          Joe Stefan (248)227-4905  Jstefan711@hotmail.com
          @hotmai:disqus 

          This could be the start of something great. If not I understand.

        • Diane Belz

          What beautiful, kind and encouraging words. The Shack was self published and it has moved millions, one of them being me. I love to read, to be inspired and to be taken into another place and time no matter who the author or where it was published. My 5 year-old granddaughter just wrote her first book, and I love it.

        • Cheryl Zelenka

          Thank you for this encouragement. I recently published my first book with West Bow Press. I am a retired teacher and brain tumor survivor. I REALLY believe God is leading me into Christian ministry as a blogger, author, and public speaker. Like many, I thought writing the book was the hard part. NOW I know marketing the book is what will break my back. However, I am trusting God to get the word out. He has opened many doors and given me a lot of favor. Facing Trials: Thoughts for Meditation is a little book, but the reviews (few but they are coming in) have all been five stars. I like what you wrote…”If you have a great idea and great writing it will spread.” I believe that with God’s help this is true. My blog is http://facingtrials.com

        • Carole

          I’m 74. I don’t know how much longer I have. I read each chapter once a week at a writers group I belonged to before Imoved away. They loved my story. IIt’s fiction.

      • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

        I appreciate this conversation; it brings to light the thought process of those that sell books for a living. As an author that did follow the self-publishing route, there are some things a new author should understand. One, authoring a book is a huge accomplishment, especially if others review it as a good read, whatever the subject. Two, marketing. You must have a plan to get your work published and marketed. This means you will need a budget and a plan to spend that budget. My publisher provided me with all the services required to get my book on the market, worldwide. First they reviewed it to let me know if the book was worthy to be self-published and to what market it would fit. They required a high standard of editing either by them or some one of my choice. Within the choice of my publisher, my book is marketed as a “print on demand” book, meaning the book is printed when the orders are placed not before, requiring no pre-stocking. This model works for on-line bookstores and if this is the only market you want to reach, then you will set your prices accordingly. But if you want your book to be sold in a brick and mortar store there are additional steps to be taken. One, you will need to price the book to sell in such a store; a good self-publisher will tell you what that is. Second, you will most likely need to include in your sales program a buy back guarantee. This is a program that tells the retailer that if your book does not sell, they can send it back for a refund. Third, if you go this route, in most cases you will need an independent book review done on your book as part of promotions and will let the bookstores know that someone in the professional industry thinks your work is good. My book is available in hardcover, paperback, and four different E-book formats and over the past 9 months with little advertising, the consumer’s choice for my self-publish work has been the e-book, most likely because of the low cost and risks in trying a new author. If they don’t like the book, they can delete it and move on. In the end, I have found that there is a correlation to marketing vs. sales. For a new author people need to know you exist before they can spread the word about your new book. Something to think about.

        • Cheryl Zelenka

          Hello Reid,
          Thank you for this very good advice. As a first time author I did not come into the race understanding the importance of marketing. I made some mistakes with my first book but will spend my marketing money more wisely with my second book. I WILL pay to have an independent review done AND pay for a book buy back. I learned that for about $800 I can opt for this buy back and it offers book retailers a higher discount…. like from 15%-50% jump.

          I am so glad I found this site. God bless you!
          Cheryl Zelenka
          Facing Trials: Thoughts for Meditation is my first book and my soon to be published Bible study is called Divine Interruptions: Opportunities for Spiritual Growth. I used West Bow because it is the Christian arm of Thomas Nelson.

          • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

            Hi Cheryl,

            Thank you for your comments. There are things you can do for yourself in marketing for free, but there are other things that require money. I would look into advertising with CBA (Link Follows) http://cbawebsearch.com Also, be reviewed by a book reviewer that is part of the book sellers catalog. This puts the review in front of those making book buying decisions. As my book would attest to, much of your success will be as you suggest, God working on your behalf.

    • Shirley M. Parsons

      When one has self – published and still owns all rights to their book , is it still possible to get it traditionally published?

      • http://twitter.com/snowangelsmp Shirley M. Parsons

        Thank you Michael, I didn’t try to find a publisher, I self-published, which I now feel was a big mistake, My book; A JOURNEY THROUGH THE VALLEY, was God given and from the depths of my heart. God bless you and again thank you.

      • Anonymous

        Yes. Sometimes it’s easier because the agent can see the complete work. 

    • Anonymous

      Matthew, I agree with you in general, but not on the “never, never” comment. I’m a former journalist (23+ years). I hired an excellent editor to review and edit my work and self-published by choice. One of the editors I work with was a founding editor for USA Today. They’re out there and they’re for hire. And, they do an awesome job! My primary editor for my books edits mainly for Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 companies and small publishing houses. She’s excellent. So, it’s possible to produce an excellent self-published book, but rare. I think the challenge of finding the gem in the haystack is exciting, not frustrating. That’s why I review books for authors, and am often pleasantly surprised. 

      If you have the money, background, knowledge, coaching, ghostwriting and resources you can do well with a self-published book. The primary thing a publisher offers is reach and marketing. They can almost always do a better job of marketing your book than the average person because they have the resources and the reach.I have an agent (She was formerly with Little & Brown, is now with DoeCoover). She is looking at the series now. Tim Russert and his editor Bill Novak set me up with her shortly before Tim died in 2008. He credited my essay with his decision to include a chapter on forgiveness in his book, “Wisdom of Our Fathers.” Self-publishing is not for everyone, but never say never. My decision to self-publish was to have a book for friends, family and fans who wanted me to write one NOW.  The luxury of shopping it around has been fun. There is a lot of interest in it. I’m not alone. I  just received a self-published book by CK Quarterman—also self-published, and an excellent book! It’s called “Fallen Angels.”

      I urge writers who want to self-publish to:

      Educate yourself about the process.
      Decide WHY you’re writing a book and what you hope to gain from publishing it.
      Read all the books you can about self-publishing.
      Avoid Vanity Presses and publishers and deal with Amazon, Smashwords, Fastpencil, CreateSpace or Kindle.
      Hire a professional editor to edit your work. Pay for quality. Don’t hire the cheapest you can find, hire the best. DisplacedJournalists.com and other sites can point you to legitimate editors. Expect to pay $35 to $50 an hour for a real pro.
      Hire a writing coach if you’re not a writer. Take classes. Join a writer’s group and get feedback from other, successful authors.
      Realize it is (can be) a lengthy process. You aren’t writing a school termpaper. You’re writing a book. Be patient. Enjoy the process.
      Learn to take feedback, criticism and input without feeling defensive or offended.
      Buy a few self-published books. See what your competition is doing.
      Subscribe to newsletters about self publishing.
      Join LinkedIn and FaceBook groups and seek out writing groups there.

      Writing a book is a work of self-expression. For many people the act of writing and publishing a book, even if it only goes to friends and family, is a huge accomplishment. It changes them. I know it did me! And I’ve been writing since I was 14. I’m now 56. 

      • http://www.marianneandmaryrose.com/ Marianne Takacs

        Thanks Becky for your insightful comments and willingness to share valuable helpful hints! As a newly published author, through WestBow, I can add that there are many options for publishing. It definitely pays to do some homework before making any decision. 

        My daughter & I co-authored a 30-Day Devotional book, ‘Hope In The Midst’ and have realized the importance of having a marketing plan. For us, that included asking someone within my Life Coaching network to review our book~ and she did! She was kind enough to review it & to write a wonderful endorsement for the back cover. Being a published author, formerly on staff with Rick Warren, and the founder of an international coaching organization, Dr. Katie Brazelton  has wonderful insights. That is one of  the important facets for publishing, be sure to consider the source of those giving advice and carefully consider the thoughts of those who are reputable. Since our story is about having hope, based on our journeys through an illness, our geographical community was familiar enough with our story that it has definitely helped with getting out the message. A friend of ours, Jim Lange, author of ‘Bleedership’, had these thoughts to share (from his experience and a conversation with John Maxwell): Jim mentioned that  John asked if he  (Jim) believed in his book and the message behind it. He continued by asking if he felt the Lord had put it on his heart to write the book. Jim replied yes to both questions and John told him he then had a responsibility to get the message out and do the research necessary to aid him in the process. Jim also suggested  that you start with those you know: family, friends, co-workers, church community, you get the idea, to ask if they would consider reviewing the book and give an opportunity to share it with others. This has been amazingly helpful for our book. 

        Hope these idea may inspire someone in their journeys of authoring, publishing and marketing!

      • Katharine Block

        Hello Becky,
        You mentioned that you review books for authors. How does one go about getting you to review her book? I’ve published one (print on demand, Xulonpress ) and would love to have a professional review it. What’s the first step?
        Thank you for any help you can give me-
        Kitty Block

        • http://twitter.com/beckyblanton beckyblanton

           Kitty, email me with what kind of review you’d like — a review for Amazon, a personal review with details about how I think each chapter and/or the book as a whole strikes me (for your eyes only), or a review for posting on my website. Amazon reviews are free in exchange for a paperback copy of the book, which I note on the Amazon review. Many self-published authors send out review copies this way. More detailed and in-depth reviews run from $100 to $500, again, depending on what you want, the depth of the review, and how long I spend on the book. They include a phone call (60 minutes) to talk about the review so you get to ask questions about the review. I’m honest, and I’m just one opinion.

          I strongly suggest self-published authors exhaust their “free resources” – by sharing the book with friends or in a writing group. If you are confident that you’re ready for the next step, then seek out a professional reviewer whose work you like, or who you feel confident about. Professional reviewers who review 5+ books a week may not give you the time and consideration as a ghost author who looks at the book from the perspective of another writer.

          My reviews are from a perspective of “Is it a good story?” Rather than “will it sell?” JK Rowling’s first book (Harry Potter), and those of other authors, are often turned down or given poor reviews because the reviewer is thinking of making money, and thinking about the commercial demand for the book, and not so much about whether the author, “tells a good story.” If you want my review, it will be about whether or not the story is strong, compelling, captivating, consistent and well-told. If that happens, the book will sell, so I don’t worry about the market. I look for the soul.

    • Dannoman88

      One could spend thousand of hours (often fruitless) in today’s competitive publishing market, or one could self publish and promote and get their work out there in front of people.  I chose to self publish.

      • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

        I self-published because of the many benefits it provided me. One, I could have the publisher or anyone of my choice edit my work. Two, the publisher I chose had a worldwide distribution network established, second to none. Three, my publisher reviewed my manuscript for free and told me what was required to get my work published by them. All in all the only down side to self-publishing is the amount of money and time you have to spend to promote your work. Traditional publishers have an in with brick-and-mortar book outlets. But in the end, I am happy with my choice and it was a very educational one at that, with relationship to the book market. If you choose the right publisher you can get your book priced to sell in a brick and mortar bookshop.
         
        Respectfully,
         
        Reid Ashbaucher
        Author – http://booksite.rcetc.com

        • http://twitter.com/PaulAlanClif Paul Alan Clifford

          If you don’t consider self-publishing, you might be choosing: a meager advance in trade for only making $1-2 per copy on your books (I make up to 80% of the retail price), selling your rights to the book (I and I alone own my copyright), risking it going out of print (my book will be in print for as long as Amazon exists and longer if I change printers), still having to do the promotion yourself (I already do my own promotion why should I pay the publisher for the privoledge), having an editor that doesn’t get your work and forces you to make changes that you don’t want to make (my editor works for me and lets me choose if her ideas are good or not), etc.

          Seth Godin self-published his last book.  Guy Kawasaki self-published his last two.  There are tons of other mainstream authors, too. 

          I’ve self-published three and have two more ready to go to the editor.    I started writing books in November of 2010, what traditional publisher would publish five books from a newbie author in less than three years?  

          Paul

          • Shayne Gardner

            What self-publishing company are you using?

  • http://na-dache.blogspot.com Matthew

    7. And never, never give into the temptation to go self-published.

    By self-publishing, authors cheat themselves out of the many benefits a legitimate publisher would provide. The first on my list would be editing.

    Additionally, self-published rarely offers a retail discount sufficient to get you in the door at a brick-and-mortar outlet.

    Maybe this seems obvious, but I get so many lovely people walking into my bookstore wanting us to sell their self-published book. It’s a shame.

    • claudia garia

      why wouldnt you sell a self published book? Im sure there are many good ones out there.

    • http://www.squidoo.com/book-isbn-1419650513/ Joe Breunig

      I respectfully disagree with your perspective of avoiding 'self-publishing'. While it is true that many novice writers fail to understand the need of editing services, I was not one of them. As part of my book publishing package with CreateSpace (former BookSurge), I paid for editing. And it was worth the cost.

      Even though it is true that many 'brick-and-mortar' outlets avoid POD (Print On Demand) titles, we as independent writers don't really need them. (Their biggest complain regarding POD is their ability to return titles that don't meet their unrealistic sales goals.) After all, with this Internet technology available to many people, one can easily do self-promotion and market one's own book. I know, seeing that I've been doing it for 3+ years (as of this moment).

      Besides bookstores, there are other business entities with whom one can build partnerships. (As an aside, not only did a Keene, NH bookstore purchase copies of my book for their poetry section, they also hosted a book signing for me as well. And have offerred to host another signing in the future.)

      –Joe Breunig
      Reaching Towards His Unbounded Glory

      • Jennifer

        Thomas Nelson Publishing has a self-publishing division which I just used to publish my first book, Savor the Love. It is called WestBow Press and they provided editing and have been fantastic to work with.

  • Bryan Catherman

    I read a line describing the slush pile that completely changed my outlook on this topic. (The same line was used in the movie SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.) The website said, "it's like finding a needle in a stack of needles."

  • Bryan Catherman

    I read a line describing the slush pile that completely changed my outlook on this topic. (The same line was used in the movie SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.) The website said, “it’s like finding a needle in a stack of needles.”

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Colleen: I should have included Writer's Conferences. This is a MUST.

    @Rachel: I need to remember the GE illustration. That is very compelling.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Colleen: I should have included Writer’s Conferences. This is a MUST.

    @Rachel: I need to remember the GE illustration. That is very compelling.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.cruciformlife.wordpress.com/ Jimmy Davis

    Thanks so much for helping hopeful authors. Thanks especially for the links to agent blogs…I've bookmarked them and will read them often.

  • http://www.cruciformlife.wordpress.com Jimmy Davis

    Thanks so much for helping hopeful authors. Thanks especially for the links to agent blogs…I’ve bookmarked them and will read them often.

  • http://www.cjdarlington.blogspot.com/ C.J. Darlington

    Thanks for sharing this, Michael. It means a lot that someone as busy as yourself takes the time to connect with people through this blog.

  • http://www.cjdarlington.blogspot.com C.J. Darlington

    Thanks for sharing this, Michael. It means a lot that someone as busy as yourself takes the time to connect with people through this blog.

    • sd Barnes

      C.J. Darlington? I think I recognize your name. Did you win a writer's contest with Jerry Jenkins/The Christian Writers Guild a fw years ago? if so, that's amazing and congratulations!!!

      sd Barnes

  • http://www.emergingintofaith.blogspot.com/ Dr. David & Lisa

    Join a writers group immediately. Consider joining the Jerry W. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild (global) or a local guild in your area. We live in San Diego and highly (!!) recommend our local guild: San Diego Christian Writers Guild, founded by Shirwood (Woody) Wirt.

    Writers guilds and groups are excellent places to network with writers, editors, publishers and others. We have published ten books with four major Christian publishers: all of these are a product of networking with the Jenkins guild and with our own local guild.

    In a word: NETWORK. http://www.MarriageStudies.com

  • http://www.emergingintofaith.blogspot.com Dr. David & Lisa Frisbie

    Join a writers group immediately. Consider joining the Jerry W. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild (global) or a local guild in your area. We live in San Diego and highly (!!) recommend our local guild: San Diego Christian Writers Guild, founded by Shirwood (Woody) Wirt.

    Writers guilds and groups are excellent places to network with writers, editors, publishers and others. We have published ten books with four major Christian publishers: all of these are a product of networking with the Jenkins guild and with our own local guild.

    In a word: NETWORK.
    http://www.MarriageStudies.com

  • http://izzysoffice.com/ Diane Stortz

    Mike, I can testify that your article "How to Write a Winning Book Proposal" is THE template to follow for any nonfiction projects. Having evaluated numerous proposals when I worked for Standard Publishing, I understood the importance of a standout proposal. When the time came to write my first book, my co-author and I followed your article step-by-step.

    The process you describe there forces writers to think precisely about what they want to accomplish and how they are going to do it, where the audience is, and why their book will stand out against the competition.

    My co-author and I landed a contract from the first publisher we approached! (Targeting the right publisher for a project is essential too.) The book will be out this October from Authentic Publishing. It's called Parents of Missionaries: How to Thrive and Stay Connected When Your Children and Grandchildren Serve Cross-Culturally.

    So, thank you for the article, and here's hoping lots more aspiring authors will read and follow it!

  • http://izzysoffice.com Diane Stortz

    Mike, I can testify that your article “How to Write a Winning Book Proposal” is THE template to follow for any nonfiction projects. Having evaluated numerous proposals when I worked for Standard Publishing, I understood the importance of a standout proposal. When the time came to write my first book, my co-author and I followed your article step-by-step.

    The process you describe there forces writers to think precisely about what they want to accomplish and how they are going to do it, where the audience is, and why their book will stand out against the competition.

    My co-author and I landed a contract from the first publisher we approached! (Targeting the right publisher for a project is essential too.) The book will be out this October from Authentic Publishing. It’s called Parents of Missionaries: How to Thrive and Stay Connected When Your Children and Grandchildren Serve Cross-Culturally.

    So, thank you for the article, and here’s hoping lots more aspiring authors will read and follow it!

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/weakandfoolish Rob Sargeant

    I've been a regular reader of Chip MacGregor's blog for about a year and have gained a wealth of insight there. He's got a quirky sense of humour and is very approachable. Highly recommended.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/weakandfoolish Rob Sargeant

    I’ve been a regular reader of Chip MacGregor’s blog for about a year and have gained a wealth of insight there. He’s got a quirky sense of humour and is very approachable. Highly recommended.

  • http://www.reson8.org/ Scot Longyear

    Mike,

    What are your thoughts on self-publishing vs trying to get published by a bigger company?

    Thanks in advance!

  • http://www.reson8.org Scot Longyear

    Mike,

    What are your thoughts on self-publishing vs trying to get published by a bigger company?

    Thanks in advance!

  • http://www.saraccinoblogiato.blogspot.com/ Sarah Harris

    Thanks for the info! I order the Christian Writers Market Guide every year and can testify that it is packed with valuable information. Every writer, whether secular or Christian, should own a Market Guide.

  • http://www.saraccinoblogiato.blogspot.com Sarah Harris

    Thanks for the info! I order the Christian Writers Market Guide every year and can testify that it is packed with valuable information. Every writer, whether secular or Christian, should own a Market Guide.

  • http://cherylbarker.blogspot.com/ Cheryl Barker

    Mike, thanks so much for including the link to the agent list as well as the link to your example of a book proposal. I appreciate your blog, and the comments today from other readers have helped give me direction on a couple of issues, too. Thanks again!

  • http://cherylbarker.blogspot.com/ Cheryl Barker

    Mike, thanks so much for including the link to the agent list as well as the link to your example of a book proposal. I appreciate your blog, and the comments today from other readers have helped give me direction on a couple of issues, too. Thanks again!

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Scot: I would only consider self-publishing if you have a platform and a constituency that you can reach on your own. By and large, traditional publishers and retailers look unfavorably on self-published books. The assumption is that it wasn't good enough to be published by conventional means. I know that's not always true, but it's definitely the perception.

    • Darryl

      What happen to good old fashion innovation and entreprenuership (free enterprise.) What is good for one person isn't always good for the next. I think we should be very careful on the advice we give to people who dare to dream they have something wonderful to offer. We can list on and on the dozens of authors who have had tremendous success with self-publishing. Let us also be honest and admit timing is everything. What an agent/publisher rejects one day, an audience finds appealing the next, and then what?

    • Leo

      Mike, thank you so much for your interaction with many of us that are interested in this field.  I have a great opportunity that was presented to me about giving me the copy write and writing privilege for the life and bio of one of the boxers in history and I do not have a clue of where to start.  I am inclined to go with a well-known writer such as yourself and move forward but I do not know if this is something that would interest you.
      Please let me know if you would entertain this proposal.
       
      The ultimate goal is to make a movie about this fighter, which has been a 5 times world champion in 5 decades and in 5 different weight level.  The book as well as the movie promises to be a hit from the start.
      V/r
       
      Leo
      leo137@hotmail.com

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        No, I would not be the right one to do this. A few years ago, we published George Foreman’s bio. It sold very poorly, even though it was written well. We ultimately concluded the people who wax boxing don’t read biographies. That may should like a stereo-type, but I don’t know what else to conclude. Thanks.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Scot: I would only consider self-publishing if you have a platform and a constituency that you can reach on your own. By and large, traditional publishers and retailers look unfavorably on self-published books. The assumption is that it wasn’t good enough to be published by conventional means. I know that’s not always true, but it’s definitely the perception.

    • Darryl

      What happen to good old fashion innovation and entreprenuership (free enterprise.) What is good for one person isn't always good for the next. I think we should be very careful on the advice we give to people who dare to dream they have something wonderful to offer. We can list on and on the dozens of authors who have had tremendous success with self-publishing. Let us also be honest and admit timing is everything. What an agent/publisher rejects one day, an audience finds appealing the next, and then what?

  • Lisa

    Help… In my ignorance of the industry, 2 years ago I self-published (they called it "partnering" and emphasized "keeping the rights.")

