Set the Stage for a Multi-Book Contract With a Traditional Publisher By Tom Douglas

As a Toronto-based freelance writer, I was often asked when I was going to write a book. When The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, started buying articles about my life growing up in the wilds of Northern Ontario, I figured the time had come.

So I collected a number of both funny and poignant anecdotes I had written about my early life into a manuscript with the title Some Sunny Day. But, as an unpublished author, I found that it wasn’t easy to attract the interest of a traditional publishing house.

Fortunately, I subscribe to and I read about having my manuscript published by Within weeks, I had 200 copies of Some Sunny Day shipped to me. I sent an email to all the usual suspects (family, friends and professional colleagues) announcing the book’s publication and soon I was ordering a second printing. That was seven years ago and the book is still selling well.

That experience gave me the confidence to get into a field I had long been interested in – military writing. My manuscript about a band of brave French-Canadian soldiers who had volunteered to parachute into Nazi-Occupied France during World War Two was accepted by the first traditional publisher I submitted it to. Entitled Canadian Spies, it has sold over 30,000 copies to date (in Canada, 5,000 copies constitute a bestseller). As of this writing, it is being considered as the basis for a television movie.

Two subsequent books, D-Day and Great Canadian War Heroes, are also bestsellers many times over. My fourth book for the same publisher, Valour at Vimy Ridge, has just been released and, while sales are brisk, it’s too early to tell how it will do.

My reputation as a military writer got me an engagement to ghostwrite the Second World War memoirs of a former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot. Entitled Permission Granted. It’s enjoying great sales as well.

I have no doubt that if I hadn’t taken that first step of contacting, I might never have enjoyed my current success. If you have a book in you, what are you waiting for?

For more information about Tom Douglas and his writing career, go to: