Good Ways to Gain a Publisher's Interest
an excellent novel and it will sell. Right...
here's what we did NOT want to hear. The manuscript-selling process
is a matter of marketing. Tough marketing. Top writing quality has
to be there, but it's the marketing that sells the banana.
a novel is like trying to sell newspapers to the crew that brings
newspapers to your neighborhood every morning. It's darn hard to
sell something the buyer already has too much of.
buyer's market is where the seller is completely at the mercy of the
buyer. And - don't kid yourself - book publishers have no shortage
of manuscripts, no shortage of new talent. Their problem is high
cost to buy, print, distribute, and market a book. And, given
limitations of capital, the publisher will almost always choose the
"safe" bet, the tried and true, the manuscript where
success is easiest to predict.
all dream of starting out with the Great American Novel. A publisher
will read our stuff, recognize our talent, call us and... and...
send money too!
are some similar dreams.
We are working as grill cooks in McDonald's. The CEO from Corporate is visiting, sees our hamburgers, and pulls us aside to offer us a job as Vice President of Marketing.
We are turning in a short story in a college fiction class. The teacher introduces us to an agent who offers $33 million if we'll sign a one-year contract.
check: Join The Rest of Us. The ones who have to work to get it
done. To get anything done. Especially a published work.
impress the book publisher when you...
a query letter introducing the manuscript in terms of the
publisher's existing list, books in the market, expected market
share and revenue.
If you'd enjoy a little expensive fun, send your manuscript in a limousine with a messenger who will sing your praises to the receptionist upon delivery. (Interesting, and it's been tried, but it's not recommended.)
is the part we all wanted to skip. The bothersome part. Who wants to
deal with all these pesky little, low-paying articles and stories?
We do, of course. Because if we don't, the door to the big victories
remains closed, locked, and welded. No passa!
impress the magazine publisher when you...
the editor's publication for content and style, and don't forget
to request a copy of the writer's guidelines as well as a
schedule describing themes in upcoming months.
you are having trouble breaking into the magazine market, start
here. Online pubishers have far less overhead than do book and
magazine publishers, and they permit you to get your work out
immediately and (hopefully) get responses from readers so you can
improve your work.
advise restraint with self-published, printed books, for you can
throw a lot of money away. If you have no independent means of
marketing large numbers of the book (such as your own bookstore
chain or an organization or association), you have invested like the
politician who pays personally for a losing campaign. Public
awareness, yes. Effectiveness,... well, you decide.
this... Is it worth $10,000 to feel published. If it's equally worth
$10,000 to feel like a skipper, then do that. Because after you're
done, you can always sell the boat!
If self-publishing helps you get started on the road to success, we advise you to seek lowest possible cost.Typical POD publishers charge only a few hundred dollars for a book.
Bruce L. Cook, Ph.D., Publisher