If you don’t own this book, buy it:

I learned about Jeff Herman’s book at a writers conference last year, from a pleasant, soft-spoken, gray-haired man who makes his living writing erotica.

The book lists publishing houses by genre, their editors by specialty, literary agencies–in short, all the contacts you need to start hammering away, bit by bit, at the wall that separates you from your dream.

The book is aligned more closely with traditional publishing rather than independent publishing, and wood books rather than eBooks, but the 2012 edition recognizes the trend, with a section on self-publishing. Even if you’re content to stick with the electronic format, or self-publish paper instead of pitching your novel to a publishing house, there’s plenty here for you, with 21 essays in the “Advice for Writers” section and lists of resources. But if your long-term goal is to see your book on display at Barnes & Noble, this book belongs on your desk–open, annotated and dog-eared.