Youíve written a book and you want to know how to get a publisher. I receive
weekly requests about information about how to get published. Everyone who
writes book had the same problem. No one was born with a publishing contract in
clutched in their fist.
First, you must be realistic about the obstacles
and competition. There are 10 times more people writing books today from 20
years ago when I was first published in New York. And the number of publishers
had shrunk to the point where it has collapsed into a black hole with 7 leading
publishers. The number of people buying fiction is no greater (if not less
readers) than before. Blame the Internet. Blame Reality TV. Blame Video games.
The attention devoted to book reading diminishes every year. Understand what you
are up against.
Second, you wonít find much opportunity for publishing
English language fiction in Asia. Asia is a region; it is not one, unified book
market. What sells like hotcakes in Singapore wonít necessary work in Thailand.
There are few publishers in Thailand who will look at an unsolicited manuscript.
One is Bangkok Books You
would have to email them about submission policy.
Third, if you want a
publisher who pays an advance against royalties to read and consider your
manuscript, you will need a literary agent. The days are long gone when
legitimate publishers considered unsolicited manuscripts. They were swamped
then, but they would be under water. Also they are afraid of getting sued. There
are good agent, average agents and crooked agents. A good site to find out the
crooks in this business is Preditors
Fourth, you need a manuscript in near perfect condition
before an agent will be interested. The agent wonít edit your book. An editor
probably wonít do much editing either. They want a book that is ready to be
published. They wonít hold your hand. Whatever you read about the old days when
editors in green eye shades labored over manuscripts to nurture the creativity
talent of an author are from a prior age. That age is long over. You need to
find an editor who can go through and find all of the mistakes and typos that
you no longer see because you wrote the book. Again the website at Preditors and
Editors is a good place to start.
Fifth, youíve managed to do the
impossible: you have a publisher who has sent you a contract. Youíre not a
copyright lawyer; youíre not an insider in the industry so donít know what much
of the language means or whether the contract is fair. As to what it means, your
agent is there for that. If you donít have an agent, hire a lawyer. Or if that
is out of the question (lawyers charge for time in a way that a novelist could
only envy), the check out an industry standard contract written to ensure that
the author gets a fair shake. The Mystery Writers contract is a good place to start.