One last shot at finding publisher before self-publishing

Subject: One last shot at finding publisher before self-publishing
From: Steven Oppenheimer <writer -at- writemaster -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 14:05:42 -0400

Hi, all. I've been trying for several years to publish a very unusual college hunting guide. I've had some heart-breaking near-misses: One editor loved it, but her marketing people shot it down; just yesterday I talked with another publisher where the editorial staff wanted to publish it, but they sent it to outside reviewers in the education field who said they probably recomment students buy other books instead of mine. (But my book is *different* from the others, so why couldn't they recommend my book *in addition* to the others!? Life sure isn't fair....)

I've tried all the major presses that specialize in the college guides, plus all sorts of other small-to-medium sized presses. I've contacted virtually every publisher I can find that will actually look at the proposal/sample chapters. Of course, most of the really big publishers won't look at the book unless you have an agent -- and the agents seem to universally want to deal with authors who are former Senators or astronauts or Harvard University Presidents, or have their own talk shows, etc. (Hey, that's it -- first I'll become a United States Senator, and then I can get my book published. No, wait, I'm not sure that's the easiest route to go...)

I still have two publishers looking at it, but obviously the odds are not great. I'm leaning towards publish on demand, and putting up a web page for the book. Before I do that, however, I had one more thought:

I'm looking for a list-serve where publishers communicate with each other. I want to join, tell them a bit more about the book, and see if I get any bites. I've tried searching Yahoo groups and the LSOFT International site, and can't find any large list-serves that seem to serve the major New York publishing community. Does anyone know of any such list-serve? Or is it worth placing a small ad in the back of something like Publishers Weekly? Any other suggestions on how I target the publishing community?

Steven Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Communications
Technical and Business Writing: Making The Complex Accessible
writer -at- writemaster -dot- com (301) 468-9233


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