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Dear Rhonda;

As a military member, a journalist, and public affairs sergeant and now finally a civilian as I have just retired from the military. I want to write a spy novel. The setting is Germany 1970s-1990, where some of the most secretive spy work was done. Interestingly enough, I think the story has a positive spin and I have firsthand knowledge about it all. I also think I can write it! However, writing a book as opposed to a military sit rep (report)  or a news story or an article, is different than writing a book!
Aside from all that, my real question is, from the writing, how would a new writer find a publisher? Queries; or would you recommend sending excerpts to many publishers in hopes of getting a positive reply...???


Congrats on your military service and on writing a book!

In today's book publishing world, I'd encourage you to land a literary agent then go after a publisher.  I say that because "good" literary agents have personal face-to-face relationships with book publishers and editors.  They know what certain publishing houses are looking for.  They also know a good book deal when they see one.  Reputable literary agents are listed at:

Association of Authors Representatives (

Literary Market Place also list reputable literary agents.

Of course, you can also search the Internet for book publishers who publish military spy books and query them directly.  Before you send a query letter, check with the publisher to see if they want the first three chapters of the book, just a query letter or the entire manuscript.  Many publishers list these guidelines on their websites under "Author Submissions."  Some will state whether they only work with agented (literary agents) authors.

All the best to you!  

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Rhonda Campbell


I can answer questions on how to get published in magazines and newspapers; how to market your own books; how to earn a living writing; how to write press releases; how to find a good editor; how to edit your own books; finding a good printer; finding a good book illustrator; doing your taxes as a freelance writer. Questions I can't answer include specifics around working with a print on demand publisher


I have 36 years of experience as a writer (fiction and non-fiction). I am a book reviewer with Nielsen Media. I am a newspaper columnist and a reporter. I am a former radio station host and I am the editor of a literary newsletter, The Book Lover's Haven. I am also the author of more than 10 books.

Writer's Critique Group

The Trenton Times Philadelphia Trend Sisters in Style Essence Magazine The Pittsburgh Quarterly Obsidian II, etc.

I have taken numerous writing courses on book, proposal and grant writing as well as marketing and promotion

Awards and Honors
100 Most Admired African American Women Who's Who

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