where the writers are
How a Motorcycle Enthusiast Rode His Way to a Book Deal
bibliomaniac
Amazon.com Amazon.com
Powell's Books Powell's Books

It's tough getting your story out, especially when you're an author with something to say. The publishing industry, like a lot of media, is changing radically -- and writers have to find more ways to have their product stand out in a crowded field.

There's an advantage if you write commercial nonfiction, however, because agents can secure a contract before the book is written. In the case of my book, Big Sid's Vincati, my agent landed a publisher by circulating a 35-page PDF document -- consisting of a 15-page writing sample and a 20-page proposal. This format gives the commercial nonfiction writer more opportunities to test out the viability of a potential project before committing to an actual manuscript. It also creates more opportunity for the savvy book agent -- the type who can see a six-figure deal where no one else does, not even the writer.

After seeing a feature article in Cycle World about my dad, Big Sid -- and the one-of-a-kind bike he and I recently built, part British Vincent and part Italian Ducati -- Byrd Levell of the Scott Waxman Agency called me. By the time I closed my cellphone on that conversation, he had me convinced that I had to go off and write Big Sid's Vincati, the story of that motorcycle -- and about a father and son who reconnect after years of estrangement.

Read the rest on DailyFinance.

Thanks as usual to Red Room's Gina Misiroglu for putting me in touch with the DailyFinance/AOL people, which is one of the great ways she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.