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Pushing the Envelope: 9 Steps for Selling Your Book Yourself

Ryan McGuire

1. Make sure your proposal or manuscript is ready to submit.

2. Ask your writing community about their experiences with editors and publishers.

3. Research publishers online, in bookstores and directories, through their catalogs, and on their websites to make a list of editors and publishers.

4. To prepare a list of editors, use directories, acknowledgments in books, and calls to publishers to verify that editors are still there. Email authors and ask them about their experiences with their publishers.

5. Follow publishers’ submission guidelines email or snail mail, with a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE), a one-page query letter to up to about fifteen editors at a time simultaneously, letting them know you’re contacting other editors.

6. Email or snail mail, with a SASE, a multiple submission of your proposal or partial manuscript, following publishers’ guidelines and letting editors know that other publishers have it. If the first submission doesn’t work, use what you learn from the process to do the next submission.

7. Submit your work, impeccably prepared, in a professional way following publishers’ guidelines in directories and on their websites.

8. Research when to expect a response, and if you don’t receive one, follow up by phone, email, or snail mail until you do.

9. Get professional help with the contract from writer’s organizations, the Web, books, or from an agent or intellectual property attorney at an hourly rate.

Then celebrate!