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Writing Books/About publshing my novel


Respected E.W. Brody ,

I am Dr. Abidi from Karachi, Pakistan.  Although, by profession I am a medicine doctor but writing has always been my passion. I have been writing stories and articles since my childhood but was only able to put it in front of the world in March, 1999 when I got the honour to become the author and web designer of the largest personal website (http://www. made by any Pakistani ever and finally I've had the chance of presenting my articles, stories and novels in front of thousands of visitors and readers from all around the world. By the response I got from Pakistanis as well as from Non-Pakistanis, I was further encouraged to write more. This motive finally resulted in the creation of my latest English e-novel “HIJAAB WAALI” (The veiled girl) in the year 2002.

I never expected that that this e-book which only exists “online” will get such a remarkable response and encouragement not only from the people of Indian and Pakistani community but from almost all the communities regardless of their ethnic or religious reservations. Thousands of readers have read it through my website and this number is only increasing.
Now, the real reason of contacting you for your expert advice is that unfortunately, due to my limited financial resources or lack of proper communication with the publishers, I've been unable to publish my book in print “paper back” form. A BIG number of my readers email me daily and ask if they can buy my novel in paper book form from anywhere and it only makes me more desperate about getting it published as soon as possible. From the great response I've got from my readers, I have complete faith that if God is willing, my book, if published, has much greater chances of getting a “big hit” world wide, specially among the youth. Last week, some publishers from Indonesia contacted me and asked that they want to publish my novel in Indonesian language but the royalty they are offering is very less. They say they will only give me 100 US$ as advance and 6% royalty of the retail price on each book sold.  As this is my first experience, I want to ask few things from you.

The questions I want to ask from you are:

1-   Do you know any contacts of publishers which might be interested in publishing & distributing my novel?
2-   I want to know more about the royalty issues, i.e. what is the average royalty (%age) an author gets on his in-demand fiction novel of about 260 pages.
3-   What should be my present strategy which could help me to publish my novels as early as possible?
4-   Do you think it's reasonable for me to get only 100 US$ as advance payment from those Indonesian publishers and then 6% royalty on each book sold?
5-   What about piracy & copy right issues?

I know my questions are lengthy and detailed but so are the queries in my mind.

I hope with your advice, I would be able to know more about the matters to publish my book.

Thank you

Respect and regards

Dr. Ikram Abidi

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1.  I don't know of any fiction publishers actively seeking manuscripts.  I'd suggest that you identify those that are publishing work similar to yours (which you can do by scanning and then submit your manuscript to all who are puplishing similar works.

2.  Royalties in the 5 percent to 10 percent range regardless of length of work.

3.  See No. 1 above.

4.  Unfortunately, six percent royalties without advances of any kind are quite common.

5.  Works that have not been published can be copyrighted by submitting appropriate forms (available at the U.S. Library of Congress web site) with required fees ($20 U.S. the last time I checked).  Works already published are another matter.  You should review any contracts you've signed with existing publishers and, if you have questions, ask your attorney for advice.

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E.W. Brody


How to get published. I`ve written eight books, edited a ninth, and have published more articles in business and professional journals than I care to remember. I`m in process of working with an agent at the moment on several non-academic books


Three university degrees, eight published books, more periodical and newspaper articles than I can remember. And I've two more books in development.

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