    I have now sold nearly 4000 books, of which BookScan shows almost 1000 through Leading National Chain Bookstores- those we all know and love. But the demand is now too big for me and I am much more educated about the industry.

    I just sent my first and exclusive query to an agent. Did I ruin my chance of being considered seriously?

    Any advise as to how to best approach the tradition publishing market?

  • Lisa

    Help… In my ignorance of the industry, 2 years ago I self-published (they called it “partnering” and emphasized “keeping the rights.”)

    I have now sold nearly 4000 books, of which BookScan shows almost 1000 through Leading National Chain Bookstores- those we all know and love. But the demand is now too big for me and I am much more educated about the industry.

    I just sent my first and exclusive query to an agent. Did I ruin my chance of being considered seriously?

    Any advise as to how to best approach the tradition publishing market?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Lisa: I would not send the actual book to an agent. I would send a proposal. I would not volunteer that you self-published the book until you get a little further into the process.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Lisa: I would not send the actual book to an agent. I would send a proposal. I would not volunteer that you self-published the book until you get a little further into the process.

  • Lisa

    Michael,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer. That is exactly what I needed to know.

    May your jar overflow with warm brown pennies of love.

    Lisa S. Hale

  • Lisa

    Michael,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer. That is exactly what I needed to know.

    May your jar overflow with warm brown pennies of love.

    Lisa S. Hale

  • http://rub-a-dub.blogspot.com/ Mattk

    Michael, thanks for the the killer book proposal article. I used it to put together a book proposal for a class I took last semester, and got an A on the project. (Of course, I cited you.) Now if I could just find the time to write the rest of the book…

  • http://rub-a-dub.blogspot.com Mattk

    Michael, thanks for the the killer book proposal article. I used it to put together a book proposal for a class I took last semester, and got an A on the project. (Of course, I cited you.) Now if I could just find the time to write the rest of the book…

  • http://www.toyboxleadership.com/ Michael E. Waddell

    Like Diane, I too can testify that Michael's article "How to Write a Winning Book Proposal" is THE template to follow for any nonfiction projects.

    My co-author (Ron Hunter Jr.) and I used it to write our first proposal (without an agent) and Thomas Nelson just published it last month.

    I would also recommend finding an agent. (I found mine off of your list). One publisher told me that I was lucky to be published without one because receiving proposals form authors without agents is like "trying to drink from a fire hydrant."

    Michael E. Waddell
    co-author
    TOY BOX LEADERSHIP: Leadership Lessons From The Toys You Loved As A Child

  • http://www.toyboxleadership.com Michael E. Waddell

    Like Diane, I too can testify that Michael’s article “How to Write a Winning Book Proposal” is THE template to follow for any nonfiction projects.

    My co-author (Ron Hunter Jr.) and I used it to write our first proposal (without an agent) and Thomas Nelson just published it last month.

    I would also recommend finding an agent. (I found mine off of your list). One publisher told me that I was lucky to be published without one because receiving proposals form authors without agents is like “trying to drink from a fire hydrant.”

    Michael E. Waddell
    co-author
    TOY BOX LEADERSHIP: Leadership Lessons From The Toys You Loved As A Child

  • http://youthmaster.blogspot.org/ Marvin Nelson

    Just received my first rejection e-mail…I had to come back and read this to get encouraged. Thanks Mike! Quick question…do you think the Christian Manuscript Submissions and the $98 price is worth it? I know you wrote about it but it was your last number…just wondering

  • http://youthmaster.blogspot.org Marvin Nelson

    Just received my first rejection e-mail…I had to come back and read this to get encouraged. Thanks Mike! Quick question…do you think the Christian Manuscript Submissions and the $98 price is worth it? I know you wrote about it but it was your last number…just wondering

  • http://www.journalsoftheheart.com/ Brenda Craig

    Michael, it took me three years to do my book and I had a chance to co-publish with Creation House but chose to co-publish with Arrow Publications Inc (ultimately came down to money). Seems that co-publishing is somewhere in the middle between self and traditional. Any Comments?

  • http://www.journalsoftheheart.com Brenda Craig

    Michael, it took me three years to do my book and I had a chance to co-publish with Creation House but chose to co-publish with Arrow Publications Inc (ultimately came down to money). Seems that co-publishing is somewhere in the middle between self and traditional. Any Comments?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Brenda: I am sorry, but I am not familiar with Arrow Publications, so I cannot comment. Thanks.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Brenda: I am sorry, but I am not familiar with Arrow Publications, so I cannot comment. Thanks.

  • http://www.journalsoftheheart.com/ Brenda Craig

    Actually, I was asking your opinion on the new trend toward co-publishing…and Arrow Publications is a ministry of Francis Frangipane.

  • http://www.journalsoftheheart.com Brenda Craig

    Actually, I was asking your opinion on the new trend toward co-publishing…and Arrow Publications is a ministry of Francis Frangipane.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Brenda: I don't have any real comment on that either. The main thing you get from a traditional publisher is access to retail accounts. Since the major booksellers will only grant appointments to a limited number of publishers, I am not sure what a co-publisher could offer. Perhaps you can explain the benefits as you see them. Thanks.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Brenda: I don’t have any real comment on that either. The main thing you get from a traditional publisher is access to retail accounts. Since the major booksellers will only grant appointments to a limited number of publishers, I am not sure what a co-publisher could offer. Perhaps you can explain the benefits as you see them. Thanks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ultrajoe Joe Sewell

      A friend went through a "self-publisher"bof a different kind. I don't recall the name off-hand, but it's actually affiliated with Barnes & Noble. She got consumer exposure through them.

  • http://www.fallible.com/ Katy McKenna

    Great advice, Michael. Thank you for it.

    Networking with other writers, editors, and agents is SO helpful when trying to break in. I have made many genuine friendships through blogging. I've enjoyed doing interviews on my blog with authors I've met at ACFW or corresponded with in some way.

    I did NOT know this would happen as a result of this natural networking, and I did not ask this author to help me in any way, but a wonderful author forwarded my manuscript to an agent friend of hers. Within days, I had an agent! (After years of trying, of course!!)

    You will make the best friends in this industry, if you put forth some effort to bless them! I will be forever grateful for that fact.

  • http://www.fallible.com Katy McKenna

    Great advice, Michael. Thank you for it.

    Networking with other writers, editors, and agents is SO helpful when trying to break in. I have made many genuine friendships through blogging. I’ve enjoyed doing interviews on my blog with authors I’ve met at ACFW or corresponded with in some way.

    I did NOT know this would happen as a result of this natural networking, and I did not ask this author to help me in any way, but a wonderful author forwarded my manuscript to an agent friend of hers. Within days, I had an agent! (After years of trying, of course!!)

    You will make the best friends in this industry, if you put forth some effort to bless them! I will be forever grateful for that fact.

  • http://www.jjhebertblog.com/ J. J. Hebert

    Great advice, as always.

  • http://www.jjhebertblog.com J. J. Hebert

    Great advice, as always.

  • http://peaceforthejourney.blogspot.com/ elaine @ peace for t

    Awww, yes…the heart issue, and the losing of it thereof. Getting published is an exhausting process, and at the end of the day, it all comes back to the heart.

    And this heart lives to write, so I will keep to the pen and keep to the process, all the while giving close attention to this heart of mine. It's known some wounding within the process, but it also boasts some tremendous growth.

    Thanks for your thoughts tonight.

    peace~elaine

  • http://peaceforthejourney.blogspot.com elaine @ peace for the journey

    Awww, yes…the heart issue, and the losing of it thereof. Getting published is an exhausting process, and at the end of the day, it all comes back to the heart.

    And this heart lives to write, so I will keep to the pen and keep to the process, all the while giving close attention to this heart of mine. It’s known some wounding within the process, but it also boasts some tremendous growth.

    Thanks for your thoughts tonight.

    peace~elaine

  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com/ Donna Maria

    Great post, Mike. When I delivered my first draft to my editor, I thought the hardest part was over. Little did I know — the real work began when she kept sending it back to change this and that. Even after the book deal, the work continues, ranging from whether the blue on the cover should be just a little darker, to combing the thesaurus for a word you haven't used already. And don't get me started on the need to cut your work to accommodate page restrictions. It's worth every pain, so anyone considering giving up, as Mike says, don't. The payoff in terms of future life opportunities is gargantuan.

  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com Donna Maria

    Great post, Mike. When I delivered my first draft to my editor, I thought the hardest part was over. Little did I know — the real work began when she kept sending it back to change this and that. Even after the book deal, the work continues, ranging from whether the blue on the cover should be just a little darker, to combing the thesaurus for a word you haven’t used already. And don’t get me started on the need to cut your work to accommodate page restrictions. It’s worth every pain, so anyone considering giving up, as Mike says, don’t. The payoff in terms of future life opportunities is gargantuan.

  • http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/ Marvin Nelson

    Thanks Donna!

  • http://youthmaster.blogspot.com Marvin Nelson

    Thanks Donna!

  • Kyle Watson

    I had a known agent last year to reject my novel because it wasn't geared toward women. He wrote in his e-mail the following. I will paraphrase what he wrote. I just returned from a conference. All the editors from major publishing houses want female lead characters and only fiction for women. To read this was discouraging not just as a writer but as a reader. I haven't purchased a Christian fiction novel after being told this information. I believe a market for mens fiction is waiting to be tapped into. I know many men who would read fiction if it was available. Plenty of men are looking for real man type of fiction. That is why I believe "Wild At Heart" is so successful. As John Eldredge writes in his book. Men want to be like William Wallace. Thanks for your blog Mike.

  • Kyle Watson

    I had a known agent last year to reject my novel because it wasn’t geared toward women. He wrote in his e-mail the following. I will paraphrase what he wrote. I just returned from a conference. All the editors from major publishing houses want female lead characters and only fiction for women. To read this was discouraging not just as a writer but as a reader. I haven’t purchased a Christian fiction novel after being told this information. I believe a market for mens fiction is waiting to be tapped into. I know many men who would read fiction if it was available. Plenty of men are looking for real man type of fiction. That is why I believe “Wild At Heart” is so successful. As John Eldredge writes in his book. Men want to be like William Wallace. Thanks for your blog Mike.

  • Isaac Sundermann

    Wow, I just discovered this blog after listening to your talk on AFR. Thanks for the free advice. I will be copying all of this for future reference.

  • Isaac Sundermann

    Wow, I just discovered this blog after listening to your talk on AFR. Thanks for the free advice. I will be copying all of this for future reference.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/bryonm/ bryonm

    Thanks for this post, Michael…

  • http://profile.typekey.com/bryonm/ bryonm

    Thanks for this post, Michael…

  • http://www.gtdagenda.com/ DanGTD

    Great advice.

    Another thing you can do is, start a blog and offer valuable information for free, for months/years. This can establish you as an authority in your field, and the publishers will be more receptive to you releasing a book.

    Steve Pavlina is a good example.

  • http://www.gtdagenda.com DanGTD

    Great advice.

    Another thing you can do is, start a blog and offer valuable information for free, for months/years. This can establish you as an authority in your field, and the publishers will be more receptive to you releasing a book.

    Steve Pavlina is a good example.

  • http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/ Marvin Nelson

    Michael,
    I realized you wouldn't write about it if you didn't think it was worth it. I will probably end up submitting it to Christian Manuscript Submissions. Thanks!

  • http://youthmaster.blogspot.com Marvin Nelson

    Michael,
    I realized you wouldn’t write about it if you didn’t think it was worth it. I will probably end up submitting it to Christian Manuscript Submissions. Thanks!

  • http://www.paulwallis.net/ Paul Wallis

    Thanks Mike,
    This is good common-sense advice – the standard advice. However my experience has been that editors are often more responsive than agents! As an author I have had five books published so far – including two later this year – and have contributed to two more. I have another cuurently being looked at by Penguin. Yet while from time to time my books have succeeded in attracting an editor and a contract I have never yet succeeded in securing the attention and/or services of an agent. In twenty years I've only ever had two replies from agents I've approached. Meanwhile my publishers have been SPCK, Wild Goose, Paulist Press and Continuum Press. They may not be huge companies, when measured against ThomasNelson, and I might not be a bestseller quite yet – I am still learning – but I do know that if I had followed standard advice I would still not have been published at all. Is my experience unusual? How is it that I can get editors to read my submissions but not agents?

  • http://www.paulwallis.net Paul Wallis

    Thanks Mike,
    This is good common-sense advice – the standard advice. However my experience has been that editors are often more responsive than agents! As an author I have had five books published so far – including two later this year – and have contributed to two more. I have another cuurently being looked at by Penguin. Yet while from time to time my books have succeeded in attracting an editor and a contract I have never yet succeeded in securing the attention and/or services of an agent. In twenty years I’ve only ever had two replies from agents I’ve approached. Meanwhile my publishers have been SPCK, Wild Goose, Paulist Press and Continuum Press. They may not be huge companies, when measured against ThomasNelson, and I might not be a bestseller quite yet – I am still learning – but I do know that if I had followed standard advice I would still not have been published at all. Is my experience unusual? How is it that I can get editors to read my submissions but not agents?

  • http://www.paulwallis.net/ Paul Wallis

    Mike,
    Also en route to securing the Paulist Press and Continuum Press contracts I had a couple of very discouraging conversations with a couple of U.S. publishers who said quite openly "I loved the book, I love your voice and your message and i love the way the book reads. However as soon as I realised you were English I knew we couldn't take the book. In the past we published American, British and Australian writers. However nobody can out-sell an American writer on the conference circuit, we don't bother with English and Aussie writers anymore. Sorry etc."

    O.K. I admit I was born in the U.K. And O.K. I am currently working in Australia. Are those factors really career suicide for a Christian writer? They were as far as those two U.S. companies were concerned.

  • http://www.paulwallis.net Paul Wallis

    Mike,
    Also en route to securing the Paulist Press and Continuum Press contracts I had a couple of very discouraging conversations with a couple of U.S. publishers who said quite openly “I loved the book, I love your voice and your message and i love the way the book reads. However as soon as I realised you were English I knew we couldn’t take the book. In the past we published American, British and Australian writers. However nobody can out-sell an American writer on the conference circuit, we don’t bother with English and Aussie writers anymore. Sorry etc.”

    O.K. I admit I was born in the U.K. And O.K. I am currently working in Australia. Are those factors really career suicide for a Christian writer? They were as far as those two U.S. companies were concerned.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Paul,

    I don't really have an answer for why you have been able to attract the interest of editors but not agents.

    With regard to being British, I don't think it's fatal. I still believe that compelling writing is the key to enduring success. It is helpful if you live in the U.S., so that you can promote the book here, but even that can be worked around.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Paul,

    I don’t really have an answer for why you have been able to attract the interest of editors but not agents.

    With regard to being British, I don’t think it’s fatal. I still believe that compelling writing is the key to enduring success. It is helpful if you live in the U.S., so that you can promote the book here, but even that can be worked around.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • Paul

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for all the advice and for showing new writers a friendly face.

    For anyone struggling with rejection, I think my own experiences may cheer you up. I started writing twelve years ago and have amassed over 100 rejection letters.

    – first novel accepted by well-known agency in NY "came close", but not published
    – second novel accepted by same, but not published
    – third novel ditto
    – fourth novel ditto
    – fifth book made it to a publisher's shortlist, but not published
    – long children's poem in the style of Dr Seuss described by one publisher as "smart and witty – should be published just needs some luck", not published
    – sixth book abandoned after three chapters when a major Hollywood film released with an almost identical premise
    – four short stories written as part of a BA degree in creative writing awarded an A grade with the comment "should be submitted to publishers", not published
    – one of those four stories recommended for submission to competitions by my tutor, not published
    – currently half way through a 100,000 word speculative Christian novel in the vein of the Left Behind series, described thus far by a trusted reader as “an easy to read page-turner”, although I recently read that Christian speculative fiction is hard to sell …

    So twelve years of hard work, a mountain of rejection letters, lots of positive comments, an extremely uncertain future, and not a single word published. Have I wanted to give up writing? Yes, many times (at least 100). But the way I see it; if I were not writing I would be even more miserable. And who knows, maybe one day I'll read the magic words "accepted for publication"…

    Keep writing
    Paul

  • Paul

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for all the advice and for showing new writers a friendly face.

    For anyone struggling with rejection, I think my own experiences may cheer you up. I started writing twelve years ago and have amassed over 100 rejection letters.

    – first novel accepted by well-known agency in NY “came close”, but not published
    – second novel accepted by same, but not published
    – third novel ditto
    – fourth novel ditto
    – fifth book made it to a publisher’s shortlist, but not published
    – long children’s poem in the style of Dr Seuss described by one publisher as “smart and witty – should be published just needs some luck”, not published
    – sixth book abandoned after three chapters when a major Hollywood film released with an almost identical premise
    – four short stories written as part of a BA degree in creative writing awarded an A grade with the comment “should be submitted to publishers”, not published
    – one of those four stories recommended for submission to competitions by my tutor, not published
    – currently half way through a 100,000 word speculative Christian novel in the vein of the Left Behind series, described thus far by a trusted reader as “an easy to read page-turner”, although I recently read that Christian speculative fiction is hard to sell …

    So twelve years of hard work, a mountain of rejection letters, lots of positive comments, an extremely uncertain future, and not a single word published. Have I wanted to give up writing? Yes, many times (at least 100). But the way I see it; if I were not writing I would be even more miserable. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll read the magic words “accepted for publication”…

    Keep writing
    Paul

  • http://www.christophersavenue.com/ Christopher Davis

    Hello Michael. I commented on another one of your blogs and you told me to look out for this blog. Thank you for your advice and information. It was very helpful. If, Lord willing, I ever get a shot, I'll be giving you a shout-out for the words of encouragement. You are being a true blessing to many of us writers.

  • http://www.christophersavenue.com Christopher Davis

    Hello Michael. I commented on another one of your blogs and you told me to look out for this blog. Thank you for your advice and information. It was very helpful. If, Lord willing, I ever get a shot, I’ll be giving you a shout-out for the words of encouragement. You are being a true blessing to many of us writers.

  • http://www.ufwla.com/ Mattie

    Hello Michael,
    What an interesting blog. I note your guests are mostly writers. I am one of those oddies that is a writer turned literary agent. Reason? As one writer said, it is so hard to find a agent who will even consider a debut writer or even a writer who has taken time to do what he/she writes about between books; hense has some years between publications. Nope! No previous background working for a publisher…was also living what I write. Anyway, an acquaintance who knows the last CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, now retired, introduced me to your website which led me here. Any advice for a novice agent? I think by now I do pretty good submission letters for publishers and choose writers/proposals well but I would like to be able to see a few more examples of submission letters/packets for EDITORS. Any tips or suggestions for me?

  • http://www.ufwla.com Mattie

    Hello Michael,
    What an interesting blog. I note your guests are mostly writers. I am one of those oddies that is a writer turned literary agent. Reason? As one writer said, it is so hard to find a agent who will even consider a debut writer or even a writer who has taken time to do what he/she writes about between books; hense has some years between publications. Nope! No previous background working for a publisher…was also living what I write. Anyway, an acquaintance who knows the last CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, now retired, introduced me to your website which led me here. Any advice for a novice agent? I think by now I do pretty good submission letters for publishers and choose writers/proposals well but I would like to be able to see a few more examples of submission letters/packets for EDITORS. Any tips or suggestions for me?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Mattie: I would subscribe to the agent blogs I mention above and read everything you can, particularly from Writer's Digest. Beyond that, the best thing to do is just learn from your own experience.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Mattie: I would subscribe to the agent blogs I mention above and read everything you can, particularly from Writer’s Digest. Beyond that, the best thing to do is just learn from your own experience.

  • bimal kumar raut

    there are so many agents who would accept my manuscripts with very encouraging way but when i want to look forward, they would say that i must be through the american critique, not other's critique. is it syllogistic that american critique only have the capacity to sell the book in the market? i do have the capacity to sell my material worldwide but frustation freezes me right now, i am only 20 years old.

  • bimal kumar raut

    there are so many agents who would accept my manuscripts with very encouraging way but when i want to look forward, they would say that i must be through the american critique, not other’s critique. is it syllogistic that american critique only have the capacity to sell the book in the market? i do have the capacity to sell my material worldwide but frustation freezes me right now, i am only 20 years old.

  • Mia

    Michael, I'm so happy that you made the decision to publish Lynne Spears book 'Through the Storm'.
    There aren't enough books to help moms win the war that is 'raged' upon us to destroy the children and the next generation of Christians.
    You said that parenting is hard work. Oh that it were 'just' hard work. It involves war like strategies because the enemy is always roaming about seeking whom he may devour and it is usually our children that he is after. When he can't get to them directly, it's the mom that the enemy targets. Both to discourage, to create doubt, to kill and to destroy. Single parenting women especially need all of the help that they can get. When I think of the costly mistakes that I made, I have to wonder if I would have made those mistakes had there been a book like Lynne Spears 'Through the Storm' to help me through.
    I haven't read the book and most likely would not have considered reading it until I read your post about why you published it.
    Thank you for publishing Lynne's book and thank you for your post.
    Mia
    (a grieving mother)

  • Mia

    Michael, I’m so happy that you made the decision to publish Lynne Spears book ‘Through the Storm’.
    There aren’t enough books to help moms win the war that is ‘raged’ upon us to destroy the children and the next generation of Christians.
    You said that parenting is hard work. Oh that it were ‘just’ hard work. It involves war like strategies because the enemy is always roaming about seeking whom he may devour and it is usually our children that he is after. When he can’t get to them directly, it’s the mom that the enemy targets. Both to discourage, to create doubt, to kill and to destroy. Single parenting women especially need all of the help that they can get. When I think of the costly mistakes that I made, I have to wonder if I would have made those mistakes had there been a book like Lynne Spears ‘Through the Storm’ to help me through.
    I haven’t read the book and most likely would not have considered reading it until I read your post about why you published it.
    Thank you for publishing Lynne’s book and thank you for your post.
    Mia
    (a grieving mother)

  • Lena

    Michael,

    Sorry for commenting on your blog post so late, but I just started researching how to get published and only just now found this entry that you wrote (not to mention your blog). I have a lot of questions, but only one two that I have not been able to find an answer to. I hope to become an author of Christian fiction, and I just wanted to know if I need to have my whole fiction manuscript written before creating my proposal, and if so, do I need to attach my whole fiction manuscript to the proposal, or simply the first two chapters? I’ve read the “Writing A Winning Book Proposal” PDF, however I’m unsure of whether or not those aspects of proposal writing change when writing fiction instead of non-fiction.

