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Writing Books/Financially Getting Started...


Hello, I have looked at your areas of expertise and feel that, based on your description; would probably be best suited to help me out with my question.

In some interview with an author, that I read on-line @, she/he mentioned something along the lines of: "And remember, don't pay to get your book published.  They pay you, you get your money off of royalties (or their royalties, something along those lines.)"

Does this statement hold any truth?  I would like to know how much money is needed in order to get a first novel published.  Is it possible to do such a thing with very little or no money, or possibly a family loan?

I checked out this publishing company called "AuthorHouse" that used to be "1'st Authors"  I read through their statements and said that you do not need an agent, for they understand the difficulty of getting one and that they respect the author's vision(s).  For instance, the author who wrote "Pirates of Silicon Valley" had previously went to a couple other publishers and they told him that he should atleast double the length of his book, he felt this was not needed.

So he went to AuthorHouse ( and they let him keep his work at it's current state, and now look at him.  He's a millionare.  All because he was allowed to keep his creation, the way that he deemed fit.

That is a 2'nd question that I hope you can help me with.  If you go to a publisher and they think that a good majority of your work should be changed, how should you stand your ground on the issue?  Let them change it as they think needs be?

Sorry, I don't mean to ramble on; but I would like help with atleast the first question concerning the initial money issue.  And if you don't mind, could you please check out AuthorHouse and tell me what you think of them in terms of honesty, professionality, etc.

Thank you for your gracious time,

It is not a good idea to pay to get your book published, and that goes for highly specialized books. You will spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars upfront, with no guarantee that anyone will buy the book. To that end, you will be much better off financially with a publisher who pays YOU.

And usually, if a book requires such work, an editor may ultimately reject it.  There are just too many good writers out there whose work doesn't require such time and effort.  On the other hand, a publisher may recommend a few changes and if that is the case, you should consider, then negotiate if you must, and just go along with it, especially if you are a new author.

Sorry that time constraints do not allow me to check out AuthorHouse.  Just remember to avoid vanity publishers.

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Dorothy Zjawin


I can answer questions about getting ideas for books, approaching publishers and agents, developing book proposals.


Past/Present clients
Addison-Wesley and McGraw-Hill

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