YOU WROTE IT – NOW SELL IT – from Write Your Book, Publish Your Book, Promote Your Book – on Amazon

by Corinne

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Write Your Book - Publish Your Book - Promote Your BookCHAPTER FOUR – TRY TO GET AN AGENT

The days when eager, new English major graduates from Smith and Wellesley were hired by publishers to plow through piles of unsolicited manuscripts are over.

Publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts.

They only work with agents they know and trust will not waste their time. Agents who know what they can sell.

You have to find an agent to represent you. This is not easy but it can be done if you do your homework to find an agent who handles your topic.

Writers Digest is one place to start. It is published yearly and contains information on who accepts what and how to submit. You can also read this in the library.

Another source is the National Writer Union. This involves joining – pretty reasonable – and it will give you access to their web page and information on agents and everything you ever wanted to know about publishing. They also hold classes in different cities on contracts and negotiation. Worthwhile investment.

Zero in on several agents who handle books like yours and write them a dynamite query letter. Include your “platform” (read that people who know you) on how you can publicize your book. Mention your connections with groups, any speaking you have done and stats on a successful blog you author. Offer to send them a few chapters of your book.

Then wait. They do not answer quickly. Write a few more letters to other agents.

You will get rejections. Don’t be discouraged. It does not mean your book has no merit. It means they don’t have a customer for it. If anyone responds asking for a “reading fee,” ignore it. Reliable agents do not ask for money.

Be wary also of the Vanity Presses who will charge you a fortune, do nothing much to help you – and you will end up with 2500 unsold books in your garage.

The main reason you want a publisher to print your book is their DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM – to get your book in stores. Most distributors will not be bothered if you have only one book.

You might also forget any fantasies about glamorous book tours. Unless you are someone like Wayne Dyer, publishers will spend little money on you. Forget the Carrie Bradshaw episodes from Sex and the City when she was promoting her book with fancy parties and travel. By the way, her “platform” in that series was her newspaper column.

If your book is accepted by a publisher, they will expect you to do almost all your own publicity.

You may decide to publish your own book. There is something about the thrill of holding a book with your name on it. It is the greatest high.

Or will you be happy with your book in a digital format like Kindle?

There are many self publishing programs. Some of the good ones are Createspace and Kindle, which are affiliated with Amazon.  Some of my author friends and I have used them with excellent results. They are “print-on-demand” so you don’t have to put a lot of cash out. You pay by the book.

The advantage of self-publishing is you keep the money you make and do not share it with an agent. The disadvantage is again, distribution to book stores.

Amazon owns Createspace for publishing paperback books and Kindle, which is taking off like a rocket and outselling paperbacks with their digital design books.  They sold over one million Kindles a week in December 2013.

They operate like two different companies.  And they are almost FREE.

If you want to publish a paperback book, make a new email you will only use with them and sign it with it to

The advantage is that you can have them print your book and order copies as you sell. Do your research and pay attention to the format they require to print your book as a paperback.

For publishing on Kindle – if you already have an Amazon account which you have used to buy books or merchandise, sign in with your regular account and scroll down to the bottom to access Kindle information.  Or you can go directly to their webpage which is  They will ask you to sign in with your regular Amazon account information.

It looks as though Amazon is taking over the world of publishing now.  I am using both Createspace and Kindle to publish my books and their service is excellent.

The programs require some technical ability. That is not me, as I have admitted often.  But after a time and many mistakes (which they excuse) you will figure it out.

If I can do it – you can.  There are many manuals on it and their websites are very informative.

Once you get the hang of the two different systems, you will become a publishing genius.  Almost.  When they turn down your manuscript, they tell you what was wrong so you can go back to your original word copy and fix it.  Since it is all automated, there is no one to tell you how stupid you are.  Nice feature.  Your new upload replaces your old one.

Couple of handy tips that I learned when writing on either Amazon  products because I didn’t know better.

1.  Write in word

2. Don’t change typeface in the middle of your document.  Avoid Times New Roman. ( No, I don’t know why)

3.  Don’t use much bolding or caps, especially on Kindle because it has a small screen.

4.  Make sure you include page breaks or it will all run together.

5.  You might start with Kindle as Amazon will format it for you.

6.  Createspace is a little more difficult because you will have to set size of book, margins and something called gutter.  Took me many drafts to realize this was the space between paper pages.  Try .375 if your book is under 150 pages.  They are really nice about helping you, by the way.