    Thank you for your time,

    Lena

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Lena: Generally speaking, first time fiction authors will need to submit their entire manuscript. Start with a query letter. You may also want to browse Chip MacGregor’s blog. He has some good advice for fiction writers.

  • Lena

    Michael,

    Sorry for commenting on your blog post so late, but I just started researching how to get published and only just now found this entry that you wrote (not to mention your blog). I have a lot of questions, but only one two that I have not been able to find an answer to. I hope to become an author of Christian fiction, and I just wanted to know if I need to have my whole fiction manuscript written before creating my proposal, and if so, do I need to attach my whole fiction manuscript to the proposal, or simply the first two chapters? I've read the "Writing A Winning Book Proposal" PDF, however I'm unsure of whether or not those aspects of proposal writing change when writing fiction instead of non-fiction.

    Thank you for your time,

    Lena

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Lena: Generally speaking, first time fiction authors will need to submit their entire manuscript. Start with a query letter. You may also want to browse Chip MacGregor’s blog. He has some good advice for fiction writers.

  • Ken

    Hi Micahel, just found your blog, lots of good advice thanks!
    Couple of questions; I have found little info on the web about getting short stories published,
    (had a prof suggest I submit to literary mags, but are there any for Christian authors/readers?)
    I saw your list of agents, I am in Canada, is it common for Canadian (Christian) authors to be represented by U.S. agents?

    Thanks.

    Ken

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Ken: I honestly have no experience with short stories. I can’t think of an exmaple where they have been a big seller.

    Yes, I think U.S. agents would do fine with Canadian authors.

    Best,

    Mike

  • Ken

    Hi Micahel, just found your blog, lots of good advice thanks!
    Couple of questions; I have found little info on the web about getting short stories published,
    (had a prof suggest I submit to literary mags, but are there any for Christian authors/readers?)
    I saw your list of agents, I am in Canada, is it common for Canadian (Christian) authors to be represented by U.S. agents?

    Thanks.

    Ken

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Ken: I honestly have no experience with short stories. I can't think of an exmaple where they have been a big seller.

    Yes, I think U.S. agents would do fine with Canadian authors.

    Best,

    Mike

  • Samantha Wallace

    Hi Mike,
    I’ve written a children’s book which would need to be largely illustrated as a picture book aimed at the 3-7 age group. Would you recommend I find an illustrator first before approaching agents and if so, because it’s so short, do I still do the synopsis as opposed to the entire manuscript?
    Thanks

  • Samantha Wallace

    Hi Mike,
    I've written a children's book which would need to be largely illustrated as a picture book aimed at the 3-7 age group. Would you recommend I find an illustrator first before approaching agents and if so, because it's so short, do I still do the synopsis as opposed to the entire manuscript?
    Thanks

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Samantha: You can get the illustrator before or after. It can work either way. Because it is a children’s manuscript, you will need to send in the whole thing.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Samantha: You can get the illustrator before or after. It can work either way. Because it is a children’s manuscript, you will need to send in the whole thing.

  • Ken

    Thanks Michael!

  • Ken

    Thanks Michael!

    • nomi

      I have written a children’s book, and I would like to get it published. From reading this blog and other websites,  Surfing Movies

  • http://www.mwlgod2.blogspot.com Paul

    i think this is just what i need.
    thank you.

  • http://www.mwlgod2.blogspot.com/ Paul

    i think this is just what i need.
    thank you.

  • http://detourstodestiny.tripod.com Dee

    My christian book publisher, amazon and several internet bookstores have been selling and re-selling my books down through the years since 2005 but all have failed to pay me. Now the publisher has begun charging me a (DCF) digital catalog fee? If I don’t pay it, they are threatening to delete my books and charge another $250 to reinstate them. What is you advice? Thank you.

  • http://detourstodestiny.tripod.com/ Dee

    My christian book publisher, amazon and several internet bookstores have been selling and re-selling my books down through the years since 2005 but all have failed to pay me. Now the publisher has begun charging me a (DCF) digital catalog fee? If I don't pay it, they are threatening to delete my books and charge another $250 to reinstate them. What is you advice? Thank you.

  • Jeff Putman

    I have written a children’s book, and I would like to get it published. From reading this blog and other websites, it looks like getting it published will take at least a hundred times the effort that writing the book did.

    It would be great if some publisher would just realize how much demand for the book already exists (it’s a response to an already existing, controversial children’s book, “The Rainbow Fish”), bring in an illustrator, publish the book, and watch it sell a bazillion copies.

    You wouldn’t think a children’s book would be controversial, but “The Rainbow Fish” was written by a notorious socialist, and it teaches children that it’s bad for anyone to be better than anyone else. My book, “The Bright Fish,” teaches children that wealth is earned, not distributed, and that we should all strive to improve ourselves instead of trying to tear down people who are better than we are.

    I’m not going into this endeavor thinking, “I want to be a writer.” Instead, I have something to say, and I’m not going to try to force myself to write any more until I again have something to say. I’m perfectly fine with being a one hit wonder, if that’s how it turns out. Trouble is, it sounds like publishers are not okay with that. They want to build a writer’s reputation and sell a long series of books. My answer to that is, I’d rather sell one good book than a hundred crappy ones!

    This situation reminds me of the guy who created “Monopoly,” the most popular board game ever. Game manufacturers rejected it at first, because the game did not fit their formula of what they thought makes games sell. Publishers and manufacturers often reject the BEST opportunities because they’re looking at the world through their soda straw of prescribed formulas. Remember, George Lucas was rejected by NINETEEN studios before he was allowed to start making the Star Wars series, which last I heard has now grossed well over 6 BILLION dollars!

    Jeff Putman
    Dayton Ohio
    je_freedom@usa.net

  • Jeff Putman

    I have written a children's book, and I would like to get it published. From reading this blog and other websites, it looks like getting it published will take at least a hundred times the effort that writing the book did.

    It would be great if some publisher would just realize how much demand for the book already exists (it's a response to an already existing, controversial children's book, "The Rainbow Fish"), bring in an illustrator, publish the book, and watch it sell a bazillion copies.

    You wouldn't think a children's book would be controversial, but "The Rainbow Fish" was written by a notorious socialist, and it teaches children that it's bad for anyone to be better than anyone else. My book, "The Bright Fish," teaches children that wealth is earned, not distributed, and that we should all strive to improve ourselves instead of trying to tear down people who are better than we are.

    I'm not going into this endeavor thinking, "I want to be a writer." Instead, I have something to say, and I'm not going to try to force myself to write any more until I again have something to say. I'm perfectly fine with being a one hit wonder, if that's how it turns out. Trouble is, it sounds like publishers are not okay with that. They want to build a writer's reputation and sell a long series of books. My answer to that is, I'd rather sell one good book than a hundred crappy ones!

    This situation reminds me of the guy who created "Monopoly," the most popular board game ever. Game manufacturers rejected it at first, because the game did not fit their formula of what they thought makes games sell. Publishers and manufacturers often reject the BEST opportunities because they're looking at the world through their soda straw of prescribed formulas. Remember, George Lucas was rejected by NINETEEN studios before he was allowed to start making the Star Wars series, which last I heard has now grossed well over 6 BILLION dollars!

    Jeff Putman
    Dayton Ohio
    je_freedom@usa.net

  • Gary Allen VanRiper

    I could not agree less with Matthew’s comment about Self-Publishing.

    The list of successful self-published authors is legion – and had we not gone that route it is not likely we would be about to self-publish our 9th book in a series that has sold nearly 100,000 copies to date.

    There are wise steps to take with self-publishing for sure, but I would never, ever say never, ever self-publish.

    Gary Allen VanRiper
    http://www.adirondackkids.com

  • Gary Allen VanRiper

    I could not agree less with Matthew's comment about Self-Publishing.

    The list of successful self-published authors is legion – and had we not gone that route it is not likely we would be about to self-publish our 9th book in a series that has sold nearly 100,000 copies to date.

    There are wise steps to take with self-publishing for sure, but I would never, ever say never, ever self-publish.

    Gary Allen VanRiper http://www.adirondackkids.com

  • http://theologyandculture.wordpress.com Aaron

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the great PDF on writing a book proposal!

    In the introduction of the PDF, you mention that the proposal is “in addition to captivating cover letter.”

    Can you please offer more insight into this?

    Thanks again for the outstanding resource!

  • http://theologyandculture.wordpress.com/ Aaron

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the great PDF on writing a book proposal!

    In the introduction of the PDF, you mention that the proposal is "in addition to captivating cover letter."

    Can you please offer more insight into this?

    Thanks again for the outstanding resource!

  • http://www.books-sellmore.com/ charles hanaway

    A new site that you might to exchange links with.

  • http://www.books-sellmore.com charles hanaway

    A new site that you might to exchange links with.

  • http://www.books-sellmore.com charles hanaway

    A new site that you might to exchange links with.

  • http://www.books-sellmore.com/ charles hanaway

    A new site that you might to exchange links with.

  • Erica Nelson

    Hi Michael,

    I too really appreciated your blog, it was super helpful! I actually submitted something to ChristianManuscriptSubmissions.comabout a month ago (after working on my killer book proposal) I was so excited when a publisher (who’s name I can share if you’d like) contacted me today saying that they were intrigued by my idea and wanted to talk with me further. However upon reading their site they start talking about “partnering” or “sharing the risk”. It looks like they print and distribute like 1500 copies of the book, but they make you buy 1000 copies of your own book. I’m a recent college grad, and that stacks up to around $9000. What do you think about this type of publishing?

  • Erica Nelson

    Hi Michael,

    I too really appreciated your blog, it was super helpful! I actually submitted something to ChristianManuscriptSubmissions.comabout a month ago (after working on my killer book proposal) I was so excited when a publisher (who's name I can share if you'd like) contacted me today saying that they were intrigued by my idea and wanted to talk with me further. However upon reading their site they start talking about "partnering" or "sharing the risk". It looks like they print and distribute like 1500 copies of the book, but they make you buy 1000 copies of your own book. I'm a recent college grad, and that stacks up to around $9000. What do you think about this type of publishing?

  • Betty Hadden

    The Lord has given me multiple “lessons” to teach at Bible studies and at a few prison bible studies.

    Recently, He started putting the series of lessons through me into a book form. I was delighted at the outcome believing that what was shared there would help people grow up in Christ, answer many of their questions about why things are happening or not happening in their lives, and give them victories as well as great exhortations and testimonies to what He has done in my life that will help others.

    I haven’t the foggiest idea how to go about getting it into the hands of hurting people. Those are the ones that I’d be targeting. Christians, but hurting.

    Any other suggestions?

  • Betty Hadden

    The Lord has given me multiple “lessons” to teach at Bible studies and at a few prison bible studies.

    Recently, He started putting the series of lessons through me into a book form. I was delighted at the outcome believing that what was shared there would help people grow up in Christ, answer many of their questions about why things are happening or not happening in their lives, and give them victories as well as great exhortations and testimonies to what He has done in my life that will help others.

    I haven’t the foggiest idea how to go about getting it into the hands of hurting people. Those are the ones that I’d be targeting. Christians, but hurting.

    Any other suggestions?

  • Betty Hadden

    The Lord has given me multiple “lessons” to teach at Bible studies and at a few prison bible studies.

    Recently, He started putting the series of lessons through me into a book form. I was delighted at the outcome believing that what was shared there would help people grow up in Christ, answer many of their questions about why things are happening or not happening in their lives, and give them victories as well as great exhortations and testimonies to what He has done in my life that will help others.

    I haven’t the foggiest idea how to go about getting it into the hands of hurting people. Those are the ones that I’d be targeting. Christians, but hurting.

    Any other suggestions?

  • Betty Hadden

    The Lord has given me multiple "lessons" to teach at Bible studies and at a few prison bible studies.

    Recently, He started putting the series of lessons through me into a book form. I was delighted at the outcome believing that what was shared there would help people grow up in Christ, answer many of their questions about why things are happening or not happening in their lives, and give them victories as well as great exhortations and testimonies to what He has done in my life that will help others.

    I haven't the foggiest idea how to go about getting it into the hands of hurting people. Those are the ones that I'd be targeting. Christians, but hurting.

    Any other suggestions?

  • Kathleen Royalty

    Michael, Wow. There is a ton of information here. My head is hurting now. I just wanted to say thank you for all the information you have here. I'm not sure exactly which direction to take. Sure would be nice if, since God gives you the inspiration, He had His own publishing company that would just do it for you!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Nah, that would be way to easy? The struggle is part of the growing process.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Nah, that would be way to easy? The struggle is part of the growing process.

      • Kathleen Royalty

        Haha. I will Amen that!

  • Kathleen Royalty

    Michael, Wow. There is a ton of information here. My head is hurting now. I just wanted to say thank you for all the information you have here. I'm not sure exactly which direction to take. Sure would be nice if, since God gives you the inspiration, He had His own publishing company that would just do it for you!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Nah, that would be way to easy? The struggle is part of the growing process.

      • Kathleen Royalty

        Haha. I will Amen that!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Nah, that would be way to easy? The struggle is part of the growing process.

  • Ken Speer

    Wow! I guess I am clueless. After being encouraged by friends to sit down and write a book on witnessing, I finally started one. Reading this blog is a bit troubling. I had no idea it would be so difficult to get it published. Actually, I thought I would probably have to self-publish.

  • Ken Speer

    Wow! I guess I am clueless. After being encouraged by friends to sit down and write a book on witnessing, I finally started one. Reading this blog is a bit troubling. I had no idea it would be so difficult to get it published. Actually, I thought I would probably have to self-publish.

  • Kathy Barnes

    Like some of the others who have left comments, I too have felt that God was calling me to write. I felt God asking me to write my testimony and how my past choices have led me to where I am today. I have done so. It's not long, a mere 30 pages at best. How would you recommend I make my message known?

  • Kathy Barnes

    Like some of the others who have left comments, I too have felt that God was calling me to write. I felt God asking me to write my testimony and how my past choices have led me to where I am today. I have done so. It's not long, a mere 30 pages at best. How would you recommend I make my message known?

  • Bev

    Thank you so much Michael for this blog…it is the best info I have found thus far in my research on getting my picture books published

  • Bev

    Thank you so much Michael for this blog…it is the best info I have found thus far in my research on getting my picture books published

  • Derbwrore

    This site is very cool throughout the Internet by a hot girl Clik

  • Derbwrore

    This site is very cool throughout the Internet by a hot girl Clik

  • Coewinferie

    This site is very cool throughout the Internet by a hot girl Clik

  • Coewinferie

    This site is very cool throughout the Internet by a hot girl Clik

  • David

    I find this very interesting. I have started writing a small book based on a scripture that turned my life around as a failing christian. I turned my back on God, even questioned if I was saved. By devine intervention I was able to get my relationship with God back to the way it should be.

    I have really felt a conviction to follow through with this book.
    After spending 30 minutes of my life reading this blog Im really thinking hard about what I'm trying to do. I am told almost daily that I am a creative writer. I am not so sure I am creative enough now.

    I know anything worth while takes hard work, but I'm not sure if I am ready for rejection. I'm sure this probably sounds crazy. I am working hard to finish up my book.

    I think it's about time to look up an old school teacher. She use to proof read novels for a publishing company. I think this may be a good place to start.

    • Yvonne

      I can really identify with what you said about not sure you are ready for rejection.  I have written a children novel; I think; and another which follows.  But what I would like to say that may encourage you is that there are many people in this world with different ways of speaking and interpreting the written word.  Not everyone will get what you are saying but then there will be many who will.  Do it for those who need to be encouraged and need just that sort of book.   I have just embarked upon this journey and am bewildered by all the details I didn’t know, but choose to swallow hard and take the ready counsil.  There seem to be a lot more people who want to see you succeed than at first glance.

  • David

    I find this very interesting. I have started writing a small book based on a scripture that turned my life around as a failing christian. I turned my back on God, even questioned if I was saved. By devine intervention I was able to get my relationship with God back to the way it should be.

    I have really felt a conviction to follow through with this book.
    After spending 30 minutes of my life reading this blog Im really thinking hard about what I'm trying to do. I am told almost daily that I am a creative writer. I am not so sure I am creative enough now.

    I know anything worth while takes hard work, but I'm not sure if I am ready for rejection. I'm sure this probably sounds crazy. I am working hard to finish up my book.

    I think it's about time to look up an old school teacher. She use to proof read novels for a publishing company. I think this may be a good place to start.

  • Karen Walton

    Thank you Sir for your advice! I am only in the stage of contemplation of an attempt at writing a book. I have an idea, but I am at a loss with regard to how to begin this whole book writing process! Ah, I see I have much to learn. Thanks again!
    ~Karen

  • Karen Walton

    Thank you Sir for your advice! I am only in the stage of contemplation of an attempt at writing a book. I have an idea, but I am at a loss with regard to how to begin this whole book writing process! Ah, I see I have much to learn. Thanks again!
    ~Karen

  • http://web.me.com/julianwiggins/The_Seer Melissa Wiggins

    Dear Michael
    Thank you for your articles and advice which have brought me much encouragement and wisdom.
    7 years ago, my husband was told I would likely die from the injuries sustained in a horrific car crash. He prayed, and in a series of miraculous events God spared my life. During my recovery I experienced angelic visitations and visions. God spoke to me in ways I had never experienced before, and deposited the idea for a story which would bring the present reality of his supernatural power to the fore.
    In October 08 God sent 2 independent prophets, 1 from South Africa and another from USA (Craig Kinsley) to my home town to tell me that it was time to write the book.
    I completed 'The Seer' last month, created a website for it, duly bought and scoured every line of the Writers and Artists yearbook, and went to the London Book Fair last week to obtain blisters and advice on where to from here. Having spoken to the gentlemen at ECPA I have started investigating Christian agents and publishers Stateside as it seems that you guys have more of a vision for this genre.
    If you have any words of wisdom, or specific contacts for me as a UK / international author, they would be much appreciated.

  • http://web.me.com/julianwiggins/The_Seer Melissa Wiggins

    Dear Michael
    Thank you for your articles and advice which have brought me much encouragement and wisdom.
    7 years ago, my husband was told I would likely die from the injuries sustained in a horrific car crash. He prayed, and in a series of miraculous events God spared my life. During my recovery I experienced angelic visitations and visions. God spoke to me in ways I had never experienced before, and deposited the idea for a story which would bring the present reality of his supernatural power to the fore.
    In October 08 God sent 2 independent prophets, 1 from South Africa and another from USA (Craig Kinsley) to my home town to tell me that it was time to write the book.
    I completed 'The Seer' last month, created a website for it, duly bought and scoured every line of the Writers and Artists yearbook, and went to the London Book Fair last week to obtain blisters and advice on where to from here. Having spoken to the gentlemen at ECPA I have started investigating Christian agents and publishers Stateside as it seems that you guys have more of a vision for this genre.
    If you have any words of wisdom, or specific contacts for me as a UK / international author, they would be much appreciated.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/francarona francarona

    Michael:
    Thank you for the informative article. I am working on a proposal for a non-fiction book and can't decide whether to write for a Christian audience or a secular one. It will basically be the same book, but without Biblical references if I go secular. How do you make this decision?
    Thank you,
    Fran Carona

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/francarona francarona

    Michael:
    Thank you for the informative article. I am working on a proposal for a non-fiction book and can't decide whether to write for a Christian audience or a secular one. It will basically be the same book, but without Biblical references if I go secular. How do you make this decision?
    Thank you,
    Fran Carona

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539513295 Nicole Nicolay

    Thanks for the solid advice. I just saved your "how to write a proposal"…I'm gettin' to work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539513295 Nicole Nicolay

    Thanks for the solid advice. I just saved your "how to write a proposal"…I'm gettin' to work!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/getthewordout getthewordout

    Hello, I'am a stay at home Mom . I have 4 young boys.__I have been writing books for them for years. My family and friends tell me to get them published ASAP. I'm so clueless with the process. __I Know i can create myown Platform & Constituency.__I have some awsome Marketing stategies. But to bring my vision alive I need some advice and encouragement. Please give me a direction.__ Godsgirl__

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/getthewordout getthewordout

    Hello, I'am a stay at home Mom . I have 4 young boys.__I have been writing books for them for years. My family and friends tell me to get them published ASAP. I'm so clueless with the process. __I Know i can create myown Platform & Constituency.__I have some awsome Marketing stategies. But to bring my vision alive I need some advice and encouragement. Please give me a direction.__ Godsgirl__

  • Marcy Ikeler

    If it is nearly impossible to get an agent, or to be published, then it only makes sense to give self-publishing a try. Why not make your dream a reality–even if you only sell to people you know? It beats dying as a frustrated writer that never got published! Buy books on self-publishing. Print 100 copies instead of 1000. Develop a website to sell your book, find a niche, and learn how to drive traffic to your website. Any profits will be yours! We can all find someone to edit our manuscripts–it isn't rocket science. Get an amazing printer, a paper cutter, a book binder, a book number, a barcode, and do it all yourself! Stay away from businesses that "help" you self-publish–no one can afford the price they will want to sell your book for–and they pocket your $2,000 fee–that you could have spent on the items I just mentioned. Unpublished authors could ban together and BECOME publishers. Getting published shouldn't be like a membership to a private club! One of the God Club.

