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Notes on Publishing

Traditional Publishing:

If you are thinking about getting an agent and finding a publisher, check into how long the advertised agent has been in business, what sorts of fiction the agent represents. How much experience the agent has had, whether they are accepting new clients. You also probably want to ask how long they take to decide whether they'll represent a manuscript. Check out what their commission rate is, and whether they require a written author–agent contract.

Avoid agents who live far away from any major metropolitan publishing center, charge fees to read your manuscript, or will accept you as a client only if you'll pay them to help you edit your manuscript.

Or, you can use Richard Curtis' book to help you become your own literary agent:


Online Publishing:

Online information is also available from sources such as https://www.authorsguild.org// and https://www.writersdigest.com/. Other members of LCRW can help provide you with information and tips on handling contracts.

You can approach digital publishers and eBook resources such as Vellum, Diversion Books, Lulu, Book Funnel, BookBaby, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and Booktango. Some of these are hybrids who straddle the worlds between traditional publishing and self-publication. Fair warning: some of these services want your money.

Book Covers:

Designing a cover for your book can be a daunting task. If you're not particularly artistic, it can make you feel like a kindergartener.  But several members of LCRW can help you out. Here's a couple of sample covers I designed as a test case for one of our writers:

Test Book covers

There are several other options available for this task. If you know how to use Photoshop or can hire someone who does, you can make your own cover design using purchased images, photos, or copyright-free images such as those found on Pexels or Stock Adobe. You'll want to design a cover with the power to impress potential readers. Keep in mind that you want it to convey the essential message of your story in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Out of focus images don't portray your story ideas well. It should feature enough blank space to allow room for the book's title and your name to stand out. And it should be eye-catching even when it appears as a postage-stamp-sized icon on the Amazon Web site or an iPhone.


Write the cover blurb to describe your story. Your objective is to entice readers to purchase it. Look at books on your shelves or in bookstores for ideas of how to strike the right tone in less than one hundred words.

Create A Book Video:

Post a video about your book on YouTube.com. LCRW members can help you here too. A video book trailer should be less than two minutes long. It should clearly identify your book's concept and be upbeat. A good way to do this is to generate a slideshow of still images. There are also LCRW resources for this as well. Be careful with music, you'll need copyright-free material. You can also hire a professional service to create the video for you. You're limited only by your skillset, LCRW partners, and/or your budget.

Above all, you'll need to believe in yourself. Have faith in your story, your dreams, and the ideas you're writing about—even when others shoot at them.






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