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555 Spring Street Suite 605, Bethlehem Pennsylvania 18018

About Where Books Begin

Where Books Begin, LLC was founded in 1992 by veteran editor Ellen E. M. Roberts to bring the old-time editorial attention back to authors. Roberts, who had been an acquisition editor at St. Martin’s Press, William Morrow and Prentice-Hall, as well as a sales manager at Columbia University Press over a period of 25 years, understood that 80% of book income is earned by the top 20% of titles. She knew from her work in sales that it is the author rather than the publisher whose name actually sells books. Where Books Begin concentrates on helping authors get their reputations as well as their books into the best possible shape before the book is sold. This is crucial in today’s volatile publishing atmosphere.

Because book publishers today concentrate their resources on the distribution rather than the development of book titles, books are shaped by their authors, not their publishers. Editors do not have time to work with authors on great ideas that need polish to become great books. A publisher is far more interested in working with an author who has had some success than with an untried amateur. At Where Books Begin, Ellen E. M. Roberts and her editorial staff guide authors to get their projects in excellent shape before the manuscript is shown to an agent or a publisher.

At Where Books Begin, the editorial support extends through the selling process. We help authors find agents, editors, publishers and publicists. We stand by our authors through the publication process and help them develop new projects and new licenses for old projects.

We work in person, by mail and over the Internet. An initial consultation in our office, useful for the writer who has more than one project to sell, is available for an hour for $250. An initial consultation outside of the office — at a conference or at your site — is $350. If you have a manuscript that you would like to work on, we read, evaluate and comment on a manuscript for $350. Once the writer has initiated a relationship with Where Books Begin through an office visit or a manuscript evaluation, other services are available. We charge on a job basis, not an hourly rate. All prices are agreed upon in advance, and billed monthly. The first telephone consultation is free.

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