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How Do I Find A Publisher?

self publishing for freelance writersHi Anne,

I’m a freelance writer and have finally finished my first book.

My question is what’s e the best way to find a publisher for a “how-to/self help” type of book?


Hi SM,

Congratulations! Finishing your book is a big deal!

My first thought was to suggest Writer’s Market – particularly the online version which is updated frequently. I’ve written a review of it and consider it a must-have for every serious writer.

There you will not only find publishers listed by category, but information on how to write queries, contracts and other truly helpful stuff.

Check out the category Books – How To Write, Publish & Market on this site.

For grins I searched Google for self-help publishers. There are about 9.5 million entries, obviously way more pages than publishers. As I looked briefly at some of the entries it became obvious that some of them were really self-publishing companies offering their services for a hefty fee.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you know I’m in favor of self-publishing. What may not be clear enough, however, is I’m terribly suspicious of many of the companies offering self-publishing services. Often they push their editing and marketing “services” which, for the most part, are simply an expensive up-sell that you can get better and cheaper elsewhere.

None-the-less, there are legitimate trade publishers in those pages – publishers that will usually pay a small advance, edit and produce your book and market it at least a little bit.

Writer’s Market is probably easier to figure out and use.

Got a question about freelance writing? Send me an email with Q&A in the subject line or ask in comments. I’ll work to get it answered here.


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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • I agree with the point in this post, writers market is reputed the most trusted place to find genuine publishers of which if you can’t get a publisher, then self publishing is the best route to follow

    Obasi recently posted Book Publishing Tips</a
    Obasi recently posted..How do I find a publisherMy Profile

    • Writer’s Market can help… so can searching for publishers on the web… and self-publishing also makes sense.

  • George Brucato

    I finished my first Fiction book which will begin a four or five book series and have found it difficult to determine which way to go. I want the book to be readily available for readers from shelves and website orderring.
    Currently it is available thru B&N nookbooks-“DOMESTIC SURGE 2012”.

    I initially got involved with CreateSpace, but when I finally broke down their fees I was pretty turned off. I found that I could not send the files sep and be charged for 1 file submittal. They wanted to charge me $179 for the cover file and another $179 for the interior file submittal! Crazy. Plus the $79 to make available on Kindle…well I choce to upload for free at B&N-NookBooks.

    New problem, which I hope you can solve for me….B&N doesn’t print and ship books to readers like CreateSpace. I need a publisher/publishing company to take my uploaded files and print and ship as orders come in. Is there any competition for CreateSpace/Amazon that offers this while at the same time, put up a page at Amazon, Ingram, etc?

    How much does that cost vs. CreateSpace?

    Lastly…I contacted Random House publishing and they say they will only accept manuscripts from an Agent? Can you please elaborate a bit on why this is?

    Thank You Lots!!!

  • Rebecca:
    Let us know how the self-publishing route goes, if you do that.
    I share your fear of the self-publishing companies. It’s too bad there are so many that take advantage of “newbie” status.
    Cathy Miller recently posted..Keep it Simple StupidMy Profile

  • A member in my writer’s group is using Author House. They seem legit and offer various levels of service. Another member used Create Space to self-publish his book. I’m working on a non-fiction book for teens in addition to developing other books. I may go the self-publishing route, not sure.
    Rebecca recently posted..To Freelance Writers Who Want to Earn MoreMy Profile

    • Anne

      Author House seems okay… but watch the offers to market for a fee. Create Space is Amazon and some question if it makes sense to publish with the bookstore as it were.

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