A Great Book Only Goes Half Way With Publishers

Every author in the country has a wish list of things they want to accomplish.  Almost all of them want nothing more than to get the attention of a major publishing firm in New York City.  Unfortunately, less than one in a thousand are actually going to make it.  Some may be truly generic and original, while others have cliche titles such as “100 Ways to Make Money Fast.”  Clearly, originality isn’t always the deciding factor when it comes to being successfully published.

Have you ever stopped to wonder why some amazing writers are offered a contract while the others are left behind?  The truth is that although having a great book is what publishers are looking for, writers need to utilize their creative genius in other ways.  Getting published is about networking and marketing, which are skills that many writers lack.

First of all, you need to have something to show publishers why you are the one in a thousand writer they are looking for.  The only surefire way to do this is to show that you have the background and have built a portfolio of work that has already been published.  Even if you only have a few minor pieces, find somewhere to get them published.  Even memoirs and short stories that have been published will show that you have promise as an author.

Once you’ve put together a portfolio, you need to make as much out of it as you possibly can.  Start a public relations campaign to create interest in your publications.  Publishers are going to want to see that you are passionate about your work and understand the marketing side of the industry.  There are a variety of ways that you can promote your work, including:

  • Managing your own blog
  • Participating in speaking arrangements
  • Writing a press release
  • Contacting trade journals and local publications that may be interested in working with you
  • Self-publish your books and use your own incentives to drive sales (such a
    tes coupons, discounts etc.)
Even New York publishers know that everyone has to start somewhere.  They don’t expect you to already have signed a six-figure contract, but they will want to see that you are serious about making your career come to life.  They also want to see that you have the knack for driving sales to your books.  The book my mentor wrote on using coupons for the Medifast food line was popular because he was good at promoting it himself.
One of the biggest mistakes that writers make is trying to make it on talent alone.  Although your talent and creativity is what will eventually make you successful, you need other skills before your career will take off.  Take the time to prepare your career and work on your portfolio.  Thinking like a marketer will help you stand out among the hundreds of other writers who are fighting for their chance to shine.