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Trying to publish a book on family values and integrity

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forsusan

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I know it's easy to complain. I'm one of the biggest offenders, but does it help. Maybe yes maybe no. There is one thing that I'm trying to do, and that is publish my late wife's book, "Make the Light Out, of What My Pennsylvania Dutch Mother Taught Me About Daily Living" It's about preserving the family unit, and loving and respecting self and others, and responsibility. As an educator I've seen too many kids who are the victims of a broken home. So I believe on of the solutions is to get back to family.
 

Introversion

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You’re probably aware that “family values” is a politically loaded phrase in the US? If you’re seeking a broad audience, probably best not to characterize it that way.
 

lizmonster

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I've seen your posts around the forums, and I think it's wonderful that you're working to fulfill your late wife's dream.

However, you might want to be cautious about using terms like "broken home" and "family values." The last several decades have left those phrases strongly politically charged. (If that's what you're going for, of course, then just ignore me.)

What sort of help/feedback are you hoping for from the forums here?
 

forsusan

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Thank you for the advice about the "politically correct" language. This started when I was searching for an editor on the FEA. As I was being bombarded by freelance editors, I received one response with some good suggestions, one of which was to register here and have a beta reader read the book.
 

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If you're looking for betas, I'd suggest doing some crits on Share Your Work - there's a non-fiction forum there. Once you reach 50 posts, you can post portions of your book there to get a preliminary sense of how it's reading (if you're looking for that). The more you can interact/get to know the community, the more luck you'll have finding people to read for you.
 

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There's also a whole section of the forums for Beta Readers. You can post a request there.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

mrsmig

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An added note: as with posting for crit in the Share Your Work section, you must have 50+ substantive posts before you can request a beta reader.
 

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Have you thought about Print On Demand (also called Vanity Publishing, but don't be discouraged by the name) ? It's a service where you just send your manuscript and pay for them printing copies for you. The book doesn't go to bookshops but I'm sure your relatives and friends would be happy to receive a copy of it as a gift from you in memory of the author.
 

Marissa D

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"Print on Demand" and "Vanity Publishing" are not at all the same things. Print on Demand is a method of book production, and as such can be used by anyone producing books; vanity publishing is a service offered by companies that often charge steeply for publishing their customers' books.

OP, if you decide to not try for a trade publisher, there's lots of information on AW about different types of self-publishing.
 

forsusan

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Great thoughts and suggestion, thank you!! At this point I"m not sure about printing paper copies of the book. I guess it's too early in the game. I'd like to start with the e-book version. The important thing for me is I have to keep moving forward with the project.
 

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I know this is off-topic, but I think it's important to recognise that lots of children benefit from coming from broken homes. It's better for children for their parents to separate than to continue living together miserably; and it's always better for someone to leave an abusive partner.

Moving on, I agree with the suggestion that you'd find value in giving critiques in SYW even though you can't start your own thread there until you have at least fifty posts. You'll learn a lot about how to revise your work by doing so.

And consider that if you self publish you can offer a print edition of your book without having to pay for lots of copies if you use a POD service like Lulu.com. It broadens your options, and can be a useful thing to do.
 

forsusan

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Thanks again, I've seen some good information on the internet, including youtube. I know in the future I will have to decide whether or not to self publish. How much will I do myself. I do have prior experience in selling on the internet, public outreach and also an education background. So when the time comes I'll be able to market paper copies of the book.
 

Emily Winslow

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Thank you for the advice about the "politically correct" language. This started when I was searching for an editor on the FEA. As I was being bombarded by freelance editors, I received one response with some good suggestions, one of which was to register here and have a beta reader read the book.

Firstly, wishing you good luck with your project.

But I don't see how you got from "politically charged" and "politically loaded" to "politically correct." These are very different terms. Also, I get the impression (perhaps incorrectly) that you are using "politically correct" in a demeaning way (maybe it's the scare quotes, or maybe it's just the way the phrase has often been used).

"Politically loaded/charged" means that the phrase "family values" has a lot of politics-related baggage to it that may or may not represent what you actually mean. It does not mean "politically correct."

Posting on Christmas because I'm ill in bed :-(
 

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Thank you for the advice about the "politically correct" language. This started when I was searching for an editor on the FEA. As I was being bombarded by freelance editors, I received one response with some good suggestions, one of which was to register here and have a beta reader read the book.

This would be a good time to take a close look at The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write. That part about respecting your fellow writers? We really mean it. There are all kinds of people here, from all kinds of places and backgrounds. We value them all. As writers, that means we're careful about language. As humans with compassion and empathy, we try to avoid causing hurt.
 

forsusan

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Thanks again for the advice about the wording. This will help me as I continue the journey to publish a book that I didn't write.
 

lizmonster

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Thanks again for the advice about the wording. This will help me as I continue the journey to publish a book that I didn't write.

What I was really trying to suggest is that when you're marketing a book, you need to know your audience, and know how to speak to them. If you find a trade publisher for this book, they should be doing most of this for you, but if you're looking into self-publishing, you have to be aware of how you're representing the work. (Also, although I don't write non-fiction myself, I think when you're querying it, the more clear you are about what you have to sell, the better luck you're likely to have.)

And I don't want to suggest that the terms you used are necessarily incorrect for your purposes, because I don't know who your intended audience is. But they are, at a minimum, outmoded and somewhat ambiguous. Some research into how the topics covered in your book are discussed in the media would be a good place to start - this can point you toward some current terminology that will be more easily parsed by potential readers.
 

forsusan

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Lizmonster, thank you again for your words of invaluable advice and words of wisdom!
 

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Thanks again, I've seen some good information on the internet, including youtube. I know in the future I will have to decide whether or not to self publish. How much will I do myself. I do have prior experience in selling on the internet, public outreach and also an education background. So when the time comes I'll be able to market paper copies of the book.

forsusan, I just spotted this in another thread you started:

At this time I have a document of about 7000 words with photos on word2010. Some sources state that I should use other software, such as scriviner, etc for the book. Will I be able to get away with word2010? Does it depend on who I go with and what they will require?

If the book you're hoping to publish runs to just 7,000 words then you are almost certainly going to have to self publish, as I can't think of any trade publishers which will consider such a short piece. Most books run to over 50,000 words; some are over 100,000 words.

I might have got this wrong, and your book might be 70,000 words, in which case you've got a far better chance of finding a trade publisher for it. But if I'm right, and the book is just 7,000 words, then I would steer you towards self publication.
 

Old Hack

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Then you're not going to find a reputable trade publisher to publish it for you. It's far too short. Self publishing is probably a better fit for you, but avoid companies which offer to self publish your book for you: they're usually vanity presses, more interested in taking your money than helping you produce a good book.
 

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I've read the blurb of Forsusan's book and it's not about the politically charged sometimes quite offensive use of that phrase, but just about ways for families to stick together through tragedy etc... Just so people are reassured on that.
 

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What have you done to get the book published and why are you not succeeding?

Jeff
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away