Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

Louise from Hemet asks “How do I find a publisher for my book?”

Louise, that is a question every writer, especially newbies, would like to know the answer to.

Occasionally an editor will solicit a book, but rarely. The best way is look for an agent. Agents are a queer bunch because you never know how they will react to a query. Unless they ask you not to submit, you can look for one who accepts proposals. It is like digging around in a manure pile, but at the bottom you might score. I would like to hear from you again, as to how you make out. Wishing you good luck.

I’ve had half a dozen questions about what to do when a manuscript is turned down by an agent. Simple, keep on digging in the pile. Small agents are easier to access than the big naes. Even professional writers sometimes prefer a young agency looking for clients.

William from Idyllwild asks, “Would you be willing to edit my book?” If I edited every book that is presented to me I wouldn’t have time to write this column. Sorry. However, I made a check and there are a number of independent editors who are advertising online.

Now, a bit of education about writing if you are a first time writer or a professional. Research, rewrite and rewrite. Research is probably the most valuable instrument a novice writer can have because details are in the dark areas that are so often overlooked or forgotten. I had an experience with my James Garner biography that taught me a lesson. In one of his films I listed a director. I didn’t look further. A reviewer from a San Diego newspaper quickly set me straight. The producers changed directors somewhere during shooting of the film and the new director got credit for the film when it was released. That so often happens in movies and if you are doing a biography of a star, be careful. There were several changes in one of the largest films of all time. Gone With The Wind.

Now, as to rewrites. Good writers will rewrite even when they’re in the process of writing. When I am working on a book, I go back and look at yesterday’s work and rewrite the hell out of it sometimes. Just depends on how I feel about it. If you are into your work you will certainly want to inject who you are as a storyteller. Otherwise you might as well be writing a textbook. Writers are a dime a dozen. Story tellers are premium and both agents and editors treasure them.

Keep reading, writing and letting me hear from you. Just sayin’

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