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How to Get Happily Published



"Among the many books of advice, the best is How to Get Happily Published."
Money magazine

"Packed with ideas and suggestions."

"Everything you need to know."
The Boston Globe

— Terry McMillan, author of Waiting to Exhale

"A must addition to every serious writer's reference bookshelf."
Publishers Weekly

"The best-selling guide that Money magazine called 'the best of the many books of advice for writers' is now even better."
—Book-of-the-Month Club

"Highly recommended for all aspiring writers wanting to break into print, all veteran authors wanting to enhance their continued success and all publishers seeking to establish themselves as a preferred resource for good authors and an enthusiastic, supportive reading public."
Midwest Book Review Bookwatch

"An invaluable insider's view of the publishing industry."
— Publishers Association of the South.

"A goldmine of publishing information."
— Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing Manual

"Concise advice on every topic from deal making with publishers to going it alone [and] extensive resource lists such as Internet sites, writing groups, newsletters and much more. ... Examples detail how authors have made this advice work for them."
Midwest Muse

"Most helpful to me when I needed to understand the publishing process."
— M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled

"The phenomenal Resources section would be worth the price of the book all by itself."
— Elizabeth Geiser, as director, The Publishing Institute at the University of Denver

"How to Get Happily Published helped me write 20 books for publishers large and small and start my own publishing company."
— Lisa Rogak Shaw, Williams Hill Publishing

"Publishers need you at least as much as you need them."
— from "Initiation"

"A review-copy list may have a couple of hundred entries or more; if yours has fewer than 50, keep looking."
— from "Getting What's Coming to You"

"Many writers move back and forth between conventional publishing and self-publishing, sometimes with the same book."
— from "The Case for Doing It Yourself"

"Freelance editors are numerous now, largely because so many big publishers downsized in recent years. Often called book doctors, they tend to be knowledgeable about what at least some editors are buying."
— from "Buying Advice and Assistance"

"Being dropped by an agent can be terrifying, especially when the agent indulges in negative overgeneralization — It's hopeless. We've gone to everybody,' one said, summing up seven submissions."
— from "The Plain Truth About Agents"

"A nonfiction book with an index will sell many more copies than the same book without it."
— from "Editing, Copy-editing, Design, Production and Part-and-Parcel Advertising"

"It's through small, specialized publishing companies that seminal thinkers are usually first able to address an audience."
— from "Shaping Subject Matter"

"Editors commonly define a book proposal as "an outline and a sample chapter" but what they really want is anything on paper that will give them some sense of how you write and some reason to believe that your subject, as you plan to develop it, will interest readers they can reach."
— from "Procedures, or How to Submit Your Manuscript"

"If you decide to use your writing skills in order to earn enough money to use your writing skills the way you really want to use them, you have several interesting options."
— from "Spin-offs"

"It is important to get your book presented favorably at the sales conference because if the reps sense that it's a loser they'll classify it mentally as a 'skip book' and then, of course, a loser is what it will be."
—from "Why and How to Be Your Own Best Sales Force"

"Two classes of writing are particularly well suited to the self-publishing process: Works that are clearly of interest to at least one well-defined, relatively large, easy-to-reach audience and works that figure to interest a very small group of readers, at least in the beginning."
— from "The Case for Doing It Yourself"  

"It's hard not to believe that to appreciate yourself is to be proud, and to be proud is to be vain, and to be vain is to be threatened by comeuppance. Forget that. If you got your work published and read, you have plenty to be proud about."
— from "Righting the Scales of Success"



"Everything every writer needs to know."
—Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey,
author of A Woman of Independent Means

Inside Info

What all authors really need is an experienced editor who has the time and the inclination to sit down with them and show them the realities of publishing. This book is a substitute for the friendly, experienced editor. It offers a full and frank description of the publishing picture — complete with fallible human beings in the foreground and annotated guides to resources at the back. Anyone who reads it intelligently should come away with a good idea of the way the publishing process actually works, valuable information on the ingenious tactics writers have devised to make it work best for them, and easy access to additional information about a range of publishing options, which can help you create effective publishing strategies for particular projects.

Now into its second half million in sales, How to Get Happily Published continues to win praise from writers and publishing pros. Although the fifth and latest edition doesn’t specifically cover recent digital options, the approaches and moves it explains and recommends suit any and all formats and distribution systems. To order How to Get Happily Published right now, just click here.

