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My simple insight into finding a Publisher for your book.

I have been asking author friends, self publisher friends, and any sort of spirit guide/divine being/pug/rocks about this lately. And boy do I have a shocking revelation on how to get this done.

books in black wooden book shelf
Books need publishers, that’s just how it works.

I was so worried about asking people how to get all of this rolling for my pug headshot project that I had the big realization about how to talk to Publishers. Speaking of that project and more

Anyway, enough plugging the mailing list, newsletter, whatever you want to call it, back to the main topic at hand!

How the hell do you talk to Publishers!

Find a publisher that is good for your book

This seems pretty simple, I’m pitching my book around to publishers right now and it’s a slower process because guess what… EVERYONE HAS A BOOK! But, when you have a project or book that you are passionate about and know that the people of the world are dying to read/look at/have on their bookshelf, the waiting isn’t an issue. It’s getting an audience.

So, you start researching publishers and find out that there are a LOT of publishers, self publisher, and DIY options (not to be confused with Self Publishers more on this in a minute). Before you get overwhelmed and throw in the towel and give up on your dream, you need to find your niche. I’m doing a coffee table photo book with high end photography, so I’m not going to put together a crafted email/manuscript (yes some houses want a manuscript for a book of photos with nearly no words) for a publisher that doesn’t even handle your genre of book.

So, let’s just go over the publishing options out there first.


This is the old traditional route and what seems to be the most daunting because there are interviews with people, writing of manuscripts, networking, emailing, mailing, dancing, sacrificing to the gods of newsprint and ink, etc. However, this is the “best case” scenario. It’s also the slower route, where it can be a couple weeks… to YEARS, but can be pretty rewarding. Say you go through all the hoops out there and have multiple publishers begging for your book.

Now, if you’re unpublished and don’t have an agent, you will be dealing the acquisitions people directly. That is fine, but you’ll negotiate the terms of the deals, making sure your needs are met, and the song and dance continues. But, once the offer is made from the publisher, the publisher will draft a contract based on those terms.

Through any additional things there, you will keep going back and forth until you have the contract done, signed, and back in the publisher’s hands. Then, this is where money happens, you will get your first advance in about 30 days. Generally half or third of your total advance (and if you negotiated this yourself, good job! you won’t have to give an agent 15% of it, though, 15% doesn’t sound too bad for all that headache you went through haha).

Then you can make a big announcement about the book deal, and creation of the project can start! Hooray, you’re on your way.


When I started, I had looked into this, and this is not only a viable way, but a lucrative way to get your book published. I had spoke with Tony at early on in my stumbling through how to talk to and find a publisher. It had been said to me by a few author friends who solely self publish, “Self Publish is the way to go”. Which led me to Gate Keeper Press.

The gist of self publishing is pretty solid. You don’t have to do a song and dance with your content, manuscript, photos, etc. You’re paying for all of this up front! Yes… YOU are paying for this. “Why in the world would I PAY to have my book made, I should be paid!”, you scream at me through your phone screen before letting me explain.

You’re paying for a service. Now, not all services are created equal, but Gate Keeper is pretty streamlined, so I will use my notes I had for an example.

You have your project, you’re working on it, and have a great idea for it. In my case, it’s my high end photography art book of Pug Headshots.

I set up a call with Tony, the Co-Owner of Gate Keeper Press and told him my idea, and then he broke down the process of everything.

They can handle all the design, layout, distribution, and let me keep ownership rights, royalties, and more.

I want to say how important this is, you get 100% of the Royalties… and Keep all Ownership Rights… and they Distribute your book through Ingram. And if you’ve been researching, you know Ingram is the place where EVERYONE gets books from.

So, you have to pay for this service, where they take care of all the details, do all the leg work, and all you have to do is pony up the money! And they offer a la carte services too if you have other things locked down. So, if you have a built in audience, and you can start crowdfunding your project. People who know and follow you will definitely want to support you in this endeavor!


Good God why are you doing this to yourself. Unless you’re just writing E-Books for Amazon for now, this is a sure fire way to drain your coffers of their gold. Without a publisher, getting a book printed is easy! However, what you miss out on are all the things that cost time and money.

You have to proofread/edit your book. You have to layout your book. You have to design your cover/back/inside sleeve etc. You have to weigh the cost of paper, cover type (hard or soft), and then…

Where are you holding you inventory of books?

You don’t want to talk with a publisher or distributor, so how is it getting into a store?

If you want to get it into a big book chain, how are you doing that?

It all falls on you, and if you don’t have an agent, publisher, or the determination to do all of this yourself. You’re in for a world of hurt.

You might not “need” help to create your content inside the book, but having help for everything else is paramount if you want to be successful.

Having someone with connections to distributors that can get your books ANYWHERE in the world is something that you should never squander.

My insight into finding a Publisher

I will keep this super simple, super easy.

  1. Draft a letter/email that is detailed about your project, your idea, your story. Yes, even IF your have a manuscript drafted already.
  2. Find Publishing houses that deal with your subject or are known for it. (Don’t pitch your Lovecraftian Horror book to the place that publishes instructional education books only).
  3. Email EVERYONE, follow their guidelines if they want a manuscript, sometimes they just want a chat/schedule a pitch call/read your drafted letter first before they want your 100 page manuscript on the characteristics of rocks in the high desert of New Mexico to read through.
  4. It’s important to reiterate. JUST SEND THE EMAIL. Don’t wait, don’t perfect the plan to make it all happen. Draft your email, get it out there. Like I said, some publishers can take weeks to respond, some a few days, some instantly. JUST SEND THE EMAIL!

I’m on this path myself. So it’s just a matter of time before more and more people start getting back to me.

Stefan Glazer the Professional Amateur
Stefan Glazer the Professional Amateur

Photographer, Artist, Pug Dad, Podcast Host, Teacher, Friend

Articles: 162

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