You are here:

Writing Books/Publishing a book


I have written a couple of manuscripts, but have never been published before.  I do not have much money to spend on publishing my book.  Are there any publishers who will do the work first and accept payment later or do I have to pay upfront.  How do I go about finding a good publisher who will help me through this strange new process?

Dear Sybil,
Thank you for your questions. At my site i have posted an article called, "How to Find a Publisher."
Publishers buy the rights to use manuscripts and pay through an "advance" or "royalties." An advance is based on how many copies will sell in the first printing. Usually for a first time author they will print 1,000 to 5,000 copies. The author gets between 5 - 10% of the cover price, so figure 50 cents to $1 per book. So a typical advance for a first book would be $1,000 to $5,000. If the book goes into additional printings, you will get a royalty based on your percentage.
The only time an author must pay the publisher is in self-publishing. However, i don't recommend self-publishing for a first time author. You avoid the rejection letters, but then you end up with boxes of unsold books in the garage.
If your book is good, you will find a publisher if you keep trying. It might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but when you find the right one, they will help you through the process.
If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to write back.

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Nori J. Muster


Writing and publishing books, including e-books.


I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at

Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories

UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme,, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne),, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West,,

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle,,, Apple Books, and others.

©2016 All rights reserved.