What is the best way to handle pre-contract communication with a prospective publisher?

TAA Member Kamalani Hurley from Leeward Community College asks: “What is normal in the timeline between an acquisitions editor expressing interest in publishing my material and the written contract?”

Textbook author Mike Kennamer, who is director of Workforce Development at Northeast Alabama Community College, and Julia Kostova, an acquisitions editor at Oxford University Press, share their advice:

Why you should write a private and public purpose statement for your book

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20 Ways to get published in an academic environment

Money, establishing tenure and a passion for ideas are just a few of the many primary and secondary motives for publishing, said sociologist Mark Schneider and linguist Joan Friedenberg, both of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Many of these motives, they said, can be fulfilled by different types of academic publishing. They have come up with 20 ways to get published in an academic environment. They are:

Five myths to overcome when writing your first book

Many people live exciting lives, have great vision or imagination and are compelled to seek the long road of writing a book. Writing your first book is an especially daunting task. Where to start? How do you proceed? What if writer’s block hits? And will I ever find a publisher? These are just a few of the myriad of questions that keep would-be authors away from the keyboard and awake at night as they wrestle with conquering the page.

Let’s begin from the rejection pile as it were: Things Not To Do. If you can eliminate some lethal, bad habits, maybe you can free your fingers so they can dance joyfully over the keyboard once again. Are you game? Here are five myths you will need to overcome when writing your first book:

How to maintain a good relationship with your editor

If you develop a good business and personal relationship with your editor, you can get a better feel for how they can provide you with support, said Marilyn “Winkie” Fordney, the author of insurance billing and medical assisting books.

“Find out where the person came from and whether they have been in business for a long time,” she said. “Find out about their personal life. Do they have children? If they do, you’ll know that if sometimes they are unavailable, it might be because their children are sick. When you visit with them, bring toys for their kids. This shows that you remembered about their children.”

Q&A: How to approach a publisher to publish conference proceedings

Q: “I am organizing a conference that I think will be very good. How do I approach a publisher for the proceedings? What is such a publisher looking for?”

A: Michael Lennie, Authoring Attorney and Literary Agent, Lennie Literary and Authors’ Attorneys:

“Ask your adviser; or research similar proceedings to determine their publisher and editor. Obtain several and then contact them to see if they have an interest. The original contact should be by way of a query letter (one well written page) with or without synopsis, sent through snail mail with a SASE. Your initial query should be more detailed (3-4 pages) than the query for an article, including the names and a sentence or two about each participating panelist, his/her subject matter for the proceedings, the forum, date, time, etc.”