Good afternoon from Manchester… we hope you’ve all had a great week!
Last week we posted about the benefits of self-publishing. Self-publishing is great, and it gives writers an awesome option to get their work out there. But lets face it, every author dreams of getting published. Every author wants to get published. It’s the end goal.
So in order to keep our blog a balanced place, we have compiled some tips to help getting published…
These are tips, steps, to help give you the best chance…
1. Why do you want to write a book?
You need to think hard about the reasons for writing your book. Is it to share your passion? Is it to educate people on a particular subject? Is it to make money?
You need to remember, as much as a publisher may show an interest in a particular subject or story, they ultimately need to think of money.
You need to show a publisher that you not only know the subject, theme, writing style or story; but that you are thinking of it from a commercial point of view.
2. Identify your reader.
A publisher is going to want to know exactly who your target audience is… be specific and think about this seriously.
The book will be more appealing to a publisher, more marketable, if it has a clearly defined target market.
3. Why are you the best person to right this book?
Why would a publisher choose you, and not someone else, to write this specific book? What makes you better equipped, qualified or experienced to do so? The publisher will want to know.
4. Practice! Writing is a craft and takes lots of practice to improve.
Any publisher will want to know you can write, that’s a given. Prove yourself.
If you’re a debut author look for writing opportunities. Write a blog. Find guest blogging opportunities. Perfect your craft.
5. Research your competition.
Find out about your competition. Research the market, and demand, for a book like yours. Any publisher will want to know there is a demand for a book such as yours.
Not only this, but doing your research and reading similar books will help you perfect your craft, as above.
6. Write a book proposal.
This is essentially your business pitch. You need to frame your book, what it’s about, the target market and why you are the best person to write it. You usually need to include a table of chapter content, and two or three chapters. Most publishers and literary agents will require a book proposal.
7. Decide whether or not you need an agent, choose carefully.
If you plan to approach the top, top publishers, you will need an agent. If you plan to target smaller to medium sized publishers, you don’t necessarily need an agent. But it helps. Remember that an agent will take a cut of any earnings. Choose carefully. If you decide to get an agent, find one that understands your book and who can be passionate about it. They will be ‘selling’ you and your book to the publishers, so it’s important to get the right agent.
8. Write a personalised letter to each publisher or agent.
This is important. It’s the equivalent of a cover letter with a job application. Make it snappy, interesting, personal and appealing. Agents and publishers want to be wowed, so make this letter good.
9. Read the submission guidelines.
Obvious. But important. If the submission guidelines says include three chapters, include three chapters. Don’t sent too little or too much. Read the submission guidelines and follow them.
10. Don’t sign anything before consulting a lawyer/solicitor.
A publisher offers you a deal, amazing! Try not to get carried away and sign anything they pass to you. Take the contract away and get it looked at by a reputable solicitor/lawyer.
11. Don’t Give Up!!
If you get rejected by an agent, or a publisher, don’t give up. Keep going. There are lots of agents and publishers, and what is wrong for one of them might be perfect for another. If you want to get published, don’t give up!
Might seem paradoxical, but if you’re struggling to get published, why not self-publish? Self-publishing your book, generating buzz, huge sales and exposure is a good way to get the attention of the big publishers.
If you can show them that there is a demand for your books they may be more tempted to publish your work. It reduces their risk.
Hope these tips help! Feel free to add any more in the comments below!