Looking to get a book publishing contract? Still writing novels, query letters and submissions hoping to be DISCOVERED and whisked away to a life of literary success?
I’m sorry, but that’s not going to happen.
Because submitting query letters, sample chapters etc. doesn’t get publishing deals anymore.
Getting a book publishing deal from a traditional publisher is far more difficult today than it has ever been. The rules have changed.
And that’s a FACT!
However, you can become a best-selling novelist BUT, you’re going to have to put aside your dreams and fantasies of BEING DISCOVERED, and start dealing with the stark realities of the industry. For example: In the past authors would seek a publishing deal to become rich and famous. Today, it is the opposite way around. To get a publishing deal you have to have a brand. I’ll put it another way. In order for them to be interested in you, you HAVE TO BE SOMEBODY. You have to have established yourself and have a following of several thousand readers.
Do you have a blog? If not you better start one.
Why? Because that’s the first thing an agent is going to do is to see if people are reading what you write. Because they are not going to present your manuscript to a publisher if you don’t have some sort of track record. Why? Well, let’s take a look at the facts:
Fact #1 PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS! And the goal of every business is to make money, and a lot of it, especially since most major publishing houses are owned by fortune 500 corporations. And corporations don’t nurture and develop talent. They look for emerging business opportunities that can turn a profit and invest in it. And the person who has a self-published book that is being talked about and selling well will very quickly gain the attention of agents and publishing houses.
Fact #2 Who are you and why should we publish your book? If you respond with “It’s a touching story about love, life and the difficult choices we must all make.” You will lose your audience. BUT if you say “My name is John Doe and I sold 500 copies of my $15 book online yesterday and will likely be selling 1000 a day by week’s end, I guarantee you will have their undivided attention.
Fact # 3 Unless you can convince them your book will be a best seller, you’re just another dreamer with delusions of grandeur, bemoaning cruel fate and the commerciality of a once proud and noble industry. Oh boo-hoo! Think Dashiell Hammett, Steinbeck or Hemingway would have gone quietly into that good night? Hell no! They would have busted the door down and convinced those publishers that their work was worth taking on!
Fact # 4 You’re hurting your family and loved ones. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. I’m going to ask you a very hard question. What is your REAL goal? Do you want to become a successful novelist or is what you really want is the fame and fortune that comes with it?
If you’ve written a book and have been submitting it to agents and publishers to no avail, here’s some of the reasons it’s probably not being looked at or considered.
1) There are grammar and spelling mistakes. Many publishing companies use college interns to review submissions and since they are trying to impress a would-be employer, they routinely reject unedited books. Agents and publishers must keep costs down so it’s up to you to provide a professionally edited manuscript. Having your manuscript professionally edited is the difference between a writer determined to secure a publishing deal and a dreamer who keeps telling himself that his book is so good, it doesn’t require professional editing.
2) You haven’t proven that you can sell a book. Want to get on the fast track to securing a book deal from a traditional publisher? Then prove to them that you can write a book that sells. Amanda Hocking submitted her books to every agent and publisher she could find and they all turned her down. So she went the indie route. She wrote at a furious pace and following a lot of trial and error discovered a niche that had a large audience of voracious readers. Seeing the potential she tailored her stories to that audience.
That made her a millionaire.
3) You don’t have a blog, haven’t had articles published on popular e zines. No videos on YouTube. No media footprint whatsoever. In order to attract agents and publishers you MUST give the impression that you are a major talent on the verge of commercial success. You can bet there is a long line of publishing houses that are kicking themselves for not signing Amanda Hocking when her blog went viral. You need to present yourself as the next big thing.
Here is the biggest mistake a writer can make. They write a book and run around trying to get people to read it. When starting a writing career, FIRST find out what people want to read about and then write THAT book, write that article, write that screenplay. Remember, you can always write the great American novel AFTER you’ve convinced a wealthy traditional publishing house to finance it, do it before and you’ll likely die broke