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Dear Amy,

I am interested in writing an autobiography of myself. It is based on my military experience, questions that people have about my sexuality, abuse and more. How would I go about publishing this book and trying to make it successful?





Dear Kim,

Assuming that you are a first time author with little writing experience -- my first suggestion is that you get an agent. If you are a published author you might be able to go directly to publishers, but even then an agent is a good go-between. However, before you contact an agent, you should have a good idea of what you want to address in the book -- even have specific chapters outlined. Plus, you have to make a case as to why your book will have an audience and what that audience will be. For instance, is it for women who want to enter the military, etc. You should also spend some time at a bookstore and/or library and find out what other books exist in this category. Ideally yours will be unique and you will be able to present that unique perspective. Even if there are others like what you are proposing, you have to make a case about how yours will be different.

These are all of the questions you will need to address in a proposal. Next you need to find an agent. I'm not sure where you are--but perhaps there is an agent in your area--look in the yellow pages under "literary agents." There are a few in NYC who are feminist friendly. Write them a letter outlining everything mentioned above and even include your more detailed proposal. If they want to work with you, they will probably help to fine-tune your proposal, then send it out to editors and/or publishing houses whom they think will be interested. Then you will see if anyone is interested.

I hope that helps and thanks for telling your story. I'm sure that many people will benefit from it.

Happy writing!



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