  • Marcy Ikeler

    If it is nearly impossible to get an agent, or to be published, then it only makes sense to give self-publishing a try. Why not make your dream a reality–even if you only sell to people you know? It beats dying as a frustrated writer that never got published! Buy books on self-publishing. Print 100 copies instead of 1000. Develop a website to sell your book, find a niche, and learn how to drive traffic to your website. Any profits will be yours! We can all find someone to edit our manuscripts–it isn't rocket science. Get an amazing printer, a paper cutter, a book binder, a book number, a barcode, and do it all yourself! Stay away from businesses that "help" you self-publish–no one can afford the price they will want to sell your book for–and they pocket your $2,000 fee–that you could have spent on the items I just mentioned. Unpublished authors could ban together and BECOME publishers. Getting published shouldn't be like a membership to a private club! One of the God Club.

  • http://lovinthearts.blogspot.com/ LauraLee@Selah

    I really appreciate this advice and the insights that follow in the comments. Thank you.

  • http://lovinthearts.blogspot.com/ LauraLee@Selah

    I really appreciate this advice and the insights that follow in the comments. Thank you.

  • http://www.forrestlongart.com/ Forrest long

    Getting published today can be discouraging. For my first book published I had sent proposals to over twenty publishers before I got published. Now I am ready with two more manuscripts and it seems like I have to go through the process again, unless I want to build a platform and self-publish. It seems that the writing is the easy part of the whole process.

  • http://www.forrestlongart.com/ Forrest long

    Getting published today can be discouraging. For my first book published I had sent proposals to over twenty publishers before I got published. Now I am ready with two more manuscripts and it seems like I have to go through the process again, unless I want to build a platform and self-publish. It seems that the writing is the easy part of the whole process.

  • http://www.davesterrett.com/ Dave Sterrett

    Dear Michael,
    Thank you for your advice. I have used your "Writing a Winning Book Proposal" and received two contracts, "O" God (WND Books, October 6, 2009) and Why Trust Jesus? (Moody Publishers, March 1, 2010). I will have to start reading your blog more. It looks like some very helpful information. Thank you again!
    Sincerely,
    Dave Sterrett
    <a href="http://www.davesterrett.com” target=”_blank”>www.davesterrett.com

  • http://www.davesterrett.com Dave Sterrett

    Dear Michael,
    Thank you for your advice. I have used your "Writing a Winning Book Proposal" and received two contracts, "O" God (WND Books, October 6, 2009) and Why Trust Jesus? (Moody Publishers, March 1, 2010). I will have to start reading your blog more. It looks like some very helpful information. Thank you again!
    Sincerely,
    Dave Sterrett
    http://www.davesterrett.com

  • Pingback: Advice to First Time Authors – Michael Hyatt « Annette Dunlea Literary Blog

  • http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/ Marie Notcheva

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your e-mail of earlier today. Actually, I had read this entry and comments earlier, but as I've been unable to hire an agent figured it couldn't hurt to send you a query directly. (See? You didn't hurt me. :)

    A few months ago, after completing my manuscript and proposal, one of the first things I did was submit it to Christian Manscript Submissions.com. However, the only company to contact me was a self-publishing firm that wanted me to buy 1000 books. More recently, I've read on a Christian Writers' Guild and other blogs that publishers have admitted – at writers' conferences – that they never pull proposals from that site. Some responded with blank stares when asked. I'm wondering if I didn't just waste the $98 – an agent who represents a few Zondervan authors even told me he doesn't believe it's very useful. Of course, I don't know any of this for a fact, but have heard from a few sources.

  • http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/ Marie Notcheva

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your e-mail of earlier today. Actually, I had read this entry and comments earlier, but as I've been unable to hire an agent figured it couldn't hurt to send you a query directly. (See? You didn't hurt me. :)

    A few months ago, after completing my manuscript and proposal, one of the first things I did was submit it to Christian Manscript Submissions.com. However, the only company to contact me was a self-publishing firm that wanted me to buy 1000 books. More recently, I've read on a Christian Writers' Guild and other blogs that publishers have admitted – at writers' conferences – that they never pull proposals from that site. Some responded with blank stares when asked. I'm wondering if I didn't just waste the $98 – an agent who represents a few Zondervan authors even told me he doesn't believe it's very useful. Of course, I don't know any of this for a fact, but have heard from a few sources.

  • http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/ Marie Notcheva

    (contnuation)

    What is frustrating is finding that publishers won't even look at a proposal unless it comes through an agent, but agents won't work with authors who haven't previously published books. (Kind of like applying for a first credit card and being turned down because you have no established credit history!). It's a viscious circle.

    One (very nice) agent gave me two helpful pieces of information: 1) My proposal and chapter summary were very thorough and extremely well-written (I used your online proposal guide, so you get credit for that); and 2) while my project is very niched (which he considered a good thing), it would be a hard sell because I don't have "name recognition". Therefore, I should work on expanding a ministry in order to build a platform – which makes sense from a publisher's business perspective, but it is much harder to "build a platform" if you're a writer and your book hasn't been published.

  • http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/ Marie Notcheva

    (contnuation)

    What is frustrating is finding that publishers won't even look at a proposal unless it comes through an agent, but agents won't work with authors who haven't previously published books. (Kind of like applying for a first credit card and being turned down because you have no established credit history!). It's a viscious circle.

    One (very nice) agent gave me two helpful pieces of information: 1) My proposal and chapter summary were very thorough and extremely well-written (I used your online proposal guide, so you get credit for that); and 2) while my project is very niched (which he considered a good thing), it would be a hard sell because I don't have "name recognition". Therefore, I should work on expanding a ministry in order to build a platform – which makes sense from a publisher's business perspective, but it is much harder to "build a platform" if you're a writer and your book hasn't been published.

  • http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/ Marie Notcheva

    (last part of comment)

    I had no delusions about breaking into the publishing world being easy, but I didn't expect it to be THIS hard. It has long been my conviction that if a piece of writing is good quality, serves a legitimate need, and is doctrinally sound, the publishing playing field would be level. Evidently, it's not that straight-forward. Certainly, I am not yet ready to give up and don't mean to sound cynical, but after so much work researching, studying, and pouring myself into the actual writing I am a bit dismayed (especially when I see the volume of aberrational literature currently being sold in Christian bookstores). Fortunately, there are more Christian self-publishers that offer POD if I ever get to the point of giving up.

    Thanks for posting the list of literary agents – this is very helpful, and not something I could find in The Writer's Market Guide. The information on this blog is quite useful, and I appreciate your devoting your time to help us struggling authors out!

    ~Marie

  • http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/ Marie Notcheva

    (last part of comment)

    I had no delusions about breaking into the publishing world being easy, but I didn't expect it to be THIS hard. It has long been my conviction that if a piece of writing is good quality, serves a legitimate need, and is doctrinally sound, the publishing playing field would be level. Evidently, it's not that straight-forward. Certainly, I am not yet ready to give up and don't mean to sound cynical, but after so much work researching, studying, and pouring myself into the actual writing I am a bit dismayed (especially when I see the volume of aberrational literature currently being sold in Christian bookstores). Fortunately, there are more Christian self-publishers that offer POD if I ever get to the point of giving up.

    Thanks for posting the list of literary agents – this is very helpful, and not something I could find in The Writer's Market Guide. The information on this blog is quite useful, and I appreciate your devoting your time to help us struggling authors out!

    ~Marie

  • Devin

    Hi Michael,
    I'm 11 years old and I just found your blog. I'm looking to write a book. I have a few ideas for my story, but other than that I have done nothing. Do you know any books that will help me get started? Do you have any advise for me?

    Thanks for your time!
    Devin

  • Devin

    Hi Michael,
    I'm 11 years old and I just found your blog. I'm looking to write a book. I have a few ideas for my story, but other than that I have done nothing. Do you know any books that will help me get started? Do you have any advise for me?

    Thanks for your time!
    Devin

  • Mark Fynewever

    Michael, I have written my first childrens book for prek-4th grade, 24 pgs in length. I have not had anyone illustrate the book yet. Should I write a book proposal and find an agent before looking for an illustrator. What would you advise. Thanks!

  • Mark Fynewever

    Michael, I have written my first childrens book for prek-4th grade, 24 pgs in length. I have not had anyone illustrate the book yet. Should I write a book proposal and find an agent before looking for an illustrator. What would you advise. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.gerchow Chuck Gerchow

    Michael,

    Since Thomas Nelson publishes Dave Ramsey's materials I was turned on to your site. I have a couple children's style projects that can I say do not exist.
    After scouring Amazon's site for hours and have checked out the big box retailers Barnes and noble,borders.
    I am not one to re-invent the wheel. Actually After listening to Dave Ramsey for so long he gave me the partial inspiration for one of the books.
    However I know he has his own kids materials. This is a complete departure. After listening to "Inventing like Edison" by Michael J. Gelb
    Edison and Ford both marketed their products as "Simple and to the Masses. That Got me thinking.

    Anyhow Just saw your site and thought I would drop you a line.

    Chuck Gerchow

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.gerchow Chuck Gerchow

    Michael,

    Since Thomas Nelson publishes Dave Ramsey's materials I was turned on to your site. I have a couple children's style projects that can I say do not exist.
    After scouring Amazon's site for hours and have checked out the big box retailers Barnes and noble,borders.
    I am not one to re-invent the wheel. Actually After listening to Dave Ramsey for so long he gave me the partial inspiration for one of the books.
    However I know he has his own kids materials. This is a complete departure. After listening to "Inventing like Edison" by Michael J. Gelb
    Edison and Ford both marketed their products as "Simple and to the Masses. That Got me thinking.

    Anyhow Just saw your site and thought I would drop you a line.

    Chuck Gerchow

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com/ Nikole Hahn

    Amen! Thank you for this encouraging blog. Rejections are a part of the life of a writer. I've learned to find the gems of encouragement in each one. I'm enjoying the journey, the little bright spots where a small press accepts my short story, and I am enjoy this new journey of actually writing a book series. I'm building my platform with twitter and my blog and enjoying how much my stories seem to encourage people. Keep up the good work! I've never met a CEO whose blog seems more other-centered.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com/ Nikole Hahn

    Amen! Thank you for this encouraging blog. Rejections are a part of the life of a writer. I've learned to find the gems of encouragement in each one. I'm enjoying the journey, the little bright spots where a small press accepts my short story, and I am enjoy this new journey of actually writing a book series. I'm building my platform with twitter and my blog and enjoying how much my stories seem to encourage people. Keep up the good work! I've never met a CEO whose blog seems more other-centered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johanan.rakkav John Wheeler

    Michael, both in concept and in execution your page here is excellent. I've developed my fiction writing and editing skills about as far as I think I can do without professional help – and I certainly won't get into legitimte print without the kind of advice you and other respondents give here. I've made submissions to publishers before and happily, they seem to agree I'm one of those needles in a haystack as a writer – it's just taken this long to figure out how to create a plot that hangs together fully, which was the basic reason for rejection! And it seems very probable that only a Christian publisher with a taste for eclectic blends of allegory, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and psychology will want my work without extensive reworking of the very core that makes it worth writing in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johanan.rakkav John Wheeler

    Michael, both in concept and in execution your page here is excellent. I've developed my fiction writing and editing skills about as far as I think I can do without professional help – and I certainly won't get into legitimte print without the kind of advice you and other respondents give here. I've made submissions to publishers before and happily, they seem to agree I'm one of those needles in a haystack as a writer – it's just taken this long to figure out how to create a plot that hangs together fully, which was the basic reason for rejection! And it seems very probable that only a Christian publisher with a taste for eclectic blends of allegory, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and psychology will want my work without extensive reworking of the very core that makes it worth writing in the first place.

  • http://www.citygospel.net/ Steve Wilson

    Hi Michael,

    I'm from Australia and have recently completed co-producing a DVD teaching series on issues of justice and mercy.

    We self-published it and are now trying to get it distributed. A Christian bookstore chain in Australia has taken it up, but I'm finding it more difficult to get into the US & UK markets.

    I'm approaching distributors (would you suggest approaching several simultaneously?), and I'm also wondering whether we should seek an agent. Would the literary agents you list also do DVDs? Any advice you have would be appreciated.

  • http://www.citygospel.net/ Steve Wilson

    Hi Michael,

    I’m from Australia and have recently completed co-producing a DVD teaching series on issues of justice and mercy.

    We self-published it and are now trying to get it distributed. A Christian bookstore chain in Australia has taken it up, but I’m finding it more difficult to get into the US & UK markets.

    I’m approaching distributors (would you suggest approaching several simultaneously?), and I’m also wondering whether we should seek an agent. Would the literary agents you list also do DVDs? Any advice you have would be appreciated.

  • Tracy

    Hello my name is Tracy Conrad, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your wondeful articles. I actually stumbled upon them by accident. I love to write as a new found hobby since divorce. I began writing blogs on myspace as a way to vent through some of the darkest hours of my life after a divorce and the snowball effect of hardships that followed. At some point someone asked me, "why are you not writing blogs anymore?" I laughed at them because I thought no one read them. I never read other myspacer's blogs. In eight months I had over 2000 views of my blogs which astonished me and still makes me laugh. They were simply rantings from the heart. Thanks to the encouragement of those people I have come to realize how much I do enjoy writing. I have put a bit on facebook too but I do it because I love it. I hope to one day be able to share thoughts in writing of how God has brought me through having it all, to losing it all, at a young age of 26 with other young women. Until then I will enjoy learning from you and others who have inspired or helped me to follow this path in my life. Thank You very much!

  • Tracy

    Hello my name is Tracy Conrad, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your wondeful articles. I actually stumbled upon them by accident. I love to write as a new found hobby since divorce. I began writing blogs on myspace as a way to vent through some of the darkest hours of my life after a divorce and the snowball effect of hardships that followed. At some point someone asked me, "why are you not writing blogs anymore?" I laughed at them because I thought no one read them. I never read other myspacer's blogs. In eight months I had over 2000 views of my blogs which astonished me and still makes me laugh. They were simply rantings from the heart. Thanks to the encouragement of those people I have come to realize how much I do enjoy writing. I have put a bit on facebook too but I do it because I love it. I hope to one day be able to share thoughts in writing of how God has brought me through having it all, to losing it all, at a young age of 26 with other young women. Until then I will enjoy learning from you and others who have inspired or helped me to follow this path in my life. Thank You very much!

  • Aaron williams

    i am only thirteen and i am trying to figure out what to do with my story. but will any publishers really take me seriously?

  • Aaron williams

    i am only thirteen and i am trying to figure out what to do with my story. but will any publishers really take me seriously?

  • Martin

    I have a contract and my first book will be published in about 4 or 5 months, a book on American history. I know I can do book signings and talks, but what else is out there? How do I take advantage of the situation to advance my career?

  • Martin

    I have a contract and my first book will be published in about 4 or 5 months, a book on American history. I know I can do book signings and talks, but what else is out there? How do I take advantage of the situation to advance my career?

  • Pingback: Looking to Write Your First Book? «

  • Kirsten

    Hi there Michael,
    I bought your on-line 'Writing a winning book proposal'. I'm writing a Christian children's book (ages 4 – 7).
    What should I submit instead of chapter-by-chapter synopsis and two sample chapters? The manuscript is only about one and a half pages of single-line text.
    Kind regards,
    Kirsten Rossiter

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      With a children’s book, you should submit the entire manuscript. Thanks.
      My recent post Top Ten Posts of November 2009

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      With a children’s book, you should submit the entire manuscript. Thanks.
      My recent post Top Ten Posts of November 2009

  • Kirsten

    Hi there Michael,
    I bought your on-line 'Writing a winning book proposal'. I'm writing a Christian children's book (ages 4 – 7).
    What should I submit instead of chapter-by-chapter synopsis and two sample chapters? The manuscript is only about one and a half pages of single-line text.
    Kind regards,
    Kirsten Rossiter

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      With a children’s book, you should submit the entire manuscript. Thanks.
      My recent post Top Ten Posts of November 2009

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      With a children’s book, you should submit the entire manuscript. Thanks.
      My recent post Top Ten Posts of November 2009

  • Robert Pollick

    I have had a Christian book Published called (Dawn of Revelation) . I don’t have any way of knowing how my book is doing. Because of this I would like to republish my book myself. I don’t have any agreement written with my publisher. Since publishing my book I have much Biblical information of future events which are to take place shortly. I have been a Bible scholar for over 40 years. What I have found are Bible secrets that have been overlooked by many.
    With out taking much more of your time, what suggestion would you be able to give me. A Christian in Christ. Thank you much for your time in reading this. Robert Pollick.

  • Robert Pollick

    I have had a Christian book Published called (Dawn of Revelation) . I don't have any way of knowing how my book is doing. Because of this I would like to republish my book myself. I don't have any agreement written with my publisher. Since publishing my book I have much Biblical information of future events which are to take place shortly. I have been a Bible scholar for over 40 years. What I have found are Bible secrets that have been overlooked by many.

    With out taking much more of your time, what suggestion would you be able to give me. A Christian in Christ. Thank you much for your time in reading this. Robert Pollick.

  • http://literaryteapot.blogspot.com Jan

    And don't forget The Association of Christian Writers – a non-profit-making organisation with a magazine and a website, full of helpful tips for Christian writers (and mjeetings where you get the opportunity for a one-to-ne meeting with Christian publishers and editors!
    My recent post Hallmark goes mad

  • http://literaryteapot.blogspot.com Jan

    And don't forget The Association of Christian Writers – a non-profit-making organisation with a magazine and a website, full of helpful tips for Christian writers (and mjeetings where you get the opportunity for a one-to-ne meeting with Christian publishers and editors!
    My recent post Hallmark goes mad

  • http://literaryteapot.blogspot.com/ Jan

    And don't forget The Association of Christian Writers – a non-profit-making organisation with a magazine and a website, full of helpful tips for Christian writers (and mjeetings where you get the opportunity for a one-to-ne meeting with Christian publishers and editors!
    My recent post Hallmark goes mad

  • http://literaryteapot.blogspot.com/ Jan

    And don't forget The Association of Christian Writers – a non-profit-making organisation with a magazine and a website, full of helpful tips for Christian writers (and mjeetings where you get the opportunity for a one-to-ne meeting with Christian publishers and editors!
    My recent post Hallmark goes mad

  • jb@jillybean.org

    Thank you MH. I have been working on a project for quite some time now and hope to see it someday in print. I've been in children's ministry for 25 years and know to keep doing what works. I appreciate all I've read and especially the don't give up part. Merry Christmas, Love Jillybean

  • jb@jillybean.org

    Thank you MH. I have been working on a project for quite some time now and hope to see it someday in print. I've been in children's ministry for 25 years and know to keep doing what works. I appreciate all I've read and especially the don't give up part. Merry Christmas, Love Jillybean

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jonathanj Jonathan

    Thanks for the suggestions. I find this pretty helpful. I am working on a book right now, where I have a few more chapters to edit. It's a short read, but I think the resources you mention here will be helpful. What do you think about offering it as a free PDF download for the first few days on my website?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jonathanj Jonathan

    Thanks for the suggestions. I find this pretty helpful. I am working on a book right now, where I have a few more chapters to edit. It's a short read, but I think the resources you mention here will be helpful. What do you think about offering it as a free PDF download for the first few days on my website?

  • http://www.fallenandflawed.com/ Demian Farnworth

    My advice to first time writers? Listen to what Michael Hyatt says. :-)
    My recent post Five Posts You Haven’t Seen–But Should

  • http://www.fallenandflawed.com/ Demian Farnworth

    My advice to first time writers? Listen to what Michael Hyatt says. :-)
    My recent post Five Posts You Haven’t Seen–But Should

  • http://twitter.com/PDelupio @PDelupio

    I've never written a book or proposal in my life. I do freelance write for local fashion magazines, definitely just starting out. But would love to write a book for tweens and have a few ideas. Does anyone recommend taking classes and seminars? I've taken a couple with MediaBistro that gave good advice. Any other good seminars out there for beginners? I do like MediaBisrto a lot!

  • http://twitter.com/PDelupio @PDelupio

    I've never written a book or proposal in my life. I do freelance write for local fashion magazines, definitely just starting out. But would love to write a book for tweens and have a few ideas. Does anyone recommend taking classes and seminars? I've taken a couple with MediaBistro that gave good advice. Any other good seminars out there for beginners? I do like MediaBisrto a lot!

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  • http://reformedandreforming.org Jesse Wisnewski

    @ Michael:

    Thank you for this helpful post. At the moment I have two projects sitting on the back burner while I'm slowly cooking through my Master of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary with full-time family and work. When I'm wrapped up with my degree, what you provided here will be of tremendous help.

    Cheers, Jesse
    My recent post #*@!: Profanity and the Bible

  • http://reformedandreforming.org/ Jesse Wisnewski

    @ Michael:

    Thank you for this helpful post. At the moment I have two projects sitting on the back burner while I'm slowly cooking through my Master of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary with full-time family and work. When I'm wrapped up with my degree, what you provided here will be of tremendous help.

    Cheers, Jesse
    My recent post #*@!: Profanity and the Bible

  • Jeanine Tillman

    Thank you for the helpful information, I have been procrastinating regarding several books I have this compulsion to write. This has help me greatly. God bless you!

  • Jeanine Tillman

    Thank you for the helpful information, I have been procrastinating regarding several books I have this compulsion to write. This has help me greatly. God bless you!

  • lrhodes@bak.rr.com

    I have self published a children's book – based on a true event in our family. "The True Drummer Boy" is so well received, friends and readers tell me it should be published by a real published so that it can be shared more widely. Any advice?

    Before I did this I did send many queries and found absolutely no respnse. I decided you must have to "have an in" or be "somebody" in order to be looked at or listened to.
    Thanks.

  • lrhodes@bak.rr.com

    I have self published a children's book – based on a true event in our family. "The True Drummer Boy" is so well received, friends and readers tell me it should be published by a real published so that it can be shared more widely. Any advice?

    Before I did this I did send many queries and found absolutely no respnse. I decided you must have to "have an in" or be "somebody" in order to be looked at or listened to.
    Thanks.

  • Raquel

    This was amazingly helpful. I just checked out the blogs and found a wealth of great advice. Thanks!

  • Raquel

    This was amazingly helpful. I just checked out the blogs and found a wealth of great advice. Thanks!

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  • Beatrice McClearn

    Thank you. You have encouraged me deeply to press on.

  • Beatrice McClearn

    Thank you. You have encouraged me deeply to press on.

  • Lisa Walker Thomas

    Thank you for creating this site and for the list of Christian Agents, after receiving numerous rejections with the line, "this project isn't right for us" it's good to have a list of agents who have published Christian literature. It can be very discouraging, however I'm persistent and I believe God gives writers a story to tell because many people around the world need to hear that story. Thank you again, I wait expectantly to meet the literary agent who will establish a relationship with me. Thank you and blessings to you and yours.

  • Lisa Walker Thomas

    Thank you for creating this site and for the list of Christian Agents, after receiving numerous rejections with the line, "this project isn't right for us" it's good to have a list of agents who have published Christian literature. It can be very discouraging, however I'm persistent and I believe God gives writers a story to tell because many people around the world need to hear that story. Thank you again, I wait expectantly to meet the literary agent who will establish a relationship with me. Thank you and blessings to you and yours.

  • Nicolas Brown

    I found this information very helpful, thanks for the incredibly article Mike! I'm an aspiring author, and it's great to stumble across something this vital before even reaching this step. I will definitely be sure to go through the necessary steps. Hopefully I will be fully prepared for the publishing process once I have finished my education and the main portions of my attempted works.

  • Nicolas Brown

    I found this information very helpful, thanks for the incredibly article Mike! I'm an aspiring author, and it's great to stumble across something this vital before even reaching this step. I will definitely be sure to go through the necessary steps. Hopefully I will be fully prepared for the publishing process once I have finished my education and the main portions of my attempted works.

  • Lori A. Moore

    Having released my first book less than 2 months ago, I am learning a lot about being a first time author. Two major things stiand out to me.

    1. Authors have to be prepared to market their books and be an active, proactive participant in their marketing strategies.
    2. Authors have to understand that selling books is more about building relationships than having booksignings.

  • Lori A. Moore

    Having released my first book less than 2 months ago, I am learning a lot about being a first time author. Two major things stiand out to me.

    1. Authors have to be prepared to market their books and be an active, proactive participant in their marketing strategies.
    2. Authors have to understand that selling books is more about building relationships than having booksignings.

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  • http://www.londonwriterssociety.com/ Clyo Beck

    Great post. I intend to put a link to it in the next electronic newsletter I send out to my subscribers.

    I also love your two remarkable posts about digging deep and creating a "wow" experience for the reader.

    My readers should know about your blog and I will make sure they do.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.londonwriterssociety.com Clyo Beck

    Great post. I intend to put a link to it in the next electronic newsletter I send out to my subscribers.

    I also love your two remarkable posts about digging deep and creating a "wow" experience for the reader.

    My readers should know about your blog and I will make sure they do.

    Thanks!

  • Sharon Piatt

    Thank you so much for the advice. I have known for a long time that God has gifted me to write. I know He works all things together… and now has me in a new season in life; the time is right. I feel a glimmer of hope and direction after reading this post.

  • Sharon Piatt

    Thank you so much for the advice. I have known for a long time that God has gifted me to write. I know He works all things together… and now has me in a new season in life; the time is right. I feel a glimmer of hope and direction after reading this post.

  • Sajad Eskandari

    Hi

    I have a poetry book in Persian language , and want to publish it by Multilanguage .
    I wrote these poem in Hafez and Sa-adi ( the famous poet ) base but by temporary pen ,is possible for you to publish this book?
    if possible for your group I ll be glad to work with you .

    with the bests
    Eskandari from Iran

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Joe_Sewell Joe Sewell

    Thanks for the reality check. I had thought God had called me to write a book or two while working a full-time job. Your post here, along with the "good advice" from others in comments, makes me realize I simply don't have the time, money, or energy to get it into the system.

  • Susan Grottke

    Now I know why I love writing childrens books and spiritual poems. Its in my blood!!!!- Susan Grottke

  • Rich Quin

    I am not an author (yet) but I dream of being one. I have somehow managed to convince myself that becoming a published writer is a significant aspect of my purpose in life.

    That is why I greatly benefit from the generous advice offered in your blog and your sincere desire to help those "would-be writers" like me.

    Thanks.

    Rich

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  • http://www.tipphealthshoppe.webs.com Carla

    I found this post very helpful. For years I have said "one day I'm going to write a book." And of course I write as much to "vent' as to actually create something worth thinking about. But I never go beyond that and have not taken the time (was I afraid?) to educate myself in the down and dirty details of what it could take. Thanks for making lists and links. Now on to get educated! Who knows????

  • Gary Hardaway

    You recommend Natasha Kern as an agent worth contacting. I have sent her two substantive messages over the past five weeks, sketching a potentially viable proposal to Thomas Nelson. She has completely ignored both. My potential proposal concerns a biography of Richard John Neuhaus, which I am well qualified to write, having done my doctoral dissertation on him. I recommend you delete Kern from your list of worthwhile contacts.

    I also recommend that you or somebody allow me to discuss this idea with Nelson.

    Thank you.

    Gary Hardaway
    P. S. You can read many of my columns on Amy Internet Syndicate

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Gary, as I state in the post, “this list does not constitute my recommendation.” It is a listing, that’s all. It is up to you to get the agent’s attention. I would suggest sending simultaneous submissions to several agents.

      I’m sorry, but we only accept proposals from agents. As I also state in the post, we don’t have the resources to review unsolicited proposals.

      Hang in there. This is what every author goes through to get published. I don’t know of any shortcuts unless you want to self-publish.

      Thanks.

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  • Marcia

    Where can I find an advocate for a new writer from CAlif. who is frustrated by a P.O.D. in Fla.?
    It's been 6 months of lack of cooperation. They have my money. Manipulate, stall and accusation represent their approach, instead of honoring our agreement to format and produce and fullfill orders.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I would hire an attorney to write a letter.

  • Richard McClatchey

    I'm a new author and really I'm serious about publishing. Thank you, Michael for your post. It helps me to understand the reality for people like me who are just trying to get their foot in the door. Basically, I'm very motivated to get this book off the ground, have it more widely known and am willing to accept being rejected. However, I know that's not the end of it and will try again until I get accepted. As you meant, don't get discouraged which sadly happens in the author world today. It's uplifting to read the facts, not some pie-in-the-sky magical theory that an author will be accepted and receive royalties within a few months. So, thanks for your down-to-earth truths about the publishing market.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Richard.

  • Terrell

    Is there any publisher or agent interested in fresh material with a strong biblical meaning? I write science fiction animation, fantasy which competes against strong secular animation and movies. I don’t believe in giving a little, but as much as I can give. I focus on the story, characters and world which relate to everyday people in every angle. I also understand this important law of being a Christian Writer, who serves the Lord Jesus Christ. When facing him that day I’ll always remember that I will not be judged by how I wrote, but what I wrote.

    P.S. It's time for Christian Writers to do new and better things. We have to be more creative in how we bring people to Christ and not be afraid to use our gifts. I remember what the Lord told me, "The gift I gave you is for me"

    So why limit ourselves as Christians. There are Christian Writers who can make the next big Star Wars, or the next big Superman. The characters in which we create do not exist, but it's what we put inside them that will determine the outcome to whether or not the audience understands. I am not a passive writer who serves a small God. How can a story end if it doesn’t begin?

  • Bill Walters

    It's refreshing to find a site such as this with a man like Mr. Hyatt advising aspiring authors from a prominent position within the industry. I know my book will eventually be published – one way or the other. I didn't write it for fame and fortune, but for myself, my children and to please God. If it sells, that will be icing on the cake. Finding this website gives me hope. Thank-you, Michael. May God reward your good heart.

  • http://bit.ly/bestsellerbook lightman

    I was able to hit the Amazon best seller list for 2 of my books after following EVERY step to the T in "The Best Seller Secret". Pretty amazing stuff and all very easy to do if you put in the time. http://bit.ly/bestsellerbook

  • Mark Mabrie

    Hi Michael,

    It is nice knowing you in advance. I heard about Thomas Nelson Publishers, when I was reading “Put Your Dream to the Test” by John C. Maxwell. I truly feel that once I fully commit myself to following the proper steps and through the power of prayer that we will soon become acquainted. Remember my name, my destine agent will be submitting my manuscript to you in the near future.

  • http://katykauffmanadventurewriter.blogspot.com Katy Kauffman

    I appreciate the encouragement as well. I recommend the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference. It got me and my family going. We've been three years in a row, and now the dream is slowly coming true. As a new writer, I want to take in all the advice I can get, and share this…
    Write something your heart is in. All of the rejections, the hurdles, the writer's block can be conquered if we believe in what we're doing. We can make a difference with words, with our lives, for God and His kingdom. I hope not to stop short of that. So thank you for your wisdom. I think it would be awesome to hear you speak on leadership and writing. Thanks!

  • http://www.noxbox.blogspot.com Johan M

    Thank you Mr Hyatt. Is there any special thing a first time latinamerican author should consider?

  • http://www.larawilliams.org lara

    As my proposal now sits in the hands of yet another publisher, I find your words very encouraging. God put that writer’s seed within me when I was very young. And it was with purpose. As John Piper says, He raises up writers for every generation. So I press on and believe that He will complete that which He began. Thanks again.

    • Pamela

      Good Morning Lara
      I find your words very encouraging and I encourage you to,”Stand Still and
      See the Salvation of the Lord.”

  • http:meditationsfromzion.wordpress.com Irm Brown

    So many literary agent blogs to follow. . . thanks for identifying these three.

  • T. Mallory

    As a published author of 9 novels, and a writing workshop teacher, I do have a little advice for aspiring writers, because I know how frustrating it is to want so badly to reach that elusive star! So here’s my top 12!

    1. Do your own research. Read Mr. Hyatt’s advice in the article above and follow it, then search the Internet for more information on getting published.

    2. Read every book you can find on Writing, especially books written by authors.

    3. Join local writers groups and national groups that represent the genre you want to write for; take advantage of their combined knowledge and available resources.

    4. Take workshops taught by published authors. I didn’t really understand what was wrong with my writing until I took a class from SF writer, Warren Norwood. He changed my life!

    5. FINISH your book before you even start thinking about submitting to agents. You can’t submit a query to an agent or editor until you have a finished manuscript in hand, at least for your first sale. Very rarely a new writer may sell on the basis of a proposal (three chapters and a synopsis) but that is highly unusual. Instead of worrying about how you’re going to find an agent, concentrate on finishing your book and making it as polished and great as you possibly can-—then do the necessary research to find an agent.

    6. Join a good critique group, one that is supportive, yet honest. Be careful not to fall prey to groups that are all about tearing down the writer, not helping him/her become better.

    7. GO TO CONFERENCES! I can’t emphasize this enough. Every state has writing organizations that hold conferences every year. This is the ideal place to be able to meet agents and editors in person, and even make a pitch for your book. But don’t just go for this reason. Go to learn from the workshops and improve your writing so you can FINISH that book!

    8. Write every day no matter what. If you’ve been working on the same book for ten years, it’s time to either put it away, or finish it. You can never succeed in publishing if it takes ten years to write one book. Every published author must produce on a regular basis.

    9. Seek to learn how to improve your writing instead of just wanting to be published. Seek out people with experience who will help you to improve. Surrounding yourself with people who pat you on the back and tell you you’re great, when you really need to develop your writing, only guarantees that you won’t be published.

    10. Realize that publishers want books that they can “slot” into their established lines. Research those lines. Write a book that will fit one of those lines. This in no way limits your creativity. It will still be your own original and very amazing creation — but it will be more likely to find a home than an undefinable manuscript that is neither fish nor fowl. That rule, of course, is meant to be broken, but usually you have to find your way into the publishing business before you can start cracking the glass!

    11. An SF writer, Robert Vardeman once gave me the best advice of my life. He said “Be stupidly determined.” Sometimes trying to get published feels like you’re beating your head against a brick wall and feels, well, stupid. That’s okay. Be stupidly determined to get published all the way to the bank! If you FINISH what you write and do the research needed to navigate the waters of publishing, and seek to improve with every new thing you write, and follow the rules of submitting to agents and editors, you most likely WILL be published one day.

    12. Getting published is not an impossible star. Stop treating it like fantasy and treat it as a very viable and possible reality. Then get to work—it’s not easy. It’s a long, hard road and it won’t happen overnight. Are you ready to persevere and give it your best shot?

    And finally Lucky 13 —

    If you’ve done all of this and you’re still not published, don’t despair. The truth is that until you get your manuscript in front of the right agent or editor who finds your story/style/voice amazing, you won’t sell. But that can happen! There are so many agents out there–you just have to keep trying until you find the right one. Also — if you have followed all of these suggestions and aren’t published, consider that you need to take a fresh look at the book you’re submitting. I know so many writers who can’t sell a book but they spend literally YEARS shopping it around, trying to sell it. I understand why. You’ve spent so much time, energy, blood, sweat and tears on this book. But move on. Write another book. Learn from any mistakes you’ve made. Get more input from other writers. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. Submit. Submit. Submit. Write. Write. Write. Keep persevering and being stupidly determined!!

  • T. Mallory

    My comment posted twice!! Don’t know why! Sorry!

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  • Melissa

    Mike,

    Your blog was recommended by the RZIM team when I wrote them about my book idea. I was very thankful that they were kind enough to reply to me and point me to such a wonderful site. Thank you for taking the time to make a writers dream more possible.

    I would like to order your e- book “Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal” but I do not have an e-reader device. Will I be able to view it on my personal computer?

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    I was surprised to see that you didn’t include the importance of establishing a platform. I’ve never published a book, but all my friends who have tell me that the best way to catch a publisher’s eye is to have an existing platform (whether it be online, on the radio, a newspaper column, TV, or another medium). Why didn’t you include that, Michael?

  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    Advice I have for first-time authors?

    – Write daily.
    – Write about what you are passionate about, not what you believe is popular.
    – Have others review your writing and ask for constructive feedback, then listen.
    – Tell more stories than actual ideas.
    – Build a platform any way you can.
    – Blog daily, because it will keep your writing skills sharp.

    Just a few I’ve learned personally.

  • http://www.debgallardo.com/virtuoso/1862/story-ideas-writers-are-like-pomegranates/ Debgallardo

    Michael,

    Do you happen to have a bare-bones, “Cliff Notes” (free) version of your killer book proposal ebooks?

    Just wondering.

    Deb Gallardo

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, the ebooks themselves are pretty condensed!

      • Elizabeth

        Hi Mike-

        What sort of proposal do you suggest for writing a memoir? I submitted a non-fiction one based right off of your sample- publisher loved it (thank you for that ;) But they now believe the story is more powerful and want me to write it as a memoir- and resubmit a memoir proposal. I can not seem to find a sample Memoir Book Proposal online…can you help? Love some direction and a great example.. Thanks- Elizabeth

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I would suggest thinking of it more as a fiction format. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a format for that. Thanks.

          • Efisher

            Wow- thank you for your quick response– You suggest framing it as a fiction proposal, do you guys have a sample of that online? The non-fiction sample you have is amazing– it got me to the top of an agent’s pile and directly in with a publisher. I would love to keep following your example! If you have a fiction sample, can you share? :) The imparting of your knowledge is priceless– THANK YOU!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I’m afraid the only thing I have is what is in my fiction proposal e-book. I don’t know of any memoir proposals online. Thanks.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    Great post. I’ve always dreamed of writing a book and am trying to take intentional steps towards that dream this year. One question: Do you have a post on when the right time to write a book is? Part of my concern about even beginning the process outlined above is a question of mixed motives and whether or not it’s “time.” Am I being too mystical or afraid, or is there a legitimate “right time” to write a book? I’ve heard some authors say, “You just know…”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t know the answer to this question. While I think it is good to be aware of your motives, I don’t think you will ever get to the point where you are confident your motives are 100% pure. You will know a tree by it’s fruit; in this case, a book. Just write the book and let the work speak for itself.

    • Jay Clark

      Hi!  I have found in my experience that the “right time” is usually some time when the idea takes root.  I jot down some ideas for the direction I feel the book should go.  Then I just start to write.  Great writing or not, just let the words come and see where you end up.  I did this and the book I started with this formula is one of the best pieces I have ever come up with.  In addition, you should also ask for God’s guidence in the process.  I hope this helps.  In Christ, Jay Clark

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        Thanks, Jay!

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  • authors mom

    What do you think of Tate Publishing? My young daughter wrote a book that they said they would publish but they want $4000 up front for a publisist. Is this a standard practice?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am not familiar with them, so I don’t have an opinion. Most self-publishing companies charge for each service, a la carte. It just depends on what services you want to buy. That’s how they make their money.

  • http://www.mile204.us/ Ted

    Michael,
       I have been working my way through your list of agents who represent Christian authors, sending query letters to those who might possibly be interested in my book. But, for many of the agents, the list doesn’t have the information I need: (1) Is this agent accepting new clients? and (2) What kind of books does the agent work with? Adding this information would make your list much more helpful to first time authors.
    Ted 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’re probably right, Ted. The problem is that this information is so dynamic. Maybe I should set this up so that the agents themselves can maintain the list.

  • Sylvester Brown

    Hi! My name is Sylvester Brown and I self-publish my book “Time Will Tell.”  My advice for anyone is to IMAGINE yourself as a best-selling author.  See in yourself in an interview or see your name in the newspaper as the best-selling author or whatever way you see yourself in in your imagination.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I did that with my first book—and it worked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jay-Clark/100000417445950 Jay Clark

    Love the article.  I’m in the process of writing a late-elementary school age series.  My kids’ school principal is excited about this and is allowing me to make copies of my manuscript to have in the school so all the kids can read it and let me know exactly what they think.  West Bow is handling the publishing part when the time comes.  I can’t wait to find out what my 700+ critics have to say!  I’ll keep you posted.  God bless.

  • AMT

    Michael,

    First, I’d like to take a moment to thank you for the references and advice you have provided.  May your legacy always be one that reflects your giving heart. 

    I would like to pursue the opportunity to publish a children’s book, but I was curious to know whether I’d need to complete the illustrations for it prior to sending a query letter out to agents.  The manuscript is completed.  If you could advise, I’d appreciate it.  Thank you for your time.

    -AMT

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, you should not have to complete the illustrations. If you have a strong story, that should be enough. Thanks.

      • AMT

        Thank you for your response.  I would like to ask one more question, if I may.  When reviewing some of the agents and their guidelines, I have found that some agents request a writer to submit a sample (be it a couple of pages or charpters) as a means to determine whether the work in question is worth the consideration.   For a brief children’s story (less than 1000 words), should the one submit the entire work/manuscript to the agent or just annotate in the query letter that the manuscript is available upon request?  If only a portion of the manuscript is required, what is considered a customery amount to submit (a paragaph?)  Thanks again for your time…I look forward to the response.  God bless.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          With a children’s book, I would submit the whole manuscript.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Mike, I did come back to this article and, as usual, gleaned some more writing wisdom out of this fruitful field. By the way, you’re still #3 when I Google “advice for others.” ;-) Tom

  • AihatamuLeZna

    You have been a great help!!!
    May Our Lord Jesus, the Son of Our Living God, continue to shine his light upon you.

    Mariah Ataliah Mulenga

  • Anonymous

    Michael!

    Thanks so much for sharing this! As an aspiring author your wisdom and insight is much appreciated!

  • raschelle

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for the information and encouragement. The question I am mulling over in my mind is where do you think the future of publishing is headed? Bookstores are closing on a daily basis and electronic media is growing on a daily basis as well as social media. What do you think the future of publishing looks like and where are publishing houses going to fit into this growing paradigm and how are they planning to keep up and represent authors through the use of electronic media? Do you think the necessity of book proposals and working through agents and publishing houses will become an obsolete proccess if not, where is the fit within the electronic age of kindle, ipad2, the nook, etc? I would so appreciate your thoughts on the where you see the future of publishing. I have several proposals written, but wonder if the “traditional” method of getting a book published is still the best method to pursue, as well as what other options may be available? Thank you so much! Grace and Blessings to you.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/eromona4life Eromona Patrick Hero

    already published my work in Nigeria, but i need a publisher to cover america and europe, how do i get one?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My guess is that you will need to find a Nigerian agent that sells publishing rights to these countries. I really wouldn’t know where to start.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    I would write it all on a page or two, but with dividers that show what goes on what page.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Ford-II/100000335721818 Michael Ford II

    Thanks for this post Mr. Hyatt!
     
