Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents : Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over! by Jeff Herman
Jeff Herman’s Guide is the best jam-packed book of good information for writers I have ever read. It is more than two inches thick and has 1,094 pages. The font size is large enough that I don’t need a magnifying glass to read it. It gives a broad picture of how authors, agents, and publishers work together. It gives vital information about publishers, agents, and book doctors (editors) to help writers achieve the goal of getting their manuscripts published. It has the keys to publication success. It’s sold more than 350,000 copies. I keep it close to my computer and take it with me on vacation. I think if I use the resources inside, I will get my work published. If you can get a copy from the library or purchase a copy, I believe it holds the keys to your publication success, too.
The book has the following ingredients:
1. Big Publisher Multi-National Conglomerates
2. Independent United States Publishers
3. Canadian Book Publishers
4. University Presses
The first four sections of this book are about publishers. It gives you book publishers and the names of their editors when the book went to press. He gives you the big conglomerates, independent book publishers, and Canadian publishers, and university presses. It has picture symbols to denote different genres: religious (cross), romance (heart), children’s books (school bus), and others for adult, poetry, fantasy, etc. By browsing for a certain icon, you can quickly find publishers who are interested in your genre.
Each category lists the snail mail address, phone number, and website. It tells the history of the company. It lists the titles published. It tells you what genres each publisher is looking for and which the publisher does not accept. It gives submission guidelines. It tells whether a publisher accepts only agented material or if they will accept unsolicited manuscripts. Even though Jeff took great care to print the latest publisher guideline information in his book, it is very important to check the website for up-to-date submission guidelines before you submit a manuscript.
Follow a publisher or agent’s latest guidelines. If you don’t read and follow their guidelines, publishers, editors, and agents deem that you are not ready for publication. To get an advantage in being chosen, follow the submission guidelines.
5. Literary Agents – It explains the job of a literary agent. It tells you his hobbies and personal interests, too. It lists the snail mail address, phone number, and website. It tells the history of the agency. It tells if he is a member of the Association of Author Representatives. It’s a good idea for your agent to belong to this association. It lists authors the agent represents, along with the published book titles. It tells subjects and categories that interest him and those he definitely, absolutely, positively does not want.
6. Advice for Writers – Essays about unsolicited manuscripts, query letters, proposals, author-agency contracts, self-publishing, and future of publishing. It contains samples of good query letters and proposals.
7. Independent Editors (Book Doctors) – Information about editors that Jeff Herman trusts. You can choose one according to their experience, reputation, and the authors for whom they edited manuscripts. Sometimes these editors recommend you to an agent or a publisher.
8. Resources for Writers – Lists book titles, websites, and blogs that help writers improve their craft in adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction.
9. Glossary – Contains definitions of important writing terms.
10. Index – Has page numbers for publishers, editors, literary agents, and subjects mentioned in the book.
My Suggestions for using Jeff’s Guide:
1. Borrow the book from the library or a friend or purchase it.
2. Purchase a notebook (spiral or bound) or make a computer file with your favorite word processing software, like Microsoft Word or Microsoft Works.
3. After you read each section, make a list of ten publishers, agents, and book doctor editors who are a good match for you and your book(s). Write the name of your manuscript you plan to send them. Put page number in Jeff’s book, so you can go back to it.
4. Highlight three to send query letters or cover letters with manuscript.
5. Write down the submission guidelines. Put a link to the website. If they accept email submissions, include the email address. Write the name of editor who receives the submission queries. Follow a publisher or agent’s latest guidelines. If you don’t read and follow their guidelines, publishers, editors, and agents may decide that you are not ready for publication. To make sure they choose you, follow their submission guidelines.
6. Send off three submissions. Reward yourself.
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope reading my blog inspires you to Never Give Up on yourself or your writing.
Giveaway Finished in 2011. My sincere thanks to Jeff Herman and his publicist, Beth Pehlke, for donating three free copies of his book and allowing me to review his book and interview him on my blog. I am very honored that she chose me.
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share a link to my blog with others.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright 2011 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.