About the Author

JUDITH APPELBAUM, who runs the book marketing company Sensible Solutions, has been helping publishers and writers succeed for many years, and she says she’ll never stop trying to make the book business work better for authors, publishers and readers.

Winner of the Publishers Marketing Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, she has been a columnist and reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, the editor of the IBPA Independent and the managing editor of Publishers Weekly.

Her work has been published not only in The New York Times and Publishers Weekly but also in Harper’s, Mother Earth News, the Authors Guild Bulletin, Media Studies Journal and Poets & Writers magazine.

Judith Appelbaum founded Sensible Solutions to provide specific recommendations about marketing so that good books won't fizzle and die because they didn't get to the right readers in the right ways at the right times.


For published writers, publishing pros and first-timers who want more control over the publishing process




How to Get Happily Published

Fifth Edition
By Judith Appelbaum

HarperCollins, 1998
ISBN 0-06-273509-8

Contents, or Welcome to the 20th-anniversary edition

Penetrating the publishing mystique * The friendly editor format *
Who wants you * Mistakes editors make * Who needs them? *
Perfecting your follow-through * The pleasure principle

Getting the Words Right

What the Pros Know
Reading like a writer * Where to get story ideas *
Overcoming fear of failure * The procrastination problem *
Revising, or getting it right * Criticism, or getting it read

Buying Advice and Assistance

The rip-off factor * Learning by doing: the classroom experience *
Developing manuscripts by mail * Evaluating evaluations *
Help from software and hard copy

A Foot in the Door

The Plain Truth About Agents
Rundown on a risky business * The small submissions circle *
Cash and contract negotiations * Partnership patterns * Targeting agents *
The agency contract * When your agent isn't working out

Who Do You Know?
Editors' insecurities * Building an acquaintanceship chain *
Free admission: writers as sponsors, people in publishing and getting a
publishing job * Alliances for progress

Shaping Subject Matter
What editors want * The caring criterion * What readers want *
Translations from the technical * Sharing the wealth of experience * Local
datelines * Crystal balls * The small-is-seminal syndrome *
Guidelines for manuscript development

Openings, or Where to Submit Your Manuscript
Size places: the pros and cons of larger and smaller publishers *
New light on the steppingstone theory * Bonds of affection *
Finding the firm that fits you * Keys to timing * Easy-access markets *
Perils of the vanity press

Procedures, or How to Submit Your Manuscript
Thinking like an editor * Queries, or this way out of the slush pile *
Going one-on-one * Book proposals, or sell it now, write it later *
Poets' ploys * On writing for children * Covering-letter content *
The multiple-submissions route * More moves

A Note on Improving Your Vision

The Sale and Its Sequels

Getting What's Coming to You
The outbreak of hostilities * Judging publishers *
Doing the contract quadrille: agents, lawyers, the Authors Guild and going it
alone * Payment foul-ups and fixes * Fringe benefits *
Power plays for beginners

Editing, Copy-editing, Design, Production and Part-and-Parcel

How to pre-edit now and avoid trouble later * Understanding editorialese *
Conflict management * The anti-snafu checklist and the index oversight *
Free-play period * Introduction to marketing maneuvers

Why and How to Be Your Own Best Sales Force
Small expectations and the bigbook bind *
Increasing your influence * Spreading the word *
Sales strategies * The dignity trap *
Comebacks: coping with orphaned manuscripts and other par-for-the-course crises

The Self-Publishing Option

The Case for Doing It Yourself
Home truths about a writer's real choices * Natural candidates *
Facts about fiction * The self-publisher personality profile

Creation Processes: From Editing to Entity
What to watch out for * Legal rights and obligations * The cover story *
Design, production and hired help * Print runs and pricing

Managing Sales
The tri-part head start * Endorsements, reviews and other print publicity *
Bookstores * Better stores * Straighter routes to readers * The rights stuff


Finding Funding
Grants * Room, board and solitude: what writers colonies offer *
Field expedients and tax tactics * The salary solution * Institutional angels

Metamorphoses * Excerpt opportunities * Ghosting * Packaging * Publishing *
Talking and teaching * Never Say Die department


Righting the Scales of Success
The silent treatment * Behind the best seller lists *
Achievement Awards checklist #1

A comprehensive review of the best: Books * Magazines *
Internet Sites * Newsletters * Information Centers

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