    I was recently able to secure an endorsement for my debut novel, “So You Have a Dream…Now What?” from Dan Miller, the author of “48 Days to the Work You Love.”

    What are the chances that I could get you to review a portion of the manuscript and possibly get an endorsement from you?

    Please respond to my email address: gggceo@att.net , if this is something you will consider.

    Thank You,

    Michael Ford II
     
     

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, he must decline. In order to honor his existing commitments, I simply don’t have the time it would take. Thanks.

  • Elaine Beachy

    I am in the process of getting my first books published: a trilogy of Christian fiction for children.  As I prayed and tried different avenues, the Lord led me to Wine Press, a Christian custom self- publishing company.  They have in-house illustrators, editors, proofreaders, and a terrific staff that walks you through the whole process.  (Very important for a “newbie” such as myself!)

    Kevin, my Solutions Advisor, Tammy, my Project Manager, Susan, my editor, and Dave, my illustrator are all so wonderful to work with. They make recommendations and insist on publishing  a great quality book.  I would recommend them especially to first-time authors such as myself.  You of course pay for the services you agree on, and adding illustrations greatly increases the cost of producing the books, but I can tell you the folks at Wine Press are honest and top-notch!  Communication is premium quality.

    Once the books are produced, I can order as many or few as I want at a 62% discount off the retail price.  I can sell them myself, or use their order fullfilment center (free of charge), where they will send me royalty checks quarterly.   

    Additionally, they are setting up a 5-page website for me at a very reasonable cost, with low yearly maintenance fees. 

    I encourage you to check quality custom self-publishing by a reputable company to get your book published. Wine Press might be the solution for you, too! 

    All the best,

    Elaine Beachy

  • Janparys

    Would love to help others but I have only done free articles to share my joy of Jesus & history. I do think conferences help so you can see an editor face to face and then you are a human being to them and not just an email or few pieces of paper. God help us all that we do His will.
    Blessings,
    Jan Parys
    New Bern, NC 

  • Shirley M. Parsons

    When one has self – published and still owns all rights to their book , is it still possible to get it traditionally published?

  • http://twitter.com/snowangelsmp Shirley M. Parsons

    When one has self – published and still owns all rights to their book , is it still possible to get it traditionally published?

  • http://twitter.com/snowangelsmp Shirley M. Parsons

    When one has self – published and still owns all rights to their book , is it still possible to get it traditionally published?

  • http://twitter.com/snowangelsmp Shirley M. Parsons

    When one has self – published and still owns all rights to their book , is it still possible to get it traditionally published?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, indeed. No problem—assuming you can find a publisher who is interested.

  • http://www.wheresthelid.com Adam Donyes

    I love how straight forward and honest you are in your blogging, yet never rude! Extremely helpful post!

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Interesting. #2 especially.
    Also awesome that you linked to some.
    Very helpful.
    Good stuff… on all points.

  • Maria

    hola, my name is Maria, i have just submitted my manuscript to a publishing company but just before they handed me the contract for review, I fell financially and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have the money to pay for the publication. I am financially disabled but I really want to publish my book, it means way too much for me. what do I do?

  • http://www.mtb1701.com mark

    mtb1701.com has been set up for first time authors and artist.

  • Melindatoad

    Get to know other authors! Even if it’s just via Facebook. They are a wealth of information. However, that does not mean you bombard them with your questions. There are numerous online classes now being offered by Christian authors like Janice Hanna Thompson. These are very helpful! Join a critique group. It is worth paying dues annually at online places like ACFW because what you will learn is invaluable! Hire an editor to go over your work and get some thick skin, even the best authors have to make edits! If you don’t want to wait years to see your work in print, publish it yourself but make sure you pay a real editor because you don’t want to be a flop out there! :)  Keep writing.

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  • http://www.barbaraparentini.com Bparentini

    Mike, the advice I would add for first-time authors is to read your blog. I’ve learned volumes by reading your posts, and applying your hard-earned wisdom. Thanks so much!

  • John McAuley

    URGENT REQUEST

    Hi Michael, 

    We are writing to you as Chairman of Thomas
    Nelson.  Sorry, I have tried to find a way to contact you personally. This
    seems to be my only option – and one that you suggest on your site.  

     

    Through your site, we were introduced to Westbow
    Press.  We have gone through all the assigned steps, and were down to getting the
    print underway.

     Everything seemed to be going great until the last 2 weeks.  We have been seeking to speak to our assigned
    staff at Westbow for 13 days now.  We have received NO return contact-
    after numerous attempts.  We have a deadline to publish, and time is almost
    out.  We are speaking at the  Canadian Youth Worker Convention, Nov 10-13. (www.cywc.com.) As you will see, we are
    delivering a keynote and main workshop on the content of our book.  

     

    In desperation and with much frustration, we have
    decided to write to you.

     

     Thanks Michael, I am so impressed by your site;
    find it full of incredible advice and helpful tools.  

     

    Trust you can make something happen for us.
     

     

    Thanks,

     

    John McAuley

    President/CEO 

    Muskoka Woods.

     

    Book: Elastic Morality
    Authors: Don Posterski, Chris Tompkins, John McAuley.

    • John McAuley

      Sorry, I have no idea how this post got to look like that???  Was “normal” in the edit box. Strange.

  • Brotherjackie

    Here’s a message I thought you might like to
    hear.

    Brother
    Jackie

    http://www.wildernessmountainministry.org

    OMEGA MAN RADIO

    October 7, 2011 DAY OF
    ATONEMENT, 7:00-11:00PM EST

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/omegamanradio/2011/10/07/episode-432-day-of-atonement–the-4th-beast–whats-next

  • Massimo

    Dear Michael,
    Just wanted to thank you for all the love you have put into helping us ‘wannabe’ writers to get going! Your site has been a real blessing and your insight precious. Have bought your book proposal guide and all subscribed up!
    Kindest regards, 
    Sonia 

  • Shelley

    I am in the process of looking for an agent. I was told it was a good idea to hire a publicist and do realize that I am in the beginning stages of sending out my manuscript … I do realize that it will take a while and yet am still so excited to see the whole process. rejections as well as interest which I know will come.. :)

  • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid Ashbaucher

    You left out one important channel one can pursuer – self-publishing. One can submit a PDF manuscript to a self-publisher for free and they will tell you if it’s worthy of self-publishing or co-publishing or traditional publishing. For Christians there is Innovo Publishing or West Bow Press a division of Thomas Nelson. I submitted my work to both and was accepted first time around by both. I went with Innovo for self and co publishing. My book is now being produced in four e-book formats, paperback and hardback editions. The only draw back to self-publishing is you must pursue your own promotion plan and spend your own money to do so. But in the end for under $2,200 my book is available in a worldwide market as an e-book and a print on demand product for distribution in the US, UK, and Australia. If your book does well over time in this venue you could be picked-up by a traditional publisher later on. According to a Thomas Nelson research, as it was express to me by one of their book agents, since 2008 there are more self-published books on the market then traditional books and there are more e-books sold then printed ones. This is why they created West Bow Press. To give them a channel to new un-published authors like me and others.
     
    Respectfully,
     
    Reid A. Ashbaucher
    http://booksite.rcetc.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have written about this elsewhere on my blog (see here and here).

      • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

        Well that explains it.  I read the article but did not spend the time to see who this site belong to. Thanks for the reference to the other articles.

  • Babyherc092459

    I’m writing a childrens series and most places that offer to advertise the book, etc. can cost alomst $100 to just put it on the website. My books are barely 10 pages and I don’t want to spend $10 a page. That’s not cost efficient. What do I do?

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      Speaking from experience of one that has advertised in a past business and now facing similar issues as a new author the following are my comments to your situation. If you have not done so I would create your own website or have someone help you in this. This will give you all the space you need to advertise your work. Then drive all your advertising traffic to this site by promoting your site. As an internet technique I would name your website and if possible your domain name after the book series. The Internet is a vast worldwide venue, there is a lot to know in using the Internet for advertising and for these reasons I try not to pay for advertising, but instead I try to use all the free ideas and tools available to me. I would invest in an Internet press release from your publisher to a respected press release website that the book world and other website look to. This will help in name recognition of you as an author and your books for Internet searches. The key to advertising is to know your target group you’re trying to reach, and then find the best venue to reach them at a cost that you can recoup over time. Only you know that number. If you are going to pay for Internet advertising I would select website venues with high traffic of people that fit your target group. Google Ad Sense or Ad Words advertising programs may be helpful to you in this type of strategy. Personally, I would think about trade magazines that target you group. This can be costly but for the money this may be your best option for the money vs. the demographics.  I hope this was helpful.
       
      Respectfully,
       
      Reid A. Ashbaucher
      http://booksite.rcetc.com

  • Je_harrington

    Delete this. Tips on how to do something successfully that point one to a checkout counter are tips on how to put money in the writer’s pockets, pretty much. Any savvy person sees those arrows and realizes the game. That’s all.

  • Sean

    Thanks for the article, Mr. Wyatt.  Very helpful.  :-)

  • Sean

    Correction:  Thanks for the article, Mr. Hyatt, not Mr. Wyatt.  :-P  My apologies–hope you forgive me.

    Still very helpful.  ;-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No problem. I get that occasionally.

  • http://thebibleandthenews.com mark

    (1) Tell no one you’re writing a book, for you will be humbled by not pulling it off soon enough. (2) Do not write all your thoughts down and then revise, like modern textbooks tellyou. Prepare your outline, all the way down to subpoints, if possible, and only begin composing once you are certain that your outline is strong, clear, and intelligent looking.  (3) Write longhand, then type your draft in. As you type you will naturally revise. (4) Compose like ancient writers must have done it. Because revision would cost precious space on hard-to-get paper or papyri, the quill was not so much as dipped until the sentence was satisfied in the mind. These four pointers will save you embarrassment and time.

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      Great points, Mark!  Especially that one about not telling anyone ……..and writing longhand….

    • Reid Ashbaucher

      After thinking about your comments the following are my thoughts based on my personal experience in writing my book:
       
      1. On your first point, that is what I did, I told no one. In my case I believed that was the best route. But I do have in my possession a CD Manuel put together by experts on how to write and promote your work. They claim 90% of self publishing your own book is marketing and suggest you begin this process before your book is even finished. I did disagree on this point because I do not know how you market a book before you yourself know when it’s going to be done. But they did make some valid points in this area.
       
      2. On your second point, I did not have that detailed of an outline. But after having my book in my head and mentally working on it for 27 years I pretty much had a systematic approach to how to present it. I was told by an independent Christian book review company that it was “systematic, concise and well written”. In the end, in my case, I believe it was God who directed my thoughts based on my study, research and thinking through the many concepts of this work. We can never forget the God element in Christian book writing. Also, in some cases if your book is that planned out, it leaves no room for God to work in the creative areas of our lives; just a thought.
       
      3. On your third and forth point, this advise works for the old school of though and is how I did things in high school, mainly because there were no computers to aid the process. But I did my work of compiling and writing my book, over nine months, all on an old laptop computer. I find writing a book out longhand quite cumbersome and extremely time consuming. If I had taken that approach, it would have taken me several years to complete the writing of my work. The benefit I found writing my book on a laptop was I could sit in my easy chair at home, sipping my hot tea at all times of the day or night, and be productive on getting my thoughts out on paper. Taking this approach, I could read and reread each paragraph, page and chapter to make correction and changes for better clarity to my readers. This also allowed me to walk away for a day or two and when I came back, I could read my work with a clear head and see things I missed earlier in my grammar, spelling (thanks for spell check), or just clarity of thought and make those changes instantly. The other advantage in doing it this way was, if you wanted some input from someone, you can send part of it by way of email attachment and get comments and suggestions from whomever you trusted to see your work ahead of time. There are some comments in my book that came from others after they read parts of it. They would have been mentioned but they wanted to remain anonymous, so I gave them an anonymous thank you in the front of my book. I could probably write two pages on these points but I will stop here.
       
      It is my view that sometimes there is room for spontaneous thoughtful writing, and planning out your work to the last jot and title could hinder all that God my want you to say. I hope this point is not misunderstood to mean, do not plan or outline. I am just stating that in Christian authoring we should leave room for God to work in our thought process. This point could be better understood by reading my work.
       
      Respectfully

      Reid Ashbaucher
      http://booksite.rcetc.com

    • Andrea

      I hate to contrade but if you go into something worried of embarrassment and not getting help from loved one you wont really get far. Plus its not much of an achevment doing it yourself. 

  • Andrea

    Thanks.  As a Christan with dislecsia no one will give me advice. They laugh. I relice that you didn’t agsacly have me in mind when you wrote your peice but it’s out there. Advice for anyone to read. and you put That bit for Christan writers too. “Sorry for the mispells”. 

  • Andrea

    Miss Colleen Coble I own 4 of your books. I like them. Keep writing! 

  • http://www.mactonweb.com Web design London

    The process you describe there forces writers to think precisely about what they want to accomplish and how they are going to do it, where the audience is, and why their book will stand out against the competition.

  • http://twitter.com/JustinHayslett Justin Hayslett

    I am very curious at this question. I am deliberating between publishing my book strictly as an eBook on my own, or try and go the publishing route. I’m curious as to your decision to publish an eBook opposed to going through a publisher. What are the reasons for this? Would you recommend this to people as well? Thanks so much for your help. http://www.justinhayslett.com

    Your blog is fantastic.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it all depends on your purpose. I did mine as an ebook because I wanted to give it away. Thus, I wanted to minimize the cost.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    I would also suggest build your platform. Don’t wait until the book is finished. Having a speaking platform and marketing plan is a plus to the publisher. Do you agree Mr. Hyatt?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree.

    • http://www.justinhayslett.com/ Justin

      Thanks for your replies Michael and Lori. I’ve been rocking and rolling on both my site and close to finishing my first draft of my ebook. 

  • Anonymous

    Very informative article Michael!

    I’m only in the beginning process of writing my first novel, but this was very useful in knowing what to look forward to when the time comes. I had already taken into consideration that the process of getting published is a strenuous one, however, what you’ve shared here will certainly help clear any roadblocks I may have in the future when I’m ready to get my work published.

    Thank you so much for making this available to a first time author, like myself. I cannot express my gratitude enough. You’ve saved me countless hours of research and tears, I’m sure. Wishing you and yours all the best in 2012. Blessings. 

  • http://twitter.com/jrberrios28 Jose Rene Berrios

    I love to write but sometimes i feel a little insecure if im doing it right. My question is, Is there a book, course or resource that could help me improve my writting skills?

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Jose,
      Here are a few of my favorites:
      Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird
      Stephen King: On Writing- a memoir of the craft.
      (this one has some strong language in it, so be aware if you don’t like that kind of thing.)
      William Zinnser: On Writing Well (fantastic)
      Roy Peter Clark: Writing Tools-50 essential tools for every writer.(fantastic)
      Annie Dillard: The Writing Life
      THE most famous writing book ever written:
      Strunk and White: The Elements of Style

      There are a few more books about art and getting over your fears that are also super helpful, but aren’t specifically about writing, so I didn’t include them. If your interested let me know and I’ll give you those too!

      Jose,
      Have fun with your craft!

  • Jeffrey Weitzel

    The idea of publishing is something that just occurred to me to look in to, so here I am scanning the comments of a well known Christian Publisher’s Blog.  I have not yet written a book.  Don’t really know if I will.  But I will keep writing about knowledge that is granted to me through the spirit of our Father.  I write as I study the Word of God and find things that I would like to share with others.
    After scanning comments here for the past 20 minutes or so, I have come to a conclusion. I have faith that if it is Gods will for my studies to be shared widely with others, He will find a way to accomplish that.  I have two choices for how to spend the precious spare moments I have outside of a day job and spending time with my family:  I could spend it studying how to get published, finding an agent, worrying if I will be marketed enough and if I will ever make money writing Christian books; or I could spend it dining one on one with Jesus Christ, my Creator, Elder Brother, and future Husband, learning as much as I can about Him and developing a real and lasting relationship. 
    Did the Bible talk of how the Apostles first studied marketing and cut deals with the scribes and pharisees to promote their ideas? No, they were sent out with the clothes on their back and Jesus in their hearts.  They never had the first intention of selling the books of the Bible that they wrote, yet they are now part of the the best selling book of all time. Our Father has seen to it.

    • Reid Ashbaucher

      Well that sounds very spiritual. In my case the Lord had me do all the things you mentioned, but when it was time to write the book; guess what? I had to do my home work to make it happen. God did not send me an angel or Christ to teach me or show me in person as he did with the disciples, but he did give me his written word and the Holy Spirit to guide me through principles that say, I am to be a good steward of my time and money to accomplish his will for my life. Thus, research and advice received came through my efforts as directed by God. Just as the same efforts by the disciples came by their hard work through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If you want to get a book written, in most cases, it will not come by the Holy Spirit writing it for you and then putting it out there for all to see with your name attached. But, it will come by prayer and lifting your personal hand to paper and following the leading of God in your heart and mind. A good example of this concept, in Scripture, can be found in the book of Esther. God controlled the circumstances but Esther had to obey and do something to make it happen, just as the Apostles and others had to do something to make the Scriptures happen. I love the theology of those that believe in the sovereignty of God but man has no responsibility. God chooses but be we have no part in his plan. At this point I think my book would be a good read for you on this topic.
       
      Respectfully,
       
      Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your works to the Lord,
      And your plans will be established.” (NASB)

  • http://twitter.com/chuch30 Charlotte Chung

    Thank you Mike!  This is a great resource for budding authors like myself.  I’ll read the books you recommended including your book on book proposals. 

  • mbsteury

    Do you have records of e-book purchases? I purchased both e-books on writing winning proposals, but didn’t manage to retrieve them when my hard drive had to be replaced. 

  • Devans

    Michael,

    I need to get your ebook for non-fiction writers and other resources you recommended as well. You have encouraged me very much as I read through your articles. I have one published book through Tate Publishing and have several more that I desire to get published with traditional publishers. Thank you for your encouraging and informative assistance to new authors!

    Daniel W. Evans

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Daniel,
      I literally have DOZENS of book on how to get published and Michael’s e-book was by far the best, and most practical, out of all them. I HIGHLY recommend it!

  • Kentrob61

    I have dissociative identity disorder. As a male I want to write a “memoir” of sorts. I KNOW there’s a book in my idea. However, I think most of my ‘potential’ readers would be in the mental health profession and/or clients and patients. Is there a publisher that works in promoting and publishing works for this segment of our society? And, I have written much, however, lost it when my last comp “died”. It was a taxing “job” to write what I did. Should I consider a co-author? Or, even a “ghost writer”?
    Thank you!
    Kent D. Robinson

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m afraid I don’t about publishers in this particular segment. Sorry.
      I definitely think you can consider a co-writer or ghost writer. The challenge will be in finding one. If I were you, I would create a great proposal on my own (if possible), try to find a publisher, and then ask for recommendations on a writer. You could also post the proposal on a site like elance.com and see what you get.

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  • Ron B

    Michael,
    Letting you know how helpful your e-book,  Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal, has been for me. I have followed your suggestions every step of the way and will be starting up my agent search soon.

     Just to let everyone know, following your plan isn’t the easiest thing I have done. I still found myself thinking and re-thinking almost every word I typed. The good that comes from this?  In addition to writing a proposal that I can be proud of in appearance, content and organization, the real blessing for me is that it made me more familiar with my work.  Every time I would look to my notes and rough drafts to get information from the proposal, I would be led to revisions and on a couple of instances, additional relevant information that should be included in the book. 

    All this to say thanks for stimulating my thinking, holding me to a plan, and giving such helpful advice.  Every aspiring writer needs to see all these things from the perspective of those who will be handling and making decisions throughout the publishing process.

    Also, the “war stories” of those who have responded to your blogs help us all to better prepare and avoid some of the difficulties they have faced.

    Thanks again for your work and encouragement.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Ron. I am so glad you found it helpful!

  • Lfipps

    I see a lot of Christian writer associations and conferences. If you were to join one and go to one conference, what would you choose?

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  • Michele Kenny

    The problem with parents today is They feel good if they sit and read a book,or two, or three to their child.Well I guess thats not all bad, but I want parents to do more! The stories I have written will help parents to do more with the story they have just read to their child. I t will help them learn, interact,build their imagenation and gain interests of their child. Parents today need to get on the floor and and join in the fun with their child and it all STARTS with a story!

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      So what you’re telling me is the five plus years my wife spent lying in bed with my very young children reading Bible stories was not effective because she did not get on the floor and play with them and act out the stories. I believe the acting out the stories is called real life as we, the parents, demonstrate the word of God in everyday living. Thus, fulfilling the Scriptures which state: “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6; NASB) Oh, I forgot to mention that my children are all in the Lord and grown now, and have completed college and very much interested in the Lord and his church. Thanks, but I believe living out the word in obedience is a much better teacher then reading it to them, no matter how original you get. I do understand the need for good children’s literature, but your comments came across a little negative, thus a little perspective from a parent that’s been there. Thanks for listening.

  • Dawn

    I really appreciate this invaluable information.  Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://www.apuritanatheart.com/ Deejay

    I am looking for people to give honest reviews on my book at amazon. I guess I could ask friends for a free copy of the book.  Most genre’s one can go to somewhere like Fiverr for a paid review but the Christian genre is a little different that way.

