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Question
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?

Answer
Dear Sybil,
Thank you for your questions. At my site i have posted an article called, "How to Find a Publisher." http://steamboats.com/writing.html
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.
Sincerely,
Nori

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