View Full Version : My intro and some questions

08-12-2007, 11:21 PM
Hi everyone, I am brand new here. I just started to write my non fiction book. I have a pretty good motivational/ inspirational story, I have been in the news many times and was on the Oprah Winfrey show. I feel like I could do something pretty big with this book. So, I have some questions about agents and publishers. I have read some of the guides that have been posted and they are very informative, but who are the big name agents and publishers? Do I really need an agent? Things of this nature I am just not sure of still, but I know I have an opportunity not only to help a lot of people with my story but myself. Thank you!!

08-13-2007, 04:53 AM
Figure out if you can write it and if so, how long it will take you to complete it. N-f most frequently sells on proposal but it's a bit harder for an unpubbed writer.

S'pose you can do it. S'pose it'll take you three months. Write your killer outline, proposal and first chapters. Query agents. Figuring out appropriate agents is not hard but asking who the best/top ones are is far too broad on no info save it's n-f. N-f is mighty broad, cookbooks, bios, how-to... There's a lot of personal choice involved, too. You've looked at a range of ag guides?
N-f can be sold sans ag... but consider whether you have more than one book in you.

If your media platform is broad, this will be mush easier but you still have to do your legwork. (But not your abs, necessarily.)

Karen Junker
08-13-2007, 11:51 PM
I know a guy who was on TV once - he had a proposal for a non-fiction book that an agent had been unable to sell for him since the book wasn't finished. It made me wonder if he was even going to be able to write a whole book, since he hadn't finished it for his agent. I know most people say a non-fiction book can be sold on proposal, but for me, I'd want to know that I could write a whole book before I tried to sell it!

I think having an agent will be good for you. They can shop the book around and if you get offers from publishers, they can help you sort out which one is the best offer or negotiate the best deal for you. You can search out agents in lots of ways online or in books, but you should also be careful not to use a scammer agent or one with little experience in non-fiction sales. You can find out a lot about various agents here, on the Background Check and Agent Beware threads, too.

08-14-2007, 09:10 PM
I agree with Karen. Find out -- no, strike that, LEARN -- everything you can about the publishing industry, and how to land a reputable agent. Learn how to put together a good proposal and write compelling, entertaining, readable chapters. A good agent is your best friend in this endeavor, because (s)he'll know how the process works and how to find you the right publisher.

Strange is it sounds, writing your story is much harder than living your story! I remember seeing an interview with Nancy Sinatra once, where she was discussing her father's life, and telling stories about the Rat Pack, and the interviewer suggested she write a book. She shook her head in a bit of amusement and said that she has tried several times to write it all down, but the experience was much tougher than she thought! Hope for ghost-writers everywhere, I guess!

Anyway, good luck with your book, and have fun!

08-15-2007, 07:25 AM
Thank you for the replies! I have already started the book and have about 55 book pages(250 words=1page?). I have a lot more story to tell so I am not too worried about being able to tell it. As far as telling a good story, I have a pretty good idea about that too, I am a motivational speaker/college student. I feel like speaking and writing go hand in hand. I have read up on some more agents and decided that I like writers house and sent a query to Maya, the junior agent of al zucherman (sp?). We will see how it goes!

08-28-2007, 11:25 PM
HI jt, I agree, find a good agent. If your story is truly as great as you say it is, an experienced agent can help you wring every bit of sales out of it. I would suggest writing as much as you can, whenever you can. It must not only be a good story, but must also be well told. (You can sell a lousy story with good writing much more than you can a good story with lousy writing.) Also, don't worry about talking about your story here. Newcomers commonly worry about that, and are vague as a result. You are the only one who can write your story, and everyone here is way too busy trying to get their own written & published to worry about stealing anyone else's.

Good luck and keep us posted. There's lots of great writers here who know what this struggle feels like and are happy to share wisdom and support.