As the Publisher of Alpine Publications, I think back over the years about how we met our authors, many of them never before published, and how we decided to publish their book, I find the variety of stories totally amazing. Alpine Publications began with two authors self publishing two dog breed books and forming a company. The books were so well received that soon others began coming to us and asking us to publish a similar topic.
Our first contracted authors were quite diverse. Bobbie Roos, a famed Collie breeder/judge asked us to do a breed book on Collies similar to our own. We didn’t like “formula” books and wanted to provide in-depth, honest, and accurate information, so of course we said “Yes,” and were honored to publish Collie Concepts.
An exiled Russian princess who had married an American serviceman and moved to California, Kyra Wayne was a published author who had written about the adventures of their Doberman Pinscher. I’m not sure how she found Alpine, but we published her book and Max, The Dog That Refused to Die was translated into four languages, adopted by Scholastic Books and published as a Bantam paperback edition. It was even considered for a movie.
Phyllis Holst, DVM, was a fellow Sheltie breeder and friend who lived nearby. Her book,
Canine Reproduction: The Breeders’ Guide has been an Alpine bestseller for nearly 30 years and is now in it’s third revision.
I met Clarice Rutherford at CSU when she wrote a pamphlet on puppy raising and training for the Colorado 4-H program. We discussed and planned her book over lunch meetings. Famed mule trainer Meredith Hodges and author of Training Mules and Donkeys just happened to be a neighbor. Her first book, published by Alpine, launched a host of other self-published books and videos.
A number of authors were cold queries from hopeful writers with no background in writing or publishing. Among them was my favorite all-time query, from new author/trainer Jeff Schettler. His unique query letter was actually the preface to his book, and it hooked me from the first sentence. Jeff’s second Alpine title, on trailing dog training, is scheduled for publication this year.
I’ve met authors at writers’ conferences, pet conferences, dog shows, public events, through referrals from frineds and authors. I’ve received submissions in every form from an idea, a formal proposal, or a completed manuscript.
The bottom line: If you have something important to say, are good at organizing your thoughts and putting your expertise into words, there’s a good chance you can write a non-fiction book and find a publisher somewhere.