Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Publishing help for writers

Q. I'm writing a really good book about how my industry works and how to succeed in it and I believe it will really sell well if it gets into the hands of the right publisher and then to the right people in the marketplace. I know how to write. I don't know how to do the rest of it?

Ans. Writers used to be able to find an agent who took their proposals with chapter samples to publishers that, in the best of worlds, gave the writer an "advance" to write the book and promised to distribute and market it and give the writer royalties ever after. That dream vanished long ago, along with many of those publishers. Today you probably need to find a small publisher or consider online or self-publishing. Whatever you try, you need to present your book to those publishers too. That may be as important as writing the book. Take a look through The Complete Idiot's Guide to Book Proposals & Query Letters, written by Marilyn Allen and Colleen O'Shea, partners in the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency, who explain the steps in detail for writers of both fiction and non-fiction.

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