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QUESTION: Can you successfully publish a book that contains about 10,000 words, using a standard book lay out that contains a professional designed book cover from a third party using the free version at

Are 10,000 words to short for a book yes or no? Do I have to pay for advertising or would it be all right to just have the free listing in standard distribution and Expanded Distribution.

ANSWER: The word "successfully" is somewhat subjective.  What may seem successful to one author may not be to another.  It helps to know what your specific goals are.

A book (of fiction) at 10,000 words would be a novelette.  That's basically one step up from a short story.  I honestly don't know what kind of market there is for a book of that length, but I do know your selling price would need to be much lower than a typical novel, which would most likely be at least five times as long.

My personal view is that the distribution arrangements (expanded or standard) of CreateSpace and other such services are pretty much worthless.  There are entire books devoted to book marketing, so there are many, many avenues to pursue.  But yes, ultimately the cost will be on your shoulders.

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QUESTION: It would be a British children book that is a fiction story that is appropriate for an elementary school teacher to read to children in the classroom and is intended for children that are less than 14 years old. Would a US$ 2.00 retail price be too much, yes or no?  Would 10,000 words be enough for that or would that need more words.

How do you submit a book to publishers in the United Kingdom and the United States?

ANSWER: No, $2 would not be too much.  For that age group, I do think a longer story would be appropriate, but that's just my opinion.

Submissions to publishers vary.  One publisher will want one thing, another will want something different.  Start by finding an appropriate publisher.  Find books that are along the lines (genre, target age, etc.) of what you want to do.  See who publishes them.  Look them up online.  Their submission policies should be on their websites.

Good luck!

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QUESTION: How many words should it contain? I have a limited budget. It would be a British children book that is written in British English. If I get a ghostwriter that writes this book, should she send me a notarized (from a British notary public) statement that says that I legally own the copyright, yes or no? I think that I found a ghostwriter, but I still have to send her specific instructions, before I give her a contract. Would submitting a book on MS word document be all right, or does this need to be in PDF or in another format.  

Should I hire a publishing agent, yes or no? If I hire a publishing agent, do I only have to pay him only a commission fee for each book sold, or do I have to pay a start up fee even if he sells no books.

If I submit this to publishers, do I have to register this with the US copyright office first yes or no? Can you give me list publishers that I can submit this to? Can you submit this to publishers for me; I give you a commission for each book that is sold.

How long should I wait before after I send it to publishers before I send it to, if I cant find a publisher, that will publish it? Should I also have it listed in yes or no?

I was told along time that if your book gets published on the Internet, no publisher would publish your book, is this true yes or no?

Okay, we're going into lots of different territory, here.  Let me address the ghost writer aspect, first.  I don't understand why you'd take that approach.  Your ghost writer is going to charge you for the work, and it will, frankly, take quite a while to make back that investment.  I'd been under the impression that you were writing this.

If you do a book through Create Space(or in any independent fashion) and can sell a couple thousand books in a year, conventional publishers may very well be interested.  Then again, if you're making those kinds of sales, you don't need a conventional publisher.

As for agents, you don't exactly hire them.  They agree to represent you.  Getting an agent is not an easy or quick process.  For that matter, finding a conventional publisher (if you go that route first) can also be very time consuming.  A couple years is not uncommon.

No, I'm afraid I can't supply you with a list of publishers.  I'm not familiar enough with publishers who do young adult books.  (And again, if you're looking to have a book read by kids 10 - 13, you should have at least 50,000 words, in my opinion.)  Nor can I submit anything for you.

Hope this is helpful.  Best of luck.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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