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March 10th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Hey everyone,

I came across this website while doing some preliminary research for a project I wanted to do. I'm currently a senior at a 4 year university (21 yrs old) and don't know much about writing or publishing. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to be asking this in (if there is someplace else you could direct me to I would appreciate it).

I've started writing a "guide" to how to have a successful college career. My experiences with different strategies, tips, and hints I think would be beneficial for prospective students entering college and had a few questions:

I know a lot of you folk focus on writing novels 300+ page books. I'm thinking this guide is only going to be about 75-100 pages. Can something like this be published?

I've read many posts about word counts on this website. It seems like about 25,000 words is equal to about 100 book pages give or take.

Am I wasting my time writing a guide that may be shorter than 25,000 words.

I just don't know the rules when it comes to publishing with books such as Cliff Notes and self-help books.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


March 10th, 2007, 02:48 PM
Of course it can be published. And you're in a great place to do it - at a university which I'm sure has a small publishing press around there someplace. Being a university, this should be right in their market niche but check their submission policies - they may be sick of college life/strategy guides so you might have to try elsewhere. Avoid vanity presses - they should pay you, you shouldn't have to pay them.

The average booklet is 32 pages and can go usually up to 40. At 75-100 pages, you're a bit thick for the average booklet like Clift notes but don't let that worry you, there's a lot of interesting binding tricks publishers can do.

March 10th, 2007, 04:08 PM
If you are basing this guide on your own experiences at that particular college, try going to the administration of the college or to the publishers of the college newspaper (or any independent college press that serves that community) with your proposal.

There are all sorts of college prep guides that are more general that are put out each year by magazine publishers and college prep agencies. If you really have great stuff, you might find more success breaking it into articles and trying to sell them to some of those publishers on an ad hoc basis. if you actually sell some, you make money, and you start building a brand for yourself.

If you don't sell any, then you may need to look at your writing style and content--if articles based on your work don't sell, then you may have an indication of whether or not your whole project would be marketable.

Good luck

aka Agent Rusty Bones

March 11th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Hawk -- Thanks for your questions but this forum is for people writing fiction, specifically fantasy, science fiction, horror and related fields. That is a very different area of the market from what you are talking about. Our discussions on book length and such do not apply to your project.

I would suggest that you hunt down a book called How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Proposal authored by a literary agent named Michael Larson. It's a very short, precise guide in what you need to do to prep a non-fiction project and how such books are sold. It's particularly useful for self-help works like yours. You should also check out what other college guides are out there already, especially as you will need to convince publishers why your guide is better, different, etc. than those already available. You should also check out your university's resources and whether it has its own educational press. Run a Google search for non-fiction to find other sites where such projects are discussed.

Good luck to you, but I think we can end this thread as it is not germaine to our fourm.