Saturday, September 29, 2018

Author FAQ: Tips on Writing Non-Fiction

Q: I have a question for you regarding book publishing. I finished my personal book which I am
considering, sending out. Can you give me any tips on this? I first poked around the bookstore to
get names of publishers that already publish books in the same category as mine. -- Tom K.

A: Well, first off, that's a great place to start. It certainly makes sense to look around for publishers of books similar to yours since, in theory, they're already open to that kind of work. As you know, my

area of expertise is in children's books. I assume your personal book is not a children's book but non-fiction, maybe an autobiography? There are a number of publications that can point you in the right direction for getting your adult market book looked at. There's a magazine called Writer's Digest that contains useful tips. They also offer several publishing bibles. The one for kid's books is called Children's Writers & Illustrators Market. I'm guessing they have a similar title for the type of book that you've written. These bibles are printed yearly and contain contact names and submission information (do they require a query letter first, how many chapters a particular publisher likes to get, etc.). Very useful, but kind of pricey (c.$25) -- you may want to do your research with them at the library.

Another option would be to look into going the self-publishing route which is currently the path I'm following. I've covered that subject in a good number of previous Author FAQs so a quick search of my site's archives should help you find the info you need. The Archive Search is in the right-hand column.

Have you poked around online, yet? That's what I did when I first tried to figure out how to submit my kid's books. Online research lead me to the website of a trade group of children's book publishers that listed all of the contact info and whether or not a certain publishing house was accepting open submissions, etc. I submitted to a number of them and the fine folks at DIAL BFYR were the first to bite. I'm sure there's a lot of helpful info for non-fiction books within the vast expanse of the world wide web.

Best of luck with your personal book!

Thoughts about the above question or about writing books in general? Leave them in the comments or send them to me via the CONTACT tab. Thanks!

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