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 Finished Manuscript-What's Next?

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amandaaksel



Number of posts: 1
Registration date: 2010-12-02

PostSubject: Finished Manuscript-What's Next?   Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:22 pm

I am working on a non-fiction business manuscript with my boss and we are nearly finished. I have been trying to find out what steps I need to follow once we are done. Do I...
Hire a professional editor?
Submit it to the copyright office?
Get a literary agent?
Submit to publishers who accept unsolicited material?

What's next? Any advice is very much appreciated.
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member


Number of posts: 5036
Registration date: 2009-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Finished Manuscript-What's Next?   Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:34 pm

Is your goal to be commercially published or self-published? If the former, there are plenty of publishers who accept unsolicited material. Or you could search for an agent who handles your genre to try cracking the pubs that only accept agented material.

I personally am not a fan of hiring editors; I feel that if you need one, you probably aren't good enough to be published. You might join some groups where aspiring writers serve as beta readers for each other. If your need for editing is for spelling, grammar, and punctuation, I suppose you might hire one for that. But even then, I'm still not a fan. If you haven't mastered that stuff, I don't know how you'd handle rewrites if/when your manuscript is accepted by a publisher.
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Al Stevens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member


Number of posts: 1642
Registration date: 2010-05-11
Location: Florida

PostSubject: Re: Finished Manuscript-What's Next?   Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:44 pm

amandaaksel wrote:
Do I...
Hire a professional editor?
Submit it to the copyright office?
Get a literary agent?
Submit to publishers who accept unsolicited material?
Your questions imply that you are not interested in POD self-publishing. My advice is based on that assumption.

Editor? Michener credits his lifelong copy editor with his success. He was, according to him, a good storyteller but a poor writer. So, whether you need an editor depends on how well you write and how conscientious you are about typos, spelling, etc. But with non-fiction, publishers often provide the copy editor as part of what they do. At least they used to.

Copyright? Your work is automatically copyrighted as soon as you write it. If you fear intellectual property theft on a scale that would cost you big bucks, register your copyright. (You can enforce an unregistered copyright, that is, you can make the infringer desist, but you can rarely get a judge to hear the case and award you damages unless the copyright is registered.) But wait until the manuscript is completed and ready to publish.

Agent? If you have a hot topic that will sell, you don't need an agent for non-fiction.

Submissions? Submit proposals to publishing houses that print books along the same lines. A day at the bookstore will identify publishers like that. Avoid vanity presses. Go for the known publishers who have an established library of titles and stable of writers. Call their main office and ask for contact information for the acquisitions editor who will be likely to manage your project. Acquisitions editors specialize in subject matter. You can often find that information on the publisher's website. Usually they'll tell you online what procedures to follow to submit a proposal.

Send a one-page proposal, not a complete manuscript. Be prepared to explain in your proposal why your book will sell, how big the targeted readship is, what the competition is, how your book is better than the competition, what your credentials are for writing the book, and so on. Be prepared to send them a couple of chapters (but not until they ask for them) so they can review your work and determine if it can be turned into a publishable book.

Unlike with fiction, you do not need to have a non-fiction book completed when you submit a proposal to the publisher.
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http://alstevens.blogspot.com
Richard Bowers
One Star Member
One Star Member


Number of posts: 26
Registration date: 2012-11-26
Location: Sanger, CA

PostSubject: Re: Finished Manuscript-What's Next?   Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:02 pm

I'm really surprised your answers haven't trickle in faster. If you still require help then I can head you over to a very popular book titled "Self-Publishing Manual," by Dan Pounter. All his advice is well founded and relative. Good Luck, Richard
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