I hope you will find this interesting. Maybe some of you will write a book someday. Good luck if you do and I hope this will help you in your endeavor.
The first thing you need to have is a idea for a book of some kind. Mine was for a cookbook. But I had to go further than just a cookbook. What kind of cookbook and who was it going to be my market? For others writing a novel or a children's book, what was their theme and/or story. Who is going to buy such a book?
To write a book, you need to be organized. Develop an outline of what you want to do. Put things in the chronological order that will make sense for the book. Develop your characters if you are telling a story. Do your research, it is needed. Once you have all this ready, review it again. Most likely something will change.
Now write to your hearts content and re-write and re-organize, etc. At some point you will finish and be happy with what you have created.
Now I waited until I had finished the cookbook and tested every recipe before even thinking about how do I get this published. Really, there are three times to think about a publisher and/or a literary agent. You can do this when you first have the idea for the book. You can do it after you have started the book so you have something to show them. You can wait until it is finished, like me, and then they would know exactly what you have written.
I mentioned literary agent or publisher. Most publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. From my searching I'd say something like 80 to 90 percent do not. All of those publishers require a literary agent. The agent usually gets 10% of whatever you receive from the publisher. Even with an agent, publishers only accept about 3 to 6% of what is presented to them for printing.
I found 3 publishers that did not require an agent and sent my book to them. My research found that it would be 6 to 9 weeks before I would hear back from the publisher. Of the three publishers sent the book, one said no, one never replied and the third said yes. O my lucky stars and they sent me a contract.
After having my lawyer review the contact and some more discussion with the publisher, I signed. That was in October of 2010. Now the publisher had to get me and my book into the production cycle. For me that started the beginning of January, 2011.
Next blog I'll continue with what production cycle means and it's timetable.