Pollsters report that as many as 80 percent of all Americans say they want to write a book, in excess of 200 million people. And while options for bringing a book to market are expanding, only a small percentage of authors ultimately land a publishing deal. Given that enormous group of aspiring writers, I decided to sit down with an acquiring editor and attempt to demystify the process. Neal Maillet has enjoyed a 30-year career in book publishing, working at publishing companies as diverse as Bantam/Bertelsmann, John Wiley & Sons, Timber Press/Workman Publishing, and Berrett-Koehler. He is currently Editorial Director at Berrett-Koehler, which is located in Oakland, California.