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Tag Archives: Publishing
You have a great idea for a nonfiction book. Everybody thinks it’s a great idea. But will a book publishing company think it’s a great idea – enough to pay you an advance, commission you to write it, publish your book and sell it?
That will depend largely on your book proposal. Here’s where you demonstrate persuasively that your idea has merit, and that the company will benefit from publishing your book. Of course, even a solid idea and a great book proposal can’t guarantee success, but they surely can tip the odds in your favor. But if either the idea or the proposal is weak, your chances of a sale are slim to none.
Book editors look for certain things when reviewing book ideas and proposals. To improve your chances of winning a book publisher’s contract, let’s look at the five key questions they ask and the best ways to answer them.
1. Is there a large enough audience interested in this topic to justify publishing a book?
You want to stay away from a highly specialized book, which draws limited audience. You want your book to be among the books that appeal to a general audience or at least to a large segment of the general population. You must demonstrate to your prospective publishing agent that your large audience – of hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions – exists.
One excellent source of market data is Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS), a book listing US magazines that accept advertising and their circulations. SRDS is available at your local library or from the publisher (tel. 847/375-5000). Look for the combined circulation of the largest publications in your book’s area.
However, keep in mind that only a small percentage of the intended audience will actually buy your book. And a major book publishing company hopes to sell at least 5,000 copies of your book. So if you’re writing a book that appeals only to the 44,171 branch managers working at banks nationwide (say, How to Manage Your Branch More Efficiently), and 2% can be persuaded to buy the book, you’ve sold only 883 copies – not nearly enough to make the project worthwhile for either you or a publisher.
2. Is this a book or a magazine article? Will it sell?
Whether you book publish your own book, try book publishing on demand, or try traditional publishing, you should look into the details of the deal before you leap.
What’s the Best Path to Publish Your Book?
Your print or ebook is soon to be finished. You wonder if you should try to get an agent to represent you to the publisher. Maybe you’ve already sent out your query letter to some agents. You dream “how great it would be to be taken under a publisher’s wings.”
What’s wrong with this picture? Even if an agent has given you the go and asks for a book proposal that has specific marketing information in (it takes three-seven months to write), you still have to face reality.
FACT: Like Oprah, publishers and agents choose only 1-2% of proposals submitted.
Let’s say for now, you are chosen. The point is, are you fortunate to be chosen?
Are you willing to wait on the traditional publishing process 2 years? Are you willing to accept around 2-5% of the profits? Do you realize that after a few months of one initial book tour (of which you must pay all costs from your book sales), you are on your own? And, if you don’t put a lot of time into promotion, your book will fade away within 2 months from the brick and mortar book store shelves. All unsold and coffee-stained books left will be returned, and the cost is deducted from the author’s royalties. Unless you are a favored celebrity or famous author, publishers put little time or money into your book’s promotion. Without that benefit, why go this way?
Get the Right Help the Right Way
Who says you can’t publish your own book? It will certainly cost you less than you imagine, under $ 1000 for a print version and close to nothing for your eBook. Self-publishing will bring you all the profits. It will put you in charge to make suitable and favorable writing, publishing, and promotion decisions.
With a little help from professionals! These entrepreneurial experts such as book coaches, book designers, and eBook specialists can guide you through publishing success. These people may give teleseminars, small group coaching experiences, and other inexpensive ways to learn the ropes. These pros will shorten your learning curve too, so you get the right help right away to write the right book right away.