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Writing and getting published

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:32 am
by wilmots

When we say publishing what do we mean? Are you thinking of your book being published by one of the big publishing houses, or are you willing to self publish.

The hard facts are, that trying to get your book published by a publishing house is blocked by lots of different things. Following are just a few.
1. Most publishers will ask you to go through an agent.
2. Finding an agent is also very hard. Most agents only have about 30 clients on their books; therefore your story has to be very good. (You can find a list of Agents and Publishers in the ‘Writers' & Artists' Year Book’)
3. Your Manuscript (MS) has to be laid out in the correct order and the publishers guidelines tells you what they want. Don’t obey their rules and your MS is not read.
4. Your title must be inspiring and should a publisher want to change it, then let them do so.


There are loads of self publishing publishers out there, so chose wisely. Most will advice you that they can get your book onto the shelves of bookshops like Smith’s, this is true, but what they don’t tell you is that it is only in one shop and it’s only three books. For this they will charge you from £750 - £1,500 to publish 100 books. Don’t forget they are publishers they will not sell the book for you, that is your job.

Before sending off your MS get it checked for mistakes. It’s so easy for you to miss things. You tend to read what you wanted to put on the page and not what is actually written on the page. It is so easy to miss out a full stop or the closing of speech marks. Proof reading can also be costly ranging from £200 to £500 depending on the number of words or pages.


Your local library will know about local writing groups. There is one that meets in the Grimsby Library, I gave it a visit about two years ago and was made most welcome. You can get loads of help from the members on what to do, so join them and learn.

The following site will give you a list of agents and publisher that will take you money and do nothing for it.

This is only a small amount of information but there should be lot’s of books in your local library to help you.



Each person starting to write will develop their own style and approach to their writing.
But if others are to enjoy reading what you write, then you it may help to know some basic tips on successful writing.
Some general writing tips you can read in the sticky post at the top of our Short Story forum.
Publishers may also have some special requirements, especially so for play or screen scripts.