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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Includes tips about everything from agents to electronic publishing.
Paperback, Fifth Edition, 400 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Alpha (first published August 9th 2000)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  151 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring self-help writers; NOT novelists
As an aspiring novelist, this book didn't do much for me. I could tell by the second chapter that it was really more oriented toward the non-fiction book writer. Example: I skipped chapters 7 and 8 all together because they specifically had the word "Nonfiction" in the chapter heading.

That doesn't mean that there was nothing of value in here, just that I was not in the target audience.

Also, many of the tips just seemed like common sense:

* try to get to know other authors
* try to get to know edit
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this a little while ago. I found its advice invaluable.

I have been keeping it on my shelf as a reminder to keep writing, keep working on publishing such works as opposed to rolling over and keep napping, keep brushing out the kittens or keep scrubbing those lovely ones' litter boxes.

However, I decided at long last it is time to get going, stop lollygagging in Lala Land.
Please know, fellow denizens of the world writ large, this author Sheree Bykofsky provides ample information to get you
Sarah J
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-writing
I give this book five stars for how informative it is, not for readability. But this is not a book for fun. If you're a serious writer or seriously considering being a writer, this book is a good tool for understanding how the publishing world works. And I was very surprised to see how much work the publishing house takes in selling a book. Bykofsky and Sander don't pull punches, explaining the likelihood your book makes the best seller's list or gets a second printing. But even with the cold ha ...more
Miss V
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: schreiben, buchmarkt
Richtet sich v.a. an Personen, die non-fiction schreiben und sich im (anglo-)amerikanischen Bereich betätigen. Für alle, die in anderen Genres schreiben und ihr Buch nicht in erster Linie Übersee verlegen wollen, sicherlich auch interessant, da sich vieles abstrahieren lässt. Man muss sich nur vor Augen halten, dass dieses Buch auch schon viele Jahre am Buckel hat und einige Informationen kurzlebiger sind als andere.
Brandon Miller
More than likely this book would have gotten a higher rating if I had read it when it came out. But I didn't, and most of the information I gleaned from this book is outdated in today's fast-paced publishing world. Still, there are some fantastic nuggets of wisdom in here, but only if you know enough about the business to discern what is current and what is old, old hat.
Alain Burrese
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
"The Complete Idiot's Guide To Getting Published Fifth Edition" by Sheree Bykofsky and Jennifer Basye Sander is a very good general overview of getting a book published. Like other books in the series, it provides simple and well organized advice on the topic. There are many books that delve deeper into the topics presented here, but this is a good general book on the entire process. Once read, an author or aspiring author can look to these other resources for the areas he or she needs more info ...more
J.S. Green
If you're writing non-fiction, this book will probably be very helpful. But if you're interested in publishing a novel, you'll probably be left wanting. This is not to say the authors don't cover publishing fiction, just that it's neither their expertise nor their focus. It's like a restaurant meal where the mashed potatoes were great, but the meat just wasn't very flavorful - it's just not satisfying.

The authors, both who've worked as editors, one who seems to have published a number of books
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a number of great mysteries in life: the Most Holy Trinity, what happens inside a black hole, what women do when they go to the bathroom as a group. Another is exactly how it is that a book moves from being an author's idea to a manuscript to a published volume. The authors of this guide are both widely experienced in the business of publishing. They share their collective years of experience with the novice writer approaching the prospect of giving birth to a book. Much of thei... (sh ...more
Christine Otis
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The authors are very informative, honest and provide very specific information that many writers need and should heed to.

I think knowing the other side to selling and querying an agent is outside the realm of so many writers and yet, so many are unwilling to seek out the information they need.

This book has it.

It would greatly help their understanding, focus and how to query and handle the process of seeking agents.

I highly recommend this read.
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book about two years ago and thought it wasn't relevant to me. It was recommended by an agent friend of mine and now I find this book invaluable. The authors take the mystery out of publishing and even include examples of proposals and contracts. They're not afraid to recommend web sites and other books to further a writer's education. If you want a book published and feel you need to know that world, buy this book.
Kristen Gurri
I wasn't too impressed with the book at first. My fiction writing project is almost to the second draft stage so a lot of the information didn't pertain to me.

However, the second half of the book provided a very good education on what to do after you declare your text proofed and polished and ready to face the world.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-learning
Very basic info. Again, different from book publishing in Indonesia (although just a little). Useful if you want to learn everything from the basic and not just about publicizing the book. It starts from the writing, submitting manuscript, deadline, how the book gets into stores, and how to publicize (only about 3 chapters about that, which is too bad).
Ben Behunin
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am glad I picked up this book early in the process of arranging my own book. It was helpful and positive. Many of the other books out there are rather negative, or mayby just too realistic. No one likes to hear how slim your chances are when you're pouring your soul into your work. This book offers hope, or at least a hint there of.
Shavar Ross
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extensive and extremely informative book on getting your book published. Reading this book gave me the confidence that I may not necessarily have to self-publish. The CD gives great samples on book proposals, agent-author contracts, publisher contracts, info on literary agents, etc.
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some good website and periodical suggestions here and it laid the publishing world out in a clear, simple manner. For someone completely new to the idea of publishing it could be very helpful. I found some good advice but also found it to be really fairly basic stuff.
A.M. Bochnak
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very helpful and honest in understanding the aspects of the world of publishing. Focused on traditional publishing and clear that the authors are not fans of self-publishing. If you are only interested in self-publishing I do not recommend.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
As an overview of the inner workings of getting published, I found the book to be a great resource, not only did it provide practical advice but also brought a common sense approach. I will surely use the author's advice both in my personal writing as well as in my classroom.
Spencer Hill
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-library, writing
Its a good start on the process of getting published by a publisher. It tells how to work with agents, editors, production people, sales and book store owners. The book was a quick read with many helpful tips. If you want to get published it is a worthwhile read.
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
This was a good book to start with, but I kind of wish it was more focused. A lot of the publicity information, especially, seemed more geared to promoting non-fiction works, instead of fiction. Is there an Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Novel Published? Because I want one.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I much prefer reading fiction, but this was very helpful. Favorite lines:
1. "Artful language does not make good storytelling. Conflict does" (108).
2. "Writing a book is an art. Publishing a book is a business" (161).
M. Shipley
Very informative, but when I sent them a query letter, (as the said to in the book I paid for!) I got no responce. I would have thought with all the good advice, they would at least say they recieved the letter!
Jun 15, 2007 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Still working on it. I'm busy trying to write my own proposal.
May 03, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Need to write a query letter...and finish the book. and a lot more
Ray Charbonneau
Decent general overview of the process. If you know the questions to ask, similar answers are readily available online, but the book help to make sure you cover all the questions.
Kimberly Ross
rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2016
Tushar Ranka
rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2019
Corinne Anderson
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Dec 15, 2015
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Feb 03, 2016
Kim Gottschild
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Jan 03, 2008
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Owner/Agent Sheree Bykofsky Associates, Inc.

Sheree Bykofsky is the author, co-author and editor of more than twenty books, including the best-selling The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published (Pearson), now in its fifth edition, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles (Pearson), The New York Public Library Desk Reference (Simon & Schuster), three editions of the region