Writing Books/Publishing

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Question
I wrote on and email to a publishing group, a short note about my book. It was a rough out line of what I had written, It is a series of books the first 3 are written and there will be about 15books in the series. A lot of these are all ready had written. I received an Email about half an hour later asking for me to send my first book by emailto the publishing house. As I understand it a first time Author has it a bit tough even getting a publisher to look at their book let alone asked for it.WHAT do Ido? also do I need to get a copyright on my book and the series name before I send it? thank you for your time Katieb123

Answer
Itís true that itís difficult to get a legitimate publishing house to look at your book without the assistance of an agent. Congratulations.

You already own the copyright by the fact that you wrote the material. A traditional publisher will order and pay for the registration of your copyright for you, in your name, right before the book goes to press in its final form. You donít have to register it; in fact doing so shows that the author is a paranoid amateur.

Before you send anything to any publisher, thoroughly check out the publishing house. Find out if it is one that accepts almost everything but publishes only in print-on-demand (POD), which you could do yourself. Find out the publisher asks you to participate in the costs of publishing. In either of those cases, it is not a traditional publisher but a self-publishing house operating under the guise of a traditional house. In either case, run far away. Go online and research the publisher; not only what it says about itself, but also what others are saying about it. Go to a brick-and-mortar bookstore (not an online store) and see if the publisher has any books on the shelves there. The reason an online store will not help is that online stores such as Amazon.com will accept self-published books as well as those published through the less-than-traditional methods I described above.

If you determine that the publisher is a legitimate, royalty-paying, traditional publisher, send the manuscript, cross your fingers or say a prayer, and wait.  

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Bobbie Christmas

Expertise

Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.

Experience

Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Organizations
Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Publications
Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Education/Credentials
Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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