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I would like to submit work to publishers with the aim of having a book produced.
I have had a 100 page book made from what I believe is the best work from my website and I would like to see if the work can be published.
It is a book of landscapes and wildlife in Scotland so I've been looking at publishers like Lomond Books and Argyll Publishing.
I have the following questions:
Does anyone have experience with these or similar publishers?
Would I need to send the whole book to a publisher or just email a few pictures?
If successful, how will I know if I have a good deal?
Any help is much appreciated
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Most publishers will have guidelines they can send to potential authors or may have guidelines published on their websites. Search for publishers that deal in the type of book you have in mind and simply phone and ask to be sent their guidelines if there aren't any on their website. The publishers of Outdoor Photography magazine, who also publish photography books, will do this. Most will require an outline of your proposal, two or three chapters and around a dozen photos. Don't expect to get rich!
I'm not up to date with the latest methods of publishers but I can give you a few pointers to what used to happen. I'm sure little has changed.
Normally a book concept is the first thing a publisher wants to hear about.
So that's a letter to the commissioning editor of the division of the book publisher that would be likely to accept a proposal.
The letter would have a brief biog of you and your experience along with a plan of what the book is about Title, summary idea of contents, chapter breakdown etc, and why you think the book is worth producing.
Publishers are not interested in vanity books, they want ones they can market and make a success of.
Have a look at other books that are being promoted by the publishers to see what they're currently interested in.
Trends tend to influence the type of book they are looking out for. There are times when tutorial style books sell better then coffee table books. In your market it may be a good time to sell pictorial guides to locations, or people may be buying more guide style. These things can be sounded out by the publisher before you start producing the book so you can construct it in the best format. As you've already done that you may have got the formula right in which case the publisher will be really pleased to see an easy to get to market option, or it may be totally off their track in which case you've wasted time and effort.
I have gone down both routes. I created a book from scratch and took that to the publisher. It wasn't their usual style but they liked what I'd done so embraced it
Another I was commissioned to write from their initial brief so we worked together to deliver what they thought the market wanted. They have better experience than us.
Once you've got them hooked there are usually two royalty routes. One pays a fixed fee to deliver the product, usually a small amount up front and two further chunks as the book is developed.
The other is a payment per book sale, as a percentage of net profit per book (negotiable with publisher).
It's not easy to make a living from this type of activity.
If you cant attract a publisher you could self publish (you might be left with a lot of books that you cant shift or use on online system such as blurb where books are printed as ordered.
Hope that set of fast fire rambling helps
What about self publishing electronically e.g. ebooks for Kindle and other ebook readers?
At least removes the cost of printing from the equation.
I used to have my books published by conventional publishers such as David & Charles and Crowood Press but now I find it far easier and hugely more profitable to use a POD publisher such as Lulu.com who then get them on to Amazon's listings.
The scene is constantly changing but, currently, about half of my sales are of Lulu printed versions via Amazon (actually Amazon now print them themselves) and the other half a combination of Kindle versions and iBooks.
Just a comment upon something Pete said above: Don't ever fall into the "vanity publishing" trap of buying your own books for resale. There must be thousands of aspiring authors who have garages full of unsold books. The beauty of Lulu is that you will only ever have to buy one copy of your book - to check as a proof before authorising Lulu to start marketing it.
Quote: Does anyone have experience with these or similar publishers?
Lomond Books were not commissioning work at the back end of last year. No Scottish publisher was willing to publish landscape photography last year when I approached them. They may not have thought my work commercial for them or they just were not interested in commissioned work.
Quote: Would I need to send the whole book to a publisher or just email a few pictures?
Neither. You need to buy the Writers and Artists year book and find who specialises in your work then find out if they accept proposals, if they do then send a proposal in the first instance. A proposal should detail the following kept to two pages A4.
Purpose of the book - succint description
Scope - outline of the book contents
Why your book is unique or marketable
Readership - who will buy and read it
Similar books or authors - who is the competition and why you are different
Basically, you need to convince the publisher that your book is marketable and that they will make money publishing it.
If successful, how will I know if I have a good deal?
Expect no replies from the majority, expect kind but firm rejections from most. Success will be if you can entice one publisher to ask you for further details.
Coffee Table Books featuring Scottish Landscapes?
Overdone, out of fashion, expensive to produce and sold on a prayer to American Tourists. About as commercial as Cherry Flavoured Irn Bru.
Quote: Overdone, out of fashion, expensive to produce and sold on a prayer to American Tourists. About as commercial as Cherry Flavoured Irn Bru.
Thanks Keith, that has heartened me no-end, knowing my book on Scottish landscapes is published next month........
Fifteen Cherry flavoured Irn Bru's, please.
Certainly sir, that'll be £1.50....and I'm afraid we don't accept Scottish pound notes.
Good Luck, John. (Said without sarcasm)....honest.
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