Before you seek a publisher, begin to develop an author platform. An author platform is the collection of objects, events, venues, reviews, interviews, speaking engagements, author experience, talent, pictures, videos and articles that pertain to the author, his or her expertise and the book. Intelligent marketers develop strategy before the product or service is ready for sale. One you have a book cover, plaster the picture all over the Internet. Work with an art-designer to develop a video book trailer. Today, they are an add-on. Tomorrow, they will be mandatory. All of this, and more, constitutes an author platform. Having a wide author platform is more important than you may think
Locating and Contacting Publishers:
Finding a publisher can be difficult. There is some good news and some bad news here. The bad news is that you may need to send your manuscript to hundreds of publishers before the best offer arrives. The good news is that there are literally thousands of small, specialty publishers willing to take on new or novice authors.
Publishers today prefer that you send a proposal by electronic mail. This makes it much easier and less costly to contact them. However, your proposal must be perfect and that takes time. Each publisher prefers his or her own way of receiving information. That means you must research each publisher on the Internet. Look for something that says, “Submission Guidelines.” This will tell you precisely what to send, and how to send it. Read this very carefully. If they are seeking a genre that is very different from yours, forget them and move along. If your book seems to be a good fit with the publisher’s interests, then create a proposal that will fit their guidelines.
Is My Book Good Enough to be Published?
There are two keys to being published. First is the quality of your writing. Few reputable publishing companies will be interested in a book that is poorly written. If you are concerned about the quality of your writing, it might be useful to pay a professional editor to look it over. Good editors will tell you the truth about your writing without being condescending or insensitive.
The second key requirement for being published is having a book that is marketable. No trade publisher will be interested in a book about how to drink a glass of water, even if it were it written by James Michener. You must be able to convince a publisher that thousands of people will purchase your book. And, it’s not enough to say that they will love it. You must provide a clear demographic analysis of your readers, along with a competitive analysis and marketing strategies that will work (and explain why they will work). In other words, you must show the publisher exactly who will purchase your book, where, when and why.
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Charles S. Weinblatt was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1952. He is a retired University of Toledo administrator. Weinblatt is the author of “Jacob’s Courage” and “Job Seeking Skills for Students.” His biography appears in the Marquis Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Education. Weinblatt was a frequent Toledo television news guest, providing business, economic and labor-management insight.