    Great tips. I agree with the person who said the self-publishing market is changing drastically.  It’s where a lot of the money is being made online currently with the advent of E-Readers.

  • Hadassahlouis

    thanks. its helpful not to give up even when rejected

  • Juliet M

    Thank you for your article and advise. I should have found it 5 years ago.

     It quite’s hard to break through as an new author but even harder if you have to do it from Nairobi, Kenya and for christian children picture books. I have often searched the internet for a sincere editor or literary agent but no success so far.

     I will look to working through the Christian manuscript submission. I would however welcome guidance on my situation 1)located in Nairobi 2)Christian picture book

  • Dave’s Days

    I have a 75000
    word edited manuscript about my 10-year experience as a father of twins making
    life style choices to maximize a positive outcome for my children and my
    parenting experience.   The book
    addresses philosophy of making fatherhood a top life stage priority.   I am seeking suggestions on the best way to
    bring this to market with the greatest exposure, market penetration, delivery
    to those in need and retention of sales proceeds.   I have experienced difficulties of finding an agent through
    other authors.   I sincerely appreciate
    any thoughts or guidance you may have to share

    • dave

      testing reply function–Dave

  • CreatiVentures Publishing

    Well. if you ask me what advice i have for first time writers, definitely i do have something to say. Infact, a lot to say.
    I self-published my first book as i did not get a chance from the traditional publishers.
    So i started my own publishing firm. Today, it serves as a platform to encourage every first time writer who want to ignite his/her imagination and creativity.
    You may visit our website for more details.
    http://www.creativentures.in 
    http://www.creativenturespublishing.blogspot.com
    Trust me it is my own story. 
    Thus, today i am published author and helping lot more to make their publishing dreams a reality.
    Joji Valli

  • http://www.ofwnurse.net/ ofwnurse

    I had always wanted to write a book. Becoming an author is one of my long time dream.  At the age of 24, I think I still have all the time to become one…Thanks for your advice Mr. Hyatt =)

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  • Dannoman88

    I’ve just written my first book.  I decided to self publish.  Promotion is another stumbling block.  I have a blog, I use social media, I’ve started posting on blogs.  What are some other ways to get the word out?  My book is a good read and based on a true story about my own childhood as the victim in a cult.  You can learn more  about A Train Called Forgiveness at http://www.danerickson.net  

  • http://toships.com/ toships

    The first requirement for first time authors according to me is to keep readers interested in what you are saying.

  • samra aziz

    Thanks it was just another motivation to devote some more of time and effort to my startp! Regards.i really like admire your information sharing.http://www.kapellohair.co.uk/

  • Verastan

    If you need to wipe your nose ,read HOW TO WIPE YOUR NOSE 2013 ,its a great read and will earn me money!

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  • Ggroberts

    I have written a book in Power point.  I chose  this format because the book  is meant to be a workbook or recipe book if you will for exhausted mothers to lead their children to Christ.  It is meant to have tabs for easy access to specific sections.  What format should I put it into for consideration for publishing

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      Save it as a PDF file format.  If your program will not do this for you, then down load the free OpenOffice.org program and open your power point with it, then save it in PDF. Hope this was helpful.

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  • http://www.clickssl.com/ Cheap SSL

    Once again you make it so easy to understand. Thanks for this creditable information, I really appreciate your work. I have just started to write technical content. And this information will really help me a lot.

  • Megladams82

    I love this article, and I just bought your ebook for fiction authors.  However, is there a different or more specifice format to write a proposal for illustrated childrens’ books?  My husband and I wrote one recently and would love to see it published.  Let me know your thoughts. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, I have no expertise when it comes to children’s books. Sorry.

  • barbchris

    Micheal,
    I have written a very important book.  This is not ego, nearly
    every single concept came to me in the middle of the night or just
    poured out of me for hours on end.  It simply did come from God, of this I am sure.  Maybe you hear this all of the time, but I know this to be
    true.  I spoke to Westbow and was sold very hard.  I was assured that
    your advice to new authors was to self-publish.  They quoted
    you.  I was lead to understand that since Thomas Nelson has the right of
    first refusal on any book, someone from TN would read my book before it
    was published.  Over the months I’ve dealt with them, I realized nearly
    every promise I was sold was untrue.  I have tried to cancel, they assured
    me I could with a fee, but have met with difficulty.  I will continue
    to try.  I then bought your e-book and have written a proposal.   Why is  “your” advice  as quoted to me by Westbow simply not, well,
    your advice?  Since I already know what I am to do with the proceeds, I
    have not written this as a means to become wealthy, my actual goal is
    simply to get this model (it is a model which shows how we come to
    personally know God) into as many hands as possible.  I am not pastor
    of a large church, I am a doctor.  It appears you would suggest an
    agent.  I regret the time I wasted with Westbow.  Of course, to
    self-publish(or to have TN read the manuscript, as I was sold) I have
    finished the book, yet you suggest never to do that, but to engage in a
    working relationship with a editor and a publisher.  Are you
    aware that Westbow is “quoting” you and misrepresenting Westbow as a
    means to have a TN publisher read a manuscript?  If not, I thought I
    should bring this to your attention.  I wouldn’t want to be misquoted.  
    Any real advice would be a blessing and greatly appreciated. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have forwarded your message to my friends at WestBow.

      While I think self-publishing is a viable option for new authors, it is not the only option. In fact, I have written a post on this here: Should You Consider Self-Publishing. The bottom line is that it depends on your circumstances and your goals.
      If you want to pursue traditional publishing, you will need an agent. Also, I would strongly urge you not to include God in your pitch. I am doubting that what you are saying is true (I have no way of knowing), I can tell you that this is the fastest way to get rejected. If the work is truly from God, it should be able to stand on its own merits.
      Kind regards.

      • barbchris

        Thank you so much for your response.  I have read that mentioning its “from God” is a bad idea.  Everyone who has read it so far has drawn that conclusion on their own, so I’ll let the reader decide.  I am attending the writer’s conference in Philly soon and will seek an agent.  Maybe some day by book will cross your desk .  Maybe not, but you certainly  demonstrate profound humility and a deep desire to help aspiring writers by taking the time to reply, many in your position certainly would not.   It surprised me and  really do  appreciate it.  I will call Westbow again about the contract.

        Blessings,
        Barb Christesen

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Your killer book proposal is RIGHT on! 

  • Denisespeer99

    Thank you Mike!!  Great timing as I’m just starting my first book…thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us.

  • http://www.liveyourwhy.net/ Terry Hadaway

    As someone who has written a number of study guides for Thomas Nelson authors and self-published a couple of my own products, I see the pros and cons of both scenarios. When self-publishing, you have total control, total responsibility, and make all the profits. When working with a publisher, the control, responsibility, and profits are shared. If you have an established platform self-publishing is great. However, if you are looking to establish your platform, working with a publisher will be helpful if you can get them to read your proposal! You can see what I’ve done through self-publishing at http://liveyourwhy.net.

  • http://Thefieldgeneral.com/ Chris Coussens

    Michael, I appreciate the information here immensely but I do hear a lot of people seeing the mountain of work to be published and becomming discouraged.

    My thoughts. If God is calling you to write. Write. Do not be discouraged by this blog or the comments. The question of what you do and how you publish is more than just one of being a professional writer. This is what most of the people here are talking about. Please consider that a call to write a book is not the same as a call to sell as many copies as possible. God often uses a single impression to change the world (look at the histories of Billy Graham or Abe Lincoln).

    If God’s call to you is to be a professional writer, then consider the mountain. Otherwise look at what you are trying to accomplish, your book may be for your church, your town, your company, or places that you speak. Don’t confuse the call to write with your distribution count or you will not write.

  • Jonathan

    Tried hard but system will not accept an order from outside of the USA. Had hoped to download as e-book. How to fix? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.j.gale.7 Pamela Jean Gale

    I agree

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.j.gale.7 Pamela Jean Gale

    I agree

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    It depends on who it is. If it’s a self-publishing company, that is just what you get.

  • Sharon Ashworth

     I am writing a book that has taken me 15 years to write; and I believe my book deserves a change to be published. I have taken a look a Cinderella from another aspect. I am desiring to have my published.

  • http://twitter.com/RuthsLoveStory Victoria Ruth Taylor

    If I would have read, “…you will be rejected” a year ago, I would of cried…this is every authors fear, but after attending a Christian Writers conference…and hearing Chip MacGregor explain the process of getting publish, and Susy Flory help us cope with fear, I felt strong…and I vowed that I would not be one of those unsolicited authors…LOL

    Yes, getting published is hard, like you said, you had “29 rejections”…but you did not give up. Writers have to be persistent in getting better, and connecting with other writers, and less pushy when it comes to getting their work into the hands of an agent. 

    I’ve considered publishing with West Bow Press, even on an EBM machine that I operate at my job Flash Books; I feel that it’s the next best thing. Writers have to remember that the ball is in their court…if everyone stopped writing then publishing houses, and literary agents would go under, so to keep everyone happy, chill out!  

    I believe that every writer has something to say…but it may not get published with a big company/ it may not ever get published. Chip said something at the Write to Inspire conference in Elk Grove, CA that stuck with me he said, “what if all the writing you did was held in (published) in heavens library” that touched my heart, and I was finally okay with the notion of Christ preserving my writings in heaven; rather they get published here on earth or not, they were in God’s hands, and that’s the peace we have as believers. 

  • Samantha Bell

    Hello my name is Samatha Bell and i want to write what advice can you give me for a first time author. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      All the advice I give to first-time authors was in the post. Thanks.

  • John Duval

    Your reference to authors who might have “a killer idea” is pejorative and therefore not appreciated.With regard to the idea that searching for quality amongst submissions is like looking for “a needle in a haystack”, you thereby reveal that you have no system in place for finding the needles. If you people were any good at what you do (as distinct from simply parasiting and making an income by virtue of the fact that demand for publishing far exceeds supply and that you are therefore a supplier of the rare) you’d have smart readers in place who could rapidly analyse submissions with regard to merit.The old “I got 29 rejections before I got published” just doesn’t cut it. Rather, and presuming your work was good, all it does it show us that 29 publishers didn’t know what they were doing (in fact that they had no idea). So the problem is that you seem to have no system in place whereby you can determine whether or not Nelson Publishing is also (now) part of (another) 29 publishers who have just rejected a work that was as good as yours, and therefore whether or not Nelson Publishing itself actually has no real idea.But it appears to me that you have simply gotten to a critical-mass size as a company where you don’t have to really spend much emotional energy: the money will keep coming in if you just continue to publish ‘ball-park’ content. It is the same with the pop music industry: put a guy in a studio, back him with some good musicians, give him a song off the shelf, and ring up your buddies at the radio stations to get air play. Elvis would never have made it today.Embittered?Nope. Just calling it as it is, and pointing out that publishers such as yourselves don’t really provide any service of net value when it is all boiled down. You’re just there, that’s all.

  • John Duval

    Oh so  you have a ‘right’ to delete comments.
     
    Not if you’re a true writer, Mr Hyatt.
     
    But perhaps one of your ways to “get noticed in a noisy world”, is to make sure others who expose a patronising attitude, are shut down.
     
    And so I suggest you “delete” your little smug line about us writers who think we have a “killer idea”. And that you get off your backsides as publishers and actually do some reading, rather than sit back and take a pay check on the back of the work of agents and authors.

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  • PPTA

    My name is Denny Taylor. I have written a true story of how I came to the Lord Jesus. At sixten years old all I wanted in life was a beautiful woman to be my wife, love me, and eventually we would be married, have children, and heLord Jesus would be the head of our family. I asked my Peist how I would know when I met her? He told me had asked the Holy Spirit durning the wek how to nswer my question. This is what he told me. “You will meet a young Catholic Girl, you will nver have known her before, you will be inroduced to her. The Holy Sprit will ay a hnd on you, and you will immeditely fall in love with her.

  • http://go2mortgageguy.com/ Michael Pearson

    Inspiring!  I also read your previous post about the 29 publishers who rejected your first book.  Great stuff!

    I am just starting out, and have 4 short stories published in small magazines.  I am researching ideas now for an ebook that I would like to self publish.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Michael

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  • Bill E Carpentier

    I am just starting this process. I am retired from a business career and wanted to try my hand at writing a small book on leadership – which is already complete – but don’t know where to go from here. I have submitted my work for copyright approval. I don’t know if I should be pursuing a publisher before hearing comments from Washington on the copyright. I also wonder about pursuing places like FriesenPress Publishing House who make it sound like – for a fee – they will take care of everything. I suppose that’s a form of self-publishing. I am a bit confused – as you can tell. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      First of all, you don’t need to wait to hear from Washington. You already have a copyright from the moment you create your work. Registering with the Copyright Office does not grant you any rights. It only helps protect your rights if you ever get in a lawsuit with someone (which rarely happens). Your next step is to find an agent if you want to go the traditional route or research self-publishers if you want to go that route. I have not heard of FriesenPress. Thanks.

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      Hello Bill,

      Confused! Don’t feel bad, it is a very confusing field if you never have been involved in the industry before. The story line goes like this: There are basically three methods to pursue in publishing. Traditional – which means you need to submit your manuscript to a traditional publisher who will review your work and if they think it will sell, will offer you a book deal. The problem with this method is most traditional publishers will not accept a manuscript from first time authors – untested and unknown. So the traditional publishers ask that you find a book agent or a book review firm that will act as a filter and evaluate you work for them and if they think your book is good enough to produce sales the agent then on your behalf lobby publishers to publish your book. Evan after an agent lands a book deal for you the process for publication could take up to two years before you see it on any shelves.

      Co-Publishing is more tied to self-publishing in that you may find a self-publisher to cover part of the cost in publishing your work.

      Self-Publishing is where a publishing company will publish your work for a fee. All aspects of this method will cost you something. For many this method is appealing because, depending on your work, could be made available to a market within months of submission. The drawback is it could take years for your work to become known and sell. In many cases this method produces books that only sell on the Internet in on-line book outlets and stores. When there are millions of books online your book will get lost in the shuffle. Therefore if you pursue this method and you want to sell books, then be prepared to spend money on adverting online or in some media. One aspect of self-publishing that many do not consider is there are some individuals, like pastors or educators, that are not looking to sell their work in stores but do a great deal of public speaking and would like to sell their work in that way by making their book available to people they come in contact with. Self-publishing allows you to have your book printed and sold directly to you at a discount and you in turn can sell or give your work away at your speaking engagements.

      In the end, this has been my experience in how the industry works. I hope this has been helpful. If you review Michael Hyatt’s website you will find a list of book agents you could try to persuade in taking on your work, if that is your direction. Michael also has a book on how to present your work to the industry.

      Respectfully

      As a side note: I self-published and have no regrets. My work can be found at: http://booksite.rcetc.com

  • Onuwa

    Thanks a lot Mike

    It is generally frustrating for a first time publisher to either find a publishing company or agents. In Toronto where I live. every Publishing agent or company is busy and thus, does not attempt to correspond with you. All the book queries I have sent were so far unanswered . Other than sel-publishing, can anyone tell me what to do?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Could it be that your proposal is just not resonating? You might hire an editor to review it. Thanks.

  • Peachtree47

    Hi I am writing a book of my collective works of poetry. This is my first book and I was wondering would it be better to self publish a work like poetry or find an agent and find a big time publisher?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I would recommend self-publishing. It is almost impossible to get poetry published by a traditional publisher.

      • Peachtree47

        Thank You! :)

  • George T Horvat

    Hi all:
    Two weeks ago I finished the process of having one of my novels published through WestBow Press. As the writer I didn’t expect to have to do most of the work and take all of the responsibility to bring about the final product, but that’s exactly what happens with the self publishing process, at least with WestBow.
    To say that the experience is at best aggravating and gut wrenching is to put it mildly.
    You don’t get much help or advice so be prepared for five months of wondering why you even got into this mess. But once your money’s down, you’re stuck so be prepared to persevere.
    The one good thing about WestBow though, is that you are in a non-binding contract so you are free to up and leave them at any given moment and that is exactly what I am about to do now that my novel “A dead Man’s Odyssey” is finally in print.
    I am informing my agent to take book in hand and pitch it to the top six traditional publishers in hopes of securing a standard publishing contract.
    Being in print “is” a big deal and is well worth self publishing.
    Good luck to the rest of you and please cross your fingers for me. 

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      I am sorry your experience in self-publishing was so disappointing. My experience was much different. I contacted Innovo Publishing and talked to someone that was quite helpful, they answered all my questions. As I stated in my book, if you don’t ask the right questions you will not get the right answers. After my phone Q/A session, I had understood that the writing of the book was totally my responsibility and the choice of editing was also mine. After I finished my book I had it edited and then submitted it to Innovo for free evaluation. They told me that the edit quality was acceptable and explained to me how the process to get my book to market would work. They formatted the inside of the book in which I had complete control over the process within their system. After the inside of the book was completed and signed off on. They went to work on the outside of the book. You could submit a picture for the cover or they would design one for you but in the end it was a team effort, with the author making the final approval of the end result. Yes, I had to provide all content to include writing my own cover information. But I understood this going into the project.

      Within my total experience I did contact WestBow Press and spoke to a very knowledgeable individual and ask many of the same questions. I submitted to them half my manuscript to see it they would be interested and they said they were. I was sent their contract, and for the record I found nothing in their contract that promised any real help in writing or editing the manuscript. If you wanted this done, for a price you could pay them to do this, but so would most other self-publishing companies. That’s why it’s called self-publishing – you do it all, unless you contract with someone for the additional help. Self-publishers provide many services for a price. By asking the right questions I had no allusions to what to expect. My book is now on the worldwide market and I am very happy about it. Would I do it again? Yes!

      Respectfully,

      Reid Ashbaucher – http://booksite.rcetc.com

  • Karen Eleuteri

    I have recently had the great pleasure of reading “Heaven is for Real” which Thomas Nelson published. It was so inspiring and brought back memories of my own ordeal with my daughter, Joy (Spering). At the age of six Joy contracted chicken pox and lost both of her legs. Medically we were told that  she was not live beyond 12 hours, but God’s plan was much different. His plan was for a full, but not long life to come for Joy. Joy lived 23 more years. However, her struggles did not end after leaving the hospital after 4 1/2 months. She continued having surgeries-over 70. However, God spoke to her and told her she would walk, and run and play like other kids on false legs. and she did.  As her family, we were blessed to have journeyed with her during the 23 remaing years of her life. Our family’s story is filled with miracles  and challenges which demonstrated the ever presence of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Joy’s  strength and courage were revered by many. Even People Magazine was inspired by her.  Joy’s story was a 4 page article in the March 26, 1984, issue of People and then appeared again in the Dec. 24-31 year end issue announcing the most intriguing people of 1984. In 1986, she was in the January issue of Reader’s Digest .

       After many people sought me out to ask me how I ever lived through this ordeal with Joy and after I repeadedly told them that it was not me, but the Lord who gave us the victory, I knew I had to write her story and the story of a Living God who loved us through this daily and forever.

    So…..I self-published a book, Step by Step with Joy by Karen Eleuteri which came out in March of 2005. It is a live changng story much like Heaven Is For Real. Is it possible to now get this published through a publishing house? Do you have any suggestion as to how I might proceed? Would Thomas Nelson be interested?

    Thank you for taking the time to help. God Bless

    Karen Eleuteri
    2334 Riverton RD
    Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
    keleuteri@verizon.net
    Cell: 856-296-3980

  • Louhusted

    i have had a book published last year it’s a children’s book and the first time i sent it to a publisher they sent a contract, but it cost to have it printed this took all the money i had
    i’m now sending my books to publishers that do not charge but being i;m unknown tells me i will see rejection how do you by pass this terrible fate. lou husted at louhusted@Gmail.com

  • George T Horvat

    Just as an observation: Judging by the way a lot of these aspiring authors are making their inquiries; my first impression is that their most urgent need is to learn how to form a sentence. This is called syntax and using it properly is essential to making a story flow for the reader.
    Lousy syntax will turn any publisher off within the first page.
    My advice to these authors is to hire a good editor upon completing your novel and get it cleaned up before submitting it to a publisher, because if your story is anything like your inquiry, then you don’t stand a chance.
    I also disagree with those who are against self publishing. Traditional publishers seldom even look at a raw novel unless it’s from an established author.  Getting your novel out there in actual book form gives you the opportunity to generate sales. This is what traditional publishers are looking for. This is what draws their attention. They could care less about your “masterpiece,” It’s all about the money.

  • Sharondecor8s

    All requests for endorsements for my book being published thru Westbow has been denied for the same reason. I’m told they have an agreement with their publisher, agent, mgmnt., etc. What gives 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Who is making the requests? To whom are they being made? In other words, are you personally asking other authors?

  • WENDY BACKSHALL

    Hi yes agree great help. all I read.
    I have just self published with create space (Amazon) and just wondered what you think of this way of publishing?

