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View Full Version : New to the whole writing thing...Please Help!



lawskoolsucks
03-09-2005, 08:33 AM
Hi all, I've looked around this site and there are a lot of great things here. Thanks for the info you've given me so far, and I hope you can help me out once more.

I'm quite intrigued by non-fiction series like Frommer's, Fodor's, Dummies, and Complete Idiot's guide. I own a few and I'm curious how it all works. If someone could break it down for me I would greatly appreciate it.

Who makes money off all of the series books? If Frommer's is a company, I guess they would...but what about series with individual authors like Dummies? Does the person with the original idea of Dos for Dummies still collect today (off titles like French Wine for Dummies)? or does it all go to the publisher? I'm sure it all depends on the contract, but is it possible that it could go either way? I've just started researching writing a nonfiction book, so I'm sure this is all readily available somewhere, I just haven't found it yet. I feel like I have a good idea for a non-fiction book that could possibly be developed into a series. I couldn't write all the books because I'm not knowledgeable about all of the topics.

It seems like the Dummies books are marketed extremely well, but if someone could tell me the pros/cons of writing a how-to book under the Dummies name versus totally independent I would appreciate it. Also, what if I came up with my own series? I notice that they all have different authors, so what are my rights...if I come up with the series am I in the driver's seat or is the publisher b/c they, or I, will need to secure other authors? It seems to me that if I were to write for a series like Dummies I would get more publicity, but I would probably have less say/power/cut than if I went independent...am I totally off? Help!!!! Thanks.

Sassenach
03-09-2005, 05:18 PM
I write for Fodor's on a 'work for hire' contract. They pay me a flat fee and own the rights.

I think most travel guidebooks operate this way.

Uncarved
03-09-2005, 08:22 PM
I have two proposals out: One for a dummies guide and one for the "everything guide" series. Both are pitched to the publisher who owns the rights to the series name and I'd just be the writer. On both I'm assured royalties off the sales if I get the contract. Submitting to series books seems to me the same as submitting to any other publisher, you just follow the standard guidelines.

I'm sure you have a Writers Market guide and have started to research, maybe even read the guides to becoming published.

Vipersniper
03-25-2005, 05:01 AM
:Wha: I am new to this site too and I do not know if this question belongs here but since it is under writing non fiction books I would like to know. I am writing an feature on newspapers and the local vendors charging tax on newspapers. I want to know what is the law in regards to paying taxes on a newspapers. I thought that they were exempt from taxes. Several people want to know. I live in Virginia and when I carried newspapers I could not charge tax on them but went you go to a store and they have it on the stand they charge tax on the papers and many people are getting mad about that. So they asked me to do a piece about it and find out what the law is in regards to that. Thanks.

Sassenach
03-25-2005, 10:04 PM
:Wha: I am new to this site too and I do not know if this question belongs here but since it is under writing non fiction books I would like to know. I am writing an feature on newspapers and the local vendors charging tax on newspapers. I want to know what is the law in regards to paying taxes on a newspapers. I thought that they were exempt from taxes. Several people want to know. I live in Virginia and when I carried newspapers I could not charge tax on them but went you go to a store and they have it on the stand they charge tax on the papers and many people are getting mad about that. So they asked me to do a piece about it and find out what the law is in regards to that. Thanks.

Why don't you simply contact someone for the State of Virginia tax assessor's office?