This is not meant to be discouraging, but a help, so read the entire article. Writing a book is extremely difficult to do—as opposed to those Politico’s or Hollywood’s who have someone else write their stuff and they sign their name to it. If you think writing the book was hard, once the book is finally written, the work truly begins. Also, you better have some money stuffed somewhere, because no one does anything for free. This was the one thing I never thought of. There is also the element that you also might make an enemy or two along the way. Why would it cost you anything? Consider, there is the cost for getting your book truly copyrighted, WHICH YOU NEED TO DO IMMEDIATELY BEFORE YOU START PASSING IT AROUND. There is also the cost for getting it posted with as many publishers as possible through the Internet. Those who do take cold sends, still want hard copies mailed to them. The upside is—when you begin to search, you will find there are still quite a few out there who will accept cold contacts, so long as you follow their rules. Shipping heavy paper to each one of them costs…. Then there is the Agent, who claims they don’t want any money up front, they are only there for you, until you find they never once read your book, an assistant did. Money? None, EXCEPT, for more shipping to publishers who MIGHT be interested, and the cost of printing X numbers of copies (ouch!), and for the assistant who proof read the work and cast their comments—not for corrections, but to advise if the book is sellable. If (God willing) it does gets printed, there are tons of hidden costs you have to pay to the Agent, that he/she neglected to tell you about. However, I’m ahead of myself. If your book piques a publisher’s interest, there is the cost of traveling to discuss a contract, and of course your Agent will need to go along, therefore YOU will be footing his/her cost for the trip. If you actually read the contract being offered, as I did, and if you, like I did, reject the contract—you have just made a half-dozen enemies—some will be people you never heard of before. Okay, all the while the above is going on, there will be sales people from the Self Publishers contacting you, because they can see the same sites you listed your book on for Traditional publishers to get a glimpse at. I took the time to talk to several of them, and for each one, YOU BETTER HAVE A TON OF MONEY TO SPEND AND LOSE. Do not believe a word one of the salespersons says. You will never see a copy of your book in Borders, or any other book store. They may ship it, but the store will never put it on their stand. Don’t dream of signing dates—it ain’t going to happen. What a bummer—who invited this jerk on our Forum? Ah, it isn’t the end of the world. What I’m trying to say, get the pie-in-the-sky look out of your eyes, this is business if you want to be a professional writer. First, make friends. All kinds of friends. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR DREAM OF A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER, and make sure your book is actually copyrighted by the government. Set up a website, put the book in PDF format, and offer it as an eBook, with your own ISBN number (which, of course cost a few hundred more dollars), but it is necessary to be legit. Burn the book on a CD, advertise it, hand out free copies to your friends and neighbors, and get the word out every which way you can. Surprisingly, you will get one order, then later another, then anther, until you are an honest to goodness selling author. I am proof that it does work. Does this harm your chance with a Traditional publisher? On the contrary, their constant complaint is that they are gambling because your book may never sell, and they will lose money. You now have proof that it will and does sell. Honestly, I believe this is the future for a budding author. These are just some of my personal experiences, and you may fly through the process, and become the next John Grisham with the ease of a fly. If so, God bless, but remember the rest who are still struggling after you have become famous.