  • Charles L. brown

    the truth is Michael(I will be blunt),though many book publishers(major or otherwise),say that there time and resources would be better spent on established authors or writers(I respect them and give their props),I believe that companies have better understand had it not been for many up and coming authors/writers,journalists and others,there wouldn’t be the big six,or need for literary agents.For instance,where did it say that authors/writers(new),knew absolutely nothing about negotiations(book contracts,advances and royalties),the current marketplace(changes that are occuring daily) and the ability to market/promote the work(books),beyond the normal(retail,e-commerce,distribution,web sites and other advanced technologies),with the zeal/ferver needed,to make a broad and wide impact to get retailers to carry books(borders,books-a-million,walmart,k-mart,target,rack-jobbers and then to get reviewers or critics to give a positive mark or approval of the product(books of new authors),over those who are well known and established in the field of expertise.Of course,even I admit the learning curve is steep(and even blinding and troubling for first-time authors),but they themselves(or most of them appear to be)are not gullible(nor idiotic),not to know that publishing isn’t for everyone and not for those willing to understand,that its a business first,writing secondary and rewards(if any),last.Nothing would make me more happier to see that even major publishers(Random House(BERTLESMANN AG),HARPER-COLLINS(NEWS CORP),THE PENGUIN GROUP AND THE OTHERS,LET THE DOOR WIDE OPEN TO NEW AUTHORS/WRITERS,but we know(as your experience,has taught you),as long as there is a gap in knowledge(between authors and publishers alike),over responsibility as to who should do what first and the entitlements(rewards)of each and what is gained through each efforts to see the product(book) successfully to its end(sales and otherwise) and its profits(investments)are due to one another,there will be no change and things will be just as usual(unfortunately),because neither can see that if change(thoughts and actions),trust(honesty in every way) and realism,then the readers(followers)of authors(both established and new),will have reason for some apprehension(weariness)and unrest,in purchasing books(or the new technology)that derives from them may become few and far between(though many),except for the few whose work is able to withstand the stress(pain) and phychological price,that will surely come on those not prepared for it.-Charles L. Brown

  • Charles L. Brown

    Great work Michael,insight that all people needed(even new and established authors),about the current change in publishing is taking place and the need for them to be aware(yet not mislead),that as technology has given a way to further the efforts of writers(most assuredly)also increasing the bottom line of publishers,there still remains(and always will),a gap(however wide it may appear),to the ability of getting the works of many new(budding and blossoming)authors/writers,to get in the door,make an impact and get the rewards(advances,royalities,etc)from that they seek to accomplish. 

  • Tmerthe

    hi mike i have a scary true life story i was thinking about putting on paper.  I grew up in a small town with a very scary man that has effected my entire life i just dont know how to do it I think it is an interesting story and people would like to

  • Ruthj

    Dear Mike

    I’ve just got an acceptance letter from a self publishing company called Raiders Publishing. Their prices are affordable, and they do all the things a regular publisher does. Also the royalties are really good. I’m about to sign a contract with them to publish my first novel. I was wondering if you’ve heard of Raiders Publishing and what your impression is of them as a company.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, I’m sorry, I haven’t.

  • Ramfro57

    Keep up your spirit. You have the right tone and do project yourself as straight forward.

  • Saprosa17

    Hello my name is Hafiz Abubaker I’m an author i’v written my first book and I have it published but the problem is i dont know how can i distribute my book the book is already in amazon.com and its under the title of THE MEAT COLLECTOR its kind of crime story so if there is anyway to help me ill be really thankful u can email me if there is no problem saprosa17@hotmail.com
    thanks aa lot

  • K Williams

    I would like to tell the story and have someone write the book. It is a love story that I could tell from beginning to end. It is like a Nicholas Sparks story but  I have read where he does not accept ideas . Is there someone out there that would listen to the story . Thank you , KEWilliams

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      Try FaithWriters.com

  • Wendy Ames

    Good advice. Thank you from http://www.onestopstoryshop.wordpress.com

  • Mebdolls2

    what company do is honest to self publish with?    Marion Blair
     mebdolls2@aol.com

  • Shanels22

    I want to have a children’s book professionally illustrated based upon my rough drawings of each page. I also believe and hope that my main character will be used for merchandising ala Barney, Eloise etc. What is the rule of thumb of who owns the rights of the pictures, the character and for merchandising? Is there a standard contract that writers and illustrators enter into? Thanks fro your help!

  • Ckheiner

    Hi, My name is Cathy Heiner and I have just completed a cook book but it is more than another Mexican cookbook.  I have stories about the women whose recipes are in the book along with my own experiences of living in Mexico.  My book is completely formatted and has many color photographs that I took of many of the dishes/recipes in the book.  Does anyone have any suggestions about who may publish such a book as mine?   Thanks!

  • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

    Hi,

    I found this article that may be of interest to you in your search. http://www.cookspalate.com/self-publish-cookbooks.htm

    Hope this is helpful.

  • Pam Wheeler

    I’m self publishing my memoirs.  Is it required that I get written permission from each of the individuals I mention in the book?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It really depends. This is something that you should discuss with an intellectual property attorney. There are a lot of variables.

  • Rajlanda5

    I have just written a book on wine making using simple and natural ingredients.  I do not know what i need to do next and what checks I need to do etc.

  • Stalz37

    How can i start my own book about my life ???

  • 1soalsign

    This article really helped answer a of questions I had.  I found your website through WritingSpirit Resources.  I appreciate you sharing this information.  Have a wonderful day in the land of possibilities. :)

  • Windy Wutke

    what if you have a true story,and you dont have the education or the computer skills to write and a brain injury to boot .And your on a cpp disability and you dont have the funds ?But this story has to get out so it dont happen to anyone else?Should i go to a school,and find someone who will help ?Its got to do with kids education and how importent drugs and it is .And its got to do with goverment kids,foster homes ,group homes and the streets.Its got to do with being on the streets ,with no education and a b rain injury that has not been diagnosed.Its got to do with teachers ,social workers,and the lack of help there is for people like me .Its got to do with being denyed services.I need to tell my story so it dont happen to anyone else .Its still happening .Its about taking whats been dealt you and doing the best you can do with it .I havent even got my grade three .The cathlic school I went to wanted to put me in a instatuion till I was 21.Im not retarted I have a head injury,Its about not being diagnosed till Im 50 years old.And Im still fighting the good fight.I have had nothing but mens jobs .Iv worked on the service rig in the oil patch,Iv worked as a well head fabucator .Iv worked on paving crews,a truck driver.See Im not retarted.And my hart goes out to them.They got services,Me Im still looking for help to better my cercomstances.I have a hard time trusting enyone cause of the things thats happened ,they were my suposed mentoers and they thought I was lazy,I wouldnt apply my self.No one would listen to a 10 year old .How can I keep safe from the people who might want to hurt me ?OR use me some how?Its really hard when you have a brain injury cause you get off topic ,you forget what you were saying,and you have troble with reading and writting and remebering what people have said or the directions that were just given you .If not written down in point form,and going back to it so you dont forget.ITs also about the health system,and the therapists,phyciatrists,countcellers,assoieations,that there is no help.And its got to do with faith in GOD and prayer.And mericalsI was blessed with a hero husban who got me off the streets,when I was 16 ears old,and Im still with him today.As long as I have breath in my lungs ,Im going to fight for what is write,and what is wrong and I will keep fighting to tell the truth,and to help any kid that might be like me ask for help.And dont give up.windy

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      Windy,

      In my humble opinion you have two options. One, take your story to a local TV or Radio media outlet and see if they will do a local human interest story on you or for a longer lasting impact you can contact FaithWriters and see if one of the members there would be willing to write your story for you as a ghost writer. Someone may be willing to take on your project for free but you need to be willing to pay someone something for their time. After the work is completed, then the hard part starts. Getting someone to publish it for you or you can spend your own money and self-publish. FaithWriters website can be found using this link: http://www.faithwriters.com/index.php

      I wish you well.

  • Maya Asbridge

    What is a format? i am 14 and i am trying publish my book but they are asking about formatting needs, and what format do i plan on submitting your book,  if i want a ‘print-ready book’, and a ‘soft-cover version  of my book. I am so confused and Google has no answers. Please help me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Who is “they”? Who is asking you about format? This kind mean a variety of things depending on the context.

  • Awhyummu

    Hai guys did you know ? today I had been doing some activity mith my best friend his name Mr. Burhan. But in this our activity we only ask some student to give us money. So if all of you saw this comment please sent to us a lot of money oky I hope you full. thank’s…………………..!  

  • nomi

    One of the best ways to find an agent or to meet Surf Movies ditors is to attend a good writers conference. 

  • Debra Watson

    So far most like, Westbow like the book but I can not afford the price.Whats the next step, should I just send it out to as many as it takes until someone gives a proposal I can afford, Please contact me.

  • Diane Ciomperlik

    Oh, my.  I had hope to have a small book of poems published.  I never dreamed it was so complicated. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Hi Diane,
      The business of publishing can certainly be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be, depending upon your needs.  

      If you are publishing to deliver your poems to your existing sphere of influence (or so that you can grow your influence through your current sphere) self-publishing can be a good and relatively easy option.

      For more info, click on the link in #6 above. 

  • Wendy

    I really need some help…..the book of miss pickles and walter the worm is finished.the illustrations done …but now i am scared stiff but it keeps knocking at me

  • Mary Francis

    Mr. Hyatt,

    I am a successful professional songwriter with cuts by major artists and have been told by many, “You need to write a book.”  I can write a 3-minute song, and I feel I can write a book and I believe I have a good format for how I want to do it that will be of interest not only to songwriters, but to anyone interested in some little known or unknown facts about Nashville (I am a native Nashvillian), the stories behind the music and how one writer who did not play an instrument, read music or sing went on to become a hit writer.   What is my first step?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I would encourage you to take a look at my Get Published program.

  • Brook Billy

    How can I record my life story and the have it made into a book?

  • Mikamasego

    Should I get my book copywritten before professionally edited?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Your book should be written first, then a substantive edit, then a copy-edit. You go from macro to micro. Thanks.

  • Bjlut

    Networking is your only chance!

    Bob Lyles

  • Pamelasyring

    I can write poetry very well, about anything and it is good.  Just give me a title and I will write you a poem.  I would love to make money doing this at some point. I am 56 and homebound right now and I would just love to pursue this. Any suggestions?  Pam in Duluth, MN

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You might try song-writing. Poetry is a tough sell in the literary world.

  • William Grant

    Hello my name is William Grant i’m a first time author i would like to know if i could use a famous person name in the title of my book?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, usually you can.

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  • C5sutherlands

    I just happened on your website this evening and I am thrilled!! Thank you for sharing your insight and knowledge with hopeful authors like myself! Great stuff!

  • http://www.facebook.com/domestichelp Harish Kumar

    in this www world writer should say to publisher
    if anybody has any idea he/she should wright ebook and distribute it free 
    get some new way to earn your bread 
     

  • lydiagarcia

    This is going to ban amazing journey. Never give up nd never let anyone or anything discourage u.

  • Impact Author Services

    Great advice, sometimes getting started is where people need to start.  They don’t even know how to launch themselves and need that foundation established.  I also recommend http://www.blastmentoring.com. 

  • Louhusted

    i have a question i have a children’s book out there  because i’m unknow i have gotten 4 rejections even tho i have been published.these were other books i don’t think they even read the book. i have a publisher interested in one of my books but it’s how much do you want to pay they don’t even have an editor to check and they want me to pay extra for that
    to me this is a real rip off. what do you say stay away yes sir i will.

  • Peter Flynn

    Good advice. As a typesetter, my very strong advice is not to over-format your work. Stop trying to make it look as if it was already typeset — concentrate instead on making it easy to read (large type, wide line-spacing: your target publishers may be older with failing sight, so don’t make it hard to read). It’s all going to get changed anyway: the first thing a publisher does on getting the final final copy is to rip out all your careful formatting back down to the bare metal, and then have it reformatted to their house style. So 99% of the time you spend formatting is wasted: far better to spend it writing better! If you are technically adept, you might just get away with using their internal format (eg Word with named styles, or more likely some other form of XML, or possibly LaTeX) but you need to be familiar with each publisher’s quirks. Good luck!

  • Caninecoach

    I recently published my third educatinoal dog book that brings peace of mind, Awareness Centered Training – ACT, publisher Balboa Press, a division of Hay House, but really Author’s Solution. It has been a long, educational, but oftentimes arduous journey. The experience is very different from 10 years ago.
    This time, I want ACT to get out — including internationally. I’m talking to Balboa Press, but of course, every conversation ends with $$$$. 
    Any thoughts of the best path to market internationally? Thanks,  

  • http://twitter.com/kilburn_hall Kilburn Hall

    “A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and
    once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at
    noon and by moonlight…”
     Robertson Davies

  • ambreenmunir@icloud.com

    Hi there,
    I don’t know..but books are talking to me….they say no book is complete ….stop writing New books Lets complete the existing ones there is so much work and workers are needed….

  • ambreenmunir@icloud.com

    Pick a word a phrase you like the most and have been practicing it in your whole life or get the book you read again n again then record the book make it a talking book…only few like to read …now it’s time 2 listen if you think that the end of the book should be different continue the story in your own thoughts ….continue till you can manage that n at the end handover that book to someone else….volumes will be recoded…so much to do new writers may get rejections but if u r completing task to continue the thoughts of the old book writer under to be continue by me …(name) n then c you will rock…

  • Penny Berlin

    I’v just finished editing a book ‘Hold on to the Magic’ for parents, to work on childhood magic and memories, when funds are low. I’d like to put that on Kindle. I also have a children’s book ready to go, a good bedtime read, but I felt that Kindle would not work as well for the children’s market and that I’d need an illustrator and should try the conventional route, what do you think?

  • Banyoo

    I think this is page is a great marketing tool for you.

  • http://www.ryanridgway.com/ Ryan Ridgway

    Despite me being a few years late to the party, these are all great tips and still seem to prove relevant! Thanks Michael – Ryan

  • Lynnefgreen

    You see,it is like this for me. I wrote a novel about the premonition and murder of my Granddaughter Jessica, I went with Westbow Press and they turned it into over five hundred pages. It was two hundrd and sixty four when I gave it to them. They priced it at over thirty four dollars!They never even put it at the top of new book listings! I have sold zero books!I just finished my second book, where can I go? I can assure that it will be not be with Westbow Press!

  • http://www.signacorp.ca/ Colin Christensen

    I love hearing this advice. Thanks! I know you’re paranoid when it comes to backing up your data. On another issue of protection, We’re putting ourselves out there in many ways (social media, personal stories, possible private information, etc.). How, if there is any concern, do you suggest we protect against people using such information or do you just consider it a non-issue for targeting? Please keep up the excellent work.

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  • brooksie

    Greetings,

    I am an African America Father who happens to be an English Professor. I have one child, a daughter who’s name is “Jewel.”

    I have written a few short stories (potential picture books)~~ and have dedicated them to my daughter.

    I am divorced, and I thought a wonderful way to show my daughter how much I love her was to write books in he honor.

    Titles such as: (1) Jewel goes to Grandmommies’~~(2) Jewel and the Bamboozle Man ~~ (3) Jewel likes the color Red. etc

    Whereas, I know this e-mail is not a formal inquiry; I thought it might
    get into someone’s hands that might give it some attention.

    Sincerely,

    Brooksie

    Dr. Brooksie E. Harrington, Professor

    Department of English and Foreign Languages

    Fayetteville State University

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    Fayetteville, North Carolina 28301

    Email: bharrington@uncfsu.edu

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    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      Dr. Harrington,

      With over 3 million books being produced each year I would suggest you use some Adobe software and produce your own Adobe EPUB formatted eBooks and sell it through Amazon.com and other places that will sell self-publications to see how the public response to your work. With some self promotion of the books which will require a book website with all your advertising directed to the book website, you may begin to see how the public response to these books. If they do well a publisher my pick your book up for their collections of publications. I would also suggest you read through this site for excellent suggestions for first time authors. Dissertations not included.

      As an example of a book website, I leave you mine as an example of what can be done. http://booksite.rcetc.com

      Respectfully

  • Gillian Lyden

    Hi Mike! I’m 80! Time (almost 12 years!) has been taken up by representing villagers’ regarding serious and unjust problems has prevented me from doing anything (useful!) with my writing! I mistakenly went with Xlibris for POD -and included three books! Worst thing I ever did! Cost the earth; they take 75% royalties; did not listen to me; kept trying to move on to the next step when they had not answered my questions about a concern etc. etc. – I bitterly regret giving them my book for children to produce (Wolf in the Wood- Amazon etc.) – that is my best one so far. I have a book of alternate short stories and poetry which may be the next one I try to get published – but I feel it is too late now.

    I like your article – thank you for that!

    Gillian Lyden

    gillarrow@gmail.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      What if you knew you had another 10 years—or 20! You may just be getting started. Moses was 80 when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Caleb was 84 when he told Moses, ”I want that mountain.”

  • Terri

    I have authorhouse wanted t publish my book, is this a good way to start?

  • Ida Gartenmayer

    Last Nov WestBow Press published our book “Taken Into Time By The Spirit of God” and its only on the internet and no one knows its there. How can I get the book Traditionally printed? Its a book all Christian people should read.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You would have to find an agent to connect you with traditional publishers.

  • Helen Betz

    Recently I have found myself scouring Mr Google for information relating to book publishing, Christian publishing firms and literary agents. Unfortunately, every time I search and land at what seems to be a possible lead, it ends up at a dead end.

    Being a wife, mother, pastor, missionary, artist and teacher I was beginning to think my best option was to find a reputable literary agent, only to find many focus one representing previously published authors or those residing in Canada or the USA. Living in Australia and merely having some unpublished files on my PC apparently puts a formidable x against my name before I even begin the process.

    Another option was self publishing but I already know that is not my style or a feasible option, for whilst creative I lack the necessary marketing skills to make it work. ;)

    So I am wondering if anyone has some practical advice specific to this situation other than praying….

    Stuck Down Under
    Helen

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      Hi Helen,

      Welcome to the world of the book industry. On this site Michael Hyatt has put together a list of book agents that you could contact. Michael’s book gives information on how to present your work to the book industry and gain an edge in you promotions.

      Personally I went the self-publishing route. Yes, a lot of work in the promotional area. I chose Innovo Publishing who only publishes Christian works, but has a second to non worldwide promotion connection. In my case my book is a print-on-demand product and if someone orders my book it can be printed in U.S., U.K. and Australia. Because Innovo is also a traditional publisher, if the book sells they most likely would pick up the book and promote it for you. They also have a co-publishing program which my be an option, and I don’t think Innovo cares that your in Australia.

      Again, no matter what route you take to get your book published its all time consuming, unless you have a book agent to do the work for you. If you have the money, Innovo can do it all from publishing to promotions, I have no regrets. You can find my work here: http://booksite.rcetc.com and Innovo Publishing here: http://www.innovopublishing.com.

  • reva

    Mike your site has great influence and energy as it is very intentional to filter out the real class of people who are keen on good and professional articles
    it’s a Great support and God Bless you for this amazing contribution

  • Jennifer Jamison

    LoveWaterPublishing.com is a great E-Book publishing company. It’s worth checking out.

  • divakar

    Hai sir i am ready to publish my first novel..what should i do..

  • Je-Vohn Francis

    Thank you so much for this article. I’ve just written a book and I am trying to weigh different alternatives of publishing. Self publishing has become so main stream that I think self publishing with companies like Kobo or Smashwords, or Lulu would be a good way to go to get my book on a high traffic market. But I would like to get my book into a brick and mirror establishment.

    Has anyone actually found financial success through self publishing?

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  • http://acts29missions.org Don Adamson

    Sounds so difficult since I am a missionary with only limited time in USA. I have finished a book about my crazy travels in the mountains of Haiti. But wow…it seems that it needs so much time to take it to the next step….

    • http://booksite.rcetc.com Reid A. Ashbaucher

      If you have not had your book edited by a third party I would do that. Then contact WestBow Press or Innovo Publishing, they can do most of what remains for you, other then making some formatting decisions that only you can make. The next step, as you put it, is submitting your book to one of these companies to see if they can help you get it printed. If they say yes, you are on your way. Self-publishing cost money and if you have it, then go for it. The hard part of self-publishing is not getting published, its the next step of getting noticed in the market. This is the time consuming part – self promotion.

      • http://acts29missions.org/ Don Adamson

        Thanks for your advice!

      • http://acts29missions.org/ Don Adamson

        Have you heard of Life Sentence Publishers? Because of my background (I worked in the pornography industry for 6 years before a radical encounter with Jesus Christ) they have shown an interest in my writing. I took Michaels’ advice and bought the Christian Writers Market Guide, but I don’t see this publisher in the book. I was just wondering if you have heard of them?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          I have never heard of them.

  • Marriot

    Sir,
    Thank you for your suggestions!! I am from India.I want to publish a book which has a dark theme but it’s inspirational. Can you please suggest how shall I find an agent in India?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know. I think I our start by trying to find a published directory of agents. You might start with a publishing trade association and see if they know. Thanks.

      • Marriot

        Thank you, sir!

  • http://www.expandbeyondyourself.com/ Michal

    #6: ROTFL
    Every first-time author should go via self-publishing route. I was able to put my first book in the front of readers 6 weeks since starting writing it. (yes, it was short). Traditional route is for masochists and/or megalomaniacs.

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  • Tara Tompson

    I’m thinking of getting a book published. I usually write for fun but I think this one could be a hit. I don’t really know what to do next for it though. Thanks for all the great advice! http://printindustry.com/Buy-Printing/book-printing.aspx

  • Julie

    Thank you for the insightful article Michael! I have written a couple of children’s books that have been edited by a talented editor in the Nashville industry and she is really encouraging me to move forward and find an agent to help me. Do you have any tips in the children’s book arena with finding an agent to help me? I’m learning so much throughout this process!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m afraid I don’t. I don’t have much experience with the children’s books.

      • Julie

        Thanks for the response!

  • Mike Howard

    Publishing first of hopefully 4-6 books per year with Xulon Press. After using a self publisher for first book does the list of suggestions remain the same moving forward, or change with having a printed book? Thanks! Love “PLATFORM”!

    Mike Howard