1. BraveAlbert
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    BraveAlbert New Member

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    What are the requirements?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BraveAlbert, Aug 28, 2009.

    Hello everybody,

    I was hoping someone could give me advice on what publishers are looking for in a non-fiction book.

    I am writing a book on confidence and self-esteem and hope to have it finished by the end of next month. It is not going to be a huge book.

    Regards,

    Albert
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You should look at other published nonfiction books that are similar to yours. That's a good way to see what publishers want in a nonfiction book about confidence, self-esteem, etc. Length requirements vary depending on the publisher. Check the publisher's guidelines to see what they would like as a word count.

    A quick google search told me that 80,000 is the average length for a nonfiction book. That's very similar to the word count of a novel from a first-time author.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good advice from tw... what i'd have said myself, if he hadn't gotten here before me, thanks to me being out in the middle of the pacific, where it's only 8 am right now...
     
  4. Snap
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    Snap Member

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    Build a platform. This is essential to the non-fiction writer. Read "Get Known Before the Book Deal," by Kristina Katz. You want to be able to have a following before you're published, otherwise your books won't sell. This is almost required when getting an agent, as well. You want to be able to list your credentials in the query letter, and why you're qualified to write the book.
     
  5. BraveAlbert
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    BraveAlbert New Member

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    Thank you very much.

    Are there any websites for publishers guidelines?

    Thank you
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not really...

    all publishers provide their own guidelines, no two being exactly alike... you have to check out each one and tailor your query and submissions to their stated preferences/requirements...
     
  7. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    I'm going to mildly disagree with Snap about the platform. Certainly having a readership base of some sort is extremely helpful but not yet absolutely essential. (I didn't have much of one and still managed to snag a publisher.)
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and i have to strongly agree with your mild disagreement, frank...
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    With non-fiction, you need some kind of authority, some reason why you are the best person to be writing this particular book (as opposed to fiction, where anyone can write anything). You'll find that the majority of people writing self-help books have worked as psychologists, counsellors, social workers, scientists, or at the very least have lived a remarkable life that has enabled them to give advice to others and are exceptionally good writers (those who aren't often use ghost writers). You also need to be aware of what is already on the market - unlike with fiction, recycling ideas or concepts is rarely a good idea, particularly if there is already a well-established book dealiing with your idea. If you can't show that you are offering something that a reader can't get somewhere else, the publisher is unlikely to waste time taking a chance.
     

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