Helpful Books and Links

The following information may be helpful to you as you prepare your manuscript and proposal for submission to agents:

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents: Who They Are, What They Want, How to Win Them Over

by Jeff Herman

If you want to get published, read this book!

Jeff Herman’s Guide unmasks nonsense, clears confusion, and unlocks secret doorways to success for new and veteran writers! This highly respected resource is used by publishing insiders everywhere and has been read by millions all over the world.

Jeff Herman’s Guide is the writer’s best friend. It reveals the names, interests, and contact information of thousands of agents and editors. It presents invaluable information about more than 350 publishers and imprints (including Canadian and university presses), lists independent book editors who can help you make your work more publisher-friendly, and helps you spot scams. Jeff Herman’s Guide unseals the truth about how to outsmart the gatekeepers, break through the barriers, and decipher the hidden codes to getting your book published.

Countless writers have achieved their highest aspirations by following Herman’s outside-the-box strategies. If you want to reach the top of your game and transform rejections into contracts, you need this book! Jeff Herman’s Guide will educate you, inspire you, and become your virtual entourage at every step along the exhilarating journey to publication. Ask anyone in the book business, and they will refer you to Jeff Herman’s Guide.

Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why

By Jeff Herman

Want to publish your book?

Learn how—it’s easier than you think!

Charismatic authors and literary agents Jeff Herman and Deborah Levine Herman have successfully sold hundreds of titles and learned—through trial and error—how to write a flawless book proposal that publishers can’t resist. Now you can benefit from their hard work and publishing savvy. In this new edition, they offer guidance and advice that will inspire, educate, and, most importantly, give you the necessary edge to get your book published. They explain:

  • How to shape your idea and create a title
  • Ways to get to know the market and competition
  • Tips on writing an effective outline, query letter, and sample chapter
  • The art and science of fiction and nonfiction book proposals
  • How ten actual proposals (included here) were successfully sold to publishers—and why

How to Write a Book Proposal

By Michael Larsen

The Source for Book Proposals Success!

How to Write a Book Proposal is THE resource for getting your work published. This newly revised edition of the Writer’s Digest Books classic outlines how to create an effective, nonfiction book proposal in a clear, step-by-step manner. You’ll learn the keys to a successful book proposal and how to:

  • Test-market the potential of a book idea and effectively communicate that potential in a proposal
  • Choose the best agents and editors for a particular proposal
  • Create a professional-looking proposal package
  • Predispose publishers to make their best offer

Notes agent and author Michael Larsen also provides insider insights into the publishing industry as well as a plethora of newly updated information including:

  • Recent changes in the publishing industry
  • Updated trend information
  • New sample proposals
  • Expanded instructions for creating outlines

You’ll also find complete guidelines to becoming an effective self-promoter. How to Write a Book Proposal is a must-have for every writer!

How to Get a Literary Agent

By Michael Larsen

Written by a top literary agent who gives writers an insider’s view of how to find and work with an agent throughout the process of getting published. Includes:

— How to know that you’re ready for an agent
— 7 ways to find an agent
— Writing a cover letter that grabs attention
— What to do with an agent once you’ve got one
— What you can expect and what you’d better not hope for
— Making sure this is the right agent for you
— Congratulations, now you have an agent AND an editor
— How to avoid the 7 worst pitfalls for aspiring writers
— And much, much more.

In today’s highly competitive publishing industry, literary agents are more important than ever. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, reference or children’s books, here is everything you need to know about using an agent to launch and sustain your literary career.

Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody can Write

By Elizabeth Lyon

Sign the contract…then write the book. The good news is that almost every nonfiction book published is sold by a proposal. In this comprehensive yet accessible guide, you will learn exactly what a proposal is, what it must contain, and how to pull yours together into an informative, persuasive selling package. Already a favorite for thousands of aspiring writers, this book has been revised and updated by Elizabeth Lyon to feature nearly two dozen actual proposals, plus:

 

  • Choosing a topic based on current trends and competing titles
  • Drafting the perfect concept statement—daring agents and editors to reject you
  • Defining and targeting your readership—then connecting with them
  • Preparing a table of contents and chapter summaries
  • Submitting exciting and well-written sample chapters
  • Writing query letters
  • Devising a marketing plan that will excite agents and publishers

The Chicago Manual of Style

by University of Chicago Press Staff

While digital technologies have revolutionized the publishing world in the twenty-first century, one thing still remains true: The Chicago Manual of Style is the authoritative, trusted source that writers, editors, and publishers turn to for guidance on style and process. For the sixteenth edition, every aspect of coverage has been reconsidered to reflect how publishing professionals work today. Though processes may change, the Manual continues to offer the clear, well-considered style and usage advice it has for more than a century.

The sixteenth edition offers expanded information on producing electronic publications, including web-based content and e-books. An updated appendix on production and digital technology demystifies the process of electronic workflow and offers a primer on the use of XML markup, and a revised glossary includes a host of terms associated with electronic as well as print publishing. The Chicago system of documentation has been streamlined and adapted for a variety of online and digital sources. Figures and tables are updated throughout the book—including a return to the Manual’s popular hyphenation table and new, comprehensive listings of Unicode numbers for special characters.

With the wisdom of a hundred years of editorial practice and a wealth of industry expertise from both Chicago’s staff and an advisory board of publishing professionals, The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, is an invaluable resource in this rapidly changing world. If you work with words—no matter what the delivery medium—this is the one reference you simply must have.

The Elements of Style

By William Strunk Jr.

“The Elements of Style” is one of the definitive texts on all elements of English language style, usage, and composition. Strunk covers such topics as “elementary Rules of Usage,” “Elementary Principles of Composition,” “A Few Matters of Form,” “Words and Expressions Commonly Misused,” and “Words Often Misspelled.”

On Writing Well

By William Zinsser

Wrtten as a complement to Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style, William Zinsser’s On Writing Well is a helpful reference guide on how to write about a wide variety of topics, from business and technology to sports and the arts. In chapters such as “Simplicity,” “Clutter,” “Style,” and “Words,” the author describes the tools and the writer’s craft and how to use them effectively. This book’s insights and advice can help every writer to become a better writer.

Websites

American Booksellers Association www.bookweb.org

Association of Authors’ Representatives www.aar-online.org

Predators & Editors www.sfwa.org/prededitors

BookSense www.booksense.com

Book Wire www.bookwire.com

Literary Market Place www.literarymarketplace.com

National Writers Union www.nwu.org

Publishers Lunch www.caderbooks.com

Publishers Weekly www.publishersweekly.reviewsnews.com

U.S. Copyright Office www.copyright.gov