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I have completed about 50,000 words of an historical fiction about World War I. The novel is an eclectic work in that it encompasses a vast amount of accurate history, a goodly amount of romance, and a mix of intrigue and guile. I am a published researcher in the fields of dentistry and periodontics, but I am unpublished in the genre of fiction of any sort. I intend to complete this novel in another 50K to 100K words with a possible follow up novel set a little later in this time period. I plan to have this first work completed in less than a year, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Great War. As a first time novelist, I anticipate that I will probably have to submit this book as an online download. Should I try to find an agent for this work, or would I be better off just trying to find an online resource.

Answer
Hi Gary:

I think it would help you to read the information on this site:
http://michaelhyatt.com/the-first-step-you-must-take-to-get-your-book-published.

There is good advice here. I believe you should try the agent route - why not start at the top? (When your book is finished, of course.) Before that, though, you should have it professionally edited to remove all errors in grammar, spelling, word usage, etc.

I googled "How to prepare a book proposal" and got over 2,000,000 hits, so chances are you can get some help there.

Publishing your book online is a last resort. There are a couple of ways to do it: 1. Give it over to a POD (print-on-demand publisher) but they don't pay much - around $7 per sale. That's not very much, unless your book sells and sells and sells; in which case, you will wish you had shown it to an agent. The problem with this is, if you publish it online, chances are you will not be able to later sell it to a regular print publisher. They buy first rights. 2. You can set up a website, put your work up on there, and sell it yourself. I did this and sold one copy.

Of course, you can always self-publish, if you think running around to bookstores and trying to persuade them to give your book shelf space (and why would they?).

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the publishing world is not what it used to be. These days the bottom line is all that counts.

Hope this helps. And thank you for the nice rating!  

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Susan Rand

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I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.

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I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

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BA degree in Written Communication

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