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My Journey to Find a Publisher Begins

My Journey to Find a Publisher Begins

By Pat Flynn on

That’s right! I’m looking for a publisher for an idea I have for a book, which I would love to turn into a series if all goes according to plan my dreams.

Although I’ve always stated that publishing an electronic book is the way to go (because of the fact that they are easy to create, easy to automate and very cost-effective), one of my life long goals is to see a book on the shelves of a major bookstore with my name on the front cover. With an idea in my head and my motivation levels high (as always), I think now is the time to start pursuing this goal.

I’m not going to tell you exactly what my idea is (I’m sorry!), but I can tell you it does involve the internet, social networking, and possibly you! Now I bet you’re really wondering what it is…but don’t worry, I will tell you eventually.

Right now, however, I will tell you about my trials and errors with this journey.

My First Task

After doing a bit of initial research, I found out that the first thing to do is find a publisher who is interested in working with me and my idea. All of this happens before I complete a manuscript because if I write the whole thing first and no publishers are interested, I will have wasted my time.

Now, I can’t just submit my idea to any publisher. Different publishers are interested in different topics, so I’m going to have to go to the bookstore into the section I hope my book will be placed someday, and check out the books there and find out who the publishers are. I already have a list of a few that I found via that I plan to submit a submission package to.

What’s in a Submission Package?

Let’s take one of the publishers I plan on submitting to, Their submission package requires the following (directly from the HCI submission webpage):

Book Proposal Guidelines

In order to consider publishing a book, we need a book proposal consisting of the elements outlined below. Please do not send a complete manuscript unless asked to do so. All submissions are evaluated on the basis of content, author credentials and marketability. Submissions that do not conform to these guidelines are rejected.


Send us your bio or curriculum vitae. Include information on professional credentials, current occupation, previously published works, any public speaking or promotional experience you have, and any television or radio appearances you have made.
Supply detailed information on the marketability of your book, including:
  • Target audience
  • Market size, description and demographics
  • How do you intend to promote the book?
  • Book summary and purpose
  • Book’s unique content and characteristic
  • Competing titles and sales figures
  • Specific information not provided by comparable titles
Please DO NOT submit bound or two-sided copies of your manuscript. Please send no more or less than the following:
A. Detailed outline of the book (please do not send spiral bound manuscripts)
B. Table of contents.
C. Introduction.
D. Two sample chapters.

Manuscript Format Requirements
In preparing the manuscript sample, please observe our format requirements (these also apply if you are asked to send a complete manuscript):
Manuscript Paper: Use standard (8″ x 11), good-quality white typing paper. Do not use erasable bond. Type only on one side of the paper.
Print Quality: Use letter-quality type. Make type as clean and legible as possible.
Spacing and Type Size: All text, tables and caption material must be double-spaced. Allow at least one-inch margins on both sides, top and bottom. Use at least 12-point type.
Chapter and Section Titles: All words in these titles should be upper- and lowercase.
Spelling: Use the first spelling listed in the most recent edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary or Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
Punctuation and Style: Do not use the serial comma. Refer to the most recent edition of The Chicago Manual of Style regarding numbers and any other points of style.
Pagination (applies to complete manuscript only): Pages should be numbered continuously throughout a manuscript, not chapter by chapter.

Send a self-addressed, stamped (not metered) envelope of suitable size and with sufficient postage to return your proposal. Materials received without an appropriate SASE will not be returned.

That’s a lot of things, but I’m sure they only want serious inquiries and want to know as much about the person and his/her project as possible before even considering working with them. Definitely understandable.

No Matter What Happens…

I think this will be a great learning experience. It may be a lost cause, or it may be the greatest experience ever. I won’t know unless I give it a shot, and I believe I have the business experience and the motivation to make this happen for me.

More details coming soon…I gotta get my submission package in order. Wish me luck!

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