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Writing Books/How to Get a First Book Published


I'm at the beginning of writing a book about America and its place in the world in the 21st Century, and beyond (not science fiction).

This'll be my first attempt.

Some questions: (i) what's a good book length as far as number of pages, (ii) since I'm going to write in Word on my computer, can you give me any sense of how many single spaced 8.5x11 pages would translate into the above number of "book pages," (iii) I have the impression that it's very, very difficult to find a publisher for a first book - is that generally correct, and any suggestions on addressing same, (iv) like most other would be authors, I'm going to write what I view as an almost-scholarly book, but I want it to be commercially successful as well - I want it to be a book that gets wide attention, but that has meaning and a message in it: what kind of publishers may be interested in such an effort?

Also, what's the usual turn around time from when a manuscript is submitted to a publisher to when you receive a response.

How are authors compensated: by the number of books sold, I assume, but are there other compensation formulas; what's the average dollar value to the author from a book sale ie., does the author get a dollar for each book sold (assuming a sales price of $25.00, for instance), or what's the usual benchmark

Thanks much for your assistance.

Steve Erie

I think you may be publishing for the wrong reasons. You appear to be focusing too much on statistics instead of on heart.

Just write your book and don't worry about how many pages there are supposed to be and what publisher might be interested in it and what not. When you are finished with the book -- then decide on what kind of "publishing option" you will want and your publisher will help you with all else from there.

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