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Writing Books/purchase stock photos or wait till . . .


I am publishing my third book and this one is more intense than the others. This is a 98 page + coffee table type book that requires me to purchase a few stock photos which are costly.

I choose this round, to shop for an agent who with either represent my new publishing business and me or give it to one of the larger publishing houses.

The question: I'm wondering if I need to have a "finished" galley (exact photos and owned - in place) or just put copies of not licensed photos in the galley to be shown to an agent. At which time if they see the merit in my work, then I would purchase the photos or have the publishing company take it on.

#2 question is: where online or do you know of a travel editor and a food editor? My search on line has been time consuming.
Thank you!

First, agents donut represent your publishing business. They represent manuscripts in an attempt to sell them to a publisher. Few agents handle books that are already self-published, because few publishers want self-published books unless the author can provide proof of sales of at least 3,000 copies already. That’s a tough figure to hit; most self-published books sell fewer than 100 copies.

Next, coffee table books usually use original artwork, not stock photos, so I’m not sure what the product is that you have to sell.

Third, publishers usually provide the artwork, unless the author is also a photographer or artist, so you donut have to own any art to sell your manuscript; the publisher will usually get it for you if interested in your manuscript.

I’m not sure what you mean by a food editor or a travel editor. Do you mean an acquisitions editor with a publishing house that publishes travel books and cookbooks, or a manuscript editor who will edit the manuscript for punctuation, grammar, and style? If an acquisitions editor, go to There is a slight fee, but it is  worth it for the ease of use and quantity of material. If you mean a manuscript editor, I’m one, and there are hundreds more. Simply use a search engine and look for “book manuscript editor” or “manuscript editor” or, if your book needs editing for concept, clarity, and/or organization, search under “book doctor.” If you want to check my services, credentials, and prices, go to

I hope I have interpreted the questions correctly and have been helpful.

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Bobbie Christmas


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.


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.

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

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.

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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