7. Buy my book.  Best for you as a beginner if you get the paperback.  It’s easier to go back and forth.  Lots of information.  It’s reasonable.

8.  All you have read here is useless if you don’t write your book.




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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew from Business Blogging
February 7, 2014 at 2:24 am


I’ve published all my books using the Amazon services, CreateSpace and Kindle. It’s easy to set up and the service is excellent…like you say.

At this stage I don’t need to use any other service. Perhaps sometime in the future?

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Corinne Edwards
February 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Dear Andrew –

I think the reason your books are so professional is that you took the time to format them exactly.

It is so important to review carefully.

Especially on Kindle, you can review the book before you publish. They let you look at the book page by page.

One thing, because Amazon does the formatting, you can end up with one short sentence or even one word on a last page in a chapter. Awkward.

It is easy to correct if you go back to your word file and eliminate something not imperative so the whole last chapter ends on one page. Then resubmit.

Your expertise shows in your books.
Corinne Edwards recently posted..YOU WROTE IT – NOW SELL IT – from Write Your Book, Publish Your Book, Promote Your Book – on AmazonMy Profile


Beat Schindler
February 9, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Hi Corinne, I am also travelin’ the self-publishing route of Kindle and CreateSpace. Especially after hearing from friends unlucky enough to have experienced “vanity press”.
Other self-publishing resources I keep earmarked
lulu, sigil and calibre-ebook (the comment box doesn’t allow links).


Corinne Edwards
February 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Dear Beat –

It is certainly good to look around at different self publishing programs.

They offer different options.

For example, my friend wanted her book in a spiral notebook fashion. It was a how-to book and she wanted the reader to be able to look at it flat. One side was an illustration and the next page was the instructions.

Createspace could not do that. So, she went to Lulu.

But as far as cost is concerned, Amazon is your best bet unless you have special reqirements.
Corinne Edwards recently posted..YOU WROTE IT – NOW SELL IT – from Write Your Book, Publish Your Book, Promote Your Book – on AmazonMy Profile


February 10, 2014 at 10:16 am

Love the way you lay things out Corinne. The way i look at it these days Amazon and kindle are the only way to go. now if you have written many books like Stephen King that is a whole new ballgame.

Thank you again for always being there when we need help. Keep writing.
Debbie XXX
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Corinne Edwards
February 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Dear Debbie –

If you are Stephen King, you don’t have to do anything but write the book.

Someone like him has a whole publishing program backing him up.

They take care of all the details – and yes, all the promotion, travel, advertising – the works.

I am writing this series for people who are not (yet) publshing big shots.

But think positive. We can be.
Corinne Edwards recently posted..YOU WROTE IT – NOW SELL IT – from Write Your Book, Publish Your Book, Promote Your Book – on AmazonMy Profile


Anne from get confidence February 12, 2014 at 4:56 am

It’s true what you said about marketing. Most publishing houses will do no marketing whatsoever. And if they won’t what’s the point of having them draw down most of your money when your book is sold? It’s better to do it on your own, then reap the benefits of your labour yourself.
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AnneV. February 13, 2014 at 7:49 am

Thanks again Corinne for the valuable advise. I plan on using Kindle/Amazon as it seem like a very good way to start!

You are a wealth of how to knowledge!

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March 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Dear Anne –

Since you already have a book with all your great posts – get started and put them in the order you want them to be read.

Make sure they are in word and use a nice script font like Ariel 12.

Good luck.


Then find a real catchy name for the book.
Corinne recently posted..AN INTERVIEW! And scared to death.My Profile


Raymond Chua
February 24, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Hi Corrine,

Thanks for the tips. I love the last sentence. It makes so much sense.

What’s the use of reading and obtaining the information if there’s no intention of writing a book. That’s really helpful. 🙂


Wendy March 10, 2014 at 11:39 am

Some great advice, and tips. I just need to get round to writing the book now !
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March 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Dear Wendy –

Looks like you are getting ready. Good news.

Just start. Anywhere.

Good luck and let us know.
Corinne recently posted..AN INTERVIEW! And scared to death.My Profile


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