No, I’m not quitting my day job. If you’ve hung around here for awhile, you may have seen me talk about my self-editing workshop, Before You Hit Send, or may have heard some of the authors who’ve taken it talk about it. Well, after giving the online version for a year and a half, and having participants ask me about PDF versions, I’ve realized the next natural incarnation of this is a book. I’ve been planning it for awhile, already have a lot of extra material not in the workshop ready (or planned) for the book. But what I don’t have, is a publisher.
See, Carina doesn’t do nonfiction, and Harlequin does a broader scale of nonfiction for women, and my project definitely falls in the niche category. I believe there’s a market for it, and that I have a pre-existing platform. And I have the material, 2/3 of a manuscript and um, lots of time to work on the project (sarcasm, people!) So, naturally the next step is to find a publisher. I thought it might be interesting for some of you authors out there to hear someone from within the industry running through the exact same process you do.
Step 1: I have the book… Now what?
Here are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself… Should I get an agent, someone who specifically deals with nonfiction projects? I don’t even know if an agent would take me on for one, very niche project, but an agent who specializes in nonfiction would definitely know more about the publishers I need to approach than I would, since I live mostly in the fiction world.
Or…should I do my research and find a list of publishers who have published this type of book before, and send them a query and proposal?
And..if I do that, do I utilize my contacts so I don’t go through the normal slush pile process, or do I go through the regular submissions process?
Should I self-publish? I have a platform and a brand, and the percentages are lovely… For what it’s worth, I ruled this out almost immediately, though after serious consideration. I don’t have the time or the energy to do all of the things myself a publisher can do for me: a qualified editor, cover art, formatting–especially formatting for a nonfic project–sales venues, etc. I’m someone who needs and wants a publisher, and not just because I essentially AM a publisher but because I just can’t even contemplate doing it myself. It makes me want to curl into a small ball and sob.
Or maybe I should just slap it all together into a PDF and give it away to those people who take my course, and not worry about publishing it:?
So there you go, some pretty normal, “I have a book, now what should I do” questions. Maybe it doesn’t make you feel better to know that someone in the industry goes through the same process you do, but we all know…publishing is hard! There’ are no easy answers. And what’s the right answer for me won’t necessarily be the right answer for you. That makes it even harder, doesn’t it?