How to Sell Your Book to Small Beer Press

Wed 2 May 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Or, Not.

First: Start off by reading the guidelines of the publisher you are interested in.

Second: Send publisher a query letter. (Google will help, or here’s SFWA’s model.) Something along the lines of this might work (although a one page synopsis has more chance):

I am an internationally published —- and —-, a nationally acclaimed —-/—-, and an award winning —-. I would like to submit my latest novel to you for publication. It is called —-.

There is no easy way to describe my novel to you. The notable —- University writer and professor of —- Dr. —- -. —-, calls it “a cross between —- and —-.”

The novel has found an unanticipated level of nation-wide demand due to the fact that it shares many characters and settings with my latest album —-, which has fortuitously found its way into the Top 30 on several different national charts for XM Satellite Radio.

Due mostly to XM Radio, I have found a fervent and rapidly growing fan following coast to coast. I was #– in the entire state of —- on the —- Radio Airplay Chart, ranking higher than —- and even the —- in February. At the other end of the country, by March, I had become the Top Artist on for the entire state of —- in several different categories.

There is, of course, an enormous demand for my latest novel within my musical following, because the fans are interested in the stories behind the characters from the album. I have found an interest among more literary and philosophical circles as well, due to the allegorical nature of the novel. In disguised symbols, this novel tackles questions I have also explored through my philosophical publication in the UK with —- , —-, which will soon be distributed in the USA.

I want you to publish my novel —-. May I send it to you for consideration?

—- —-

So, our thoughts: Interesting. Nothing about the novel. Hmm. Marketing plan is there, very nice. makes the “ask” very strongly at the end. But, nothing about the novel. So, our usual short reply:

From: Small Beer Press / LCRW <[email protected]>
Date: April 8, 2007 9:21:51 PM EDT
To: —-
Subject: Re: novel: —-

Dear Mr. —-,
Sorry, not for us, thanks. Best of luck with it elsewhere.
Gavin Grant

Small Beer Press
176 Prospect Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060


But, yesterday we received this:


I am an internationally published —- and —-, an internationally touring —-/—-, and an award winning —-. I would like to submit my latest novel to you for publication. It is called —-.
—- writer and professor of —- —-, Dr. —- -. —-, calls it “a cross between the —- and —-.” He obtained a copy of the book after it was recommended to him by one of his students. From what I understand, the novel has become somewhat popular at —-.

My name has been floating around several academic circles due to the buzz over my forthcoming philosophy publication, —-, with —- in the United Kingdom, for distribution soon in the USA as well.

I have also gained an extensive coast-to-coast American fan following due to seven years of musical endeavors. My latest album, —-, has ranked in the Top 30 on several national charts for XM Satellite Radio. I have toured coast to coast in America, and I have made appearances in Italy, France, Spain, and Mexico also. In addition to selling CD’s, I have also recently been selling copies of my novel in manuscript form at all my American performances due to increasing domestic requests for the work.

Furthermore, I have found demand for the novel from the fans of my various plays. After a few prize winning performances across —- last fall and winter, my latest play, —-, was performed at the official state theater of —- in March. Responding to unrelenting requests, I finally began to sell copies of the novel in the lobby of the theater, and I sold out of every copy I could produce.

I have been able to sell the novel to fans in California, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Connecticut, Massachusets, New Jersey, Maine, and Florida. Some people find me at my plays or concerts and ask to buy it. Other people have just mailed me an order. These are dedicated fans, buying copies I make with a copy machine!

I need to print and distribute this work on a much larger scale. To fully accommodate my nation-wide audience, I want you to publish the book.


—- —-

Wait, didn’t I reply to this already? Darn! Waste of time! (Still nothing about the novel there.)

From: Gavin Grant <[email protected]>
To: —-
Subject: Fwd: novel: —-
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 13:25:20 -0400

Dear Mr. Miller,
You sent us this query twice. See below for our answer.
Gavin Grant

Quick reply:

On May 2, 2007, at 3:07 PM, —- wrote:

I sent you the querry twice because it was obvious that you made a mistake in your first response. Now you have repeated it

Huh. Stops sending out review copies for a second. Yes, I’ve made—and will continue to make—many mistakes but I’m not sure I made one here. This novel—whatever it’s about—probably isn’t for us.

Always looking for a learning opportunity, I asked:

From: Gavin Grant <[email protected]>
To: —-
Subject: Re: novel: —-
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 15:22:18 -0400

I’m sorry, not sure I understand. My mistake was … ?
Gavin Grant

And was taught:

On May 2, 2007, at 3:31 PM, —- wrote:

Your mistake is turning down the novel without even reading it

If only this was today’s single mistake.


No Responses to “How to Sell Your Book to Small Beer Press”

  1. David Moles on May 3rd, 2007 7:13 am

    Did he really spell qery with two Rs?

  2. lcrw on May 3rd, 2007 9:43 am

    It was the heat of the moment. (Now that song will sparkle in your head all day.)

  3. Fred on May 3rd, 2007 4:38 pm

    Curses! You’re right, it will!

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