As many folks get back into the regular paces post the holidays, I’m confident there are people who’ve made a resolution of writing a book and getting it published. Maybe others plan on re-writing a previous book idea; either way what it’s absolutely essential that one prepares accordingly (vs. flying by the seat of the pants).
Things to remember:
1. Will readers want your book? Specifically is there an audience who will clamor to read it? If the new book idea has a limited audience, the odds of gaining the attention of an agent (or editor) aren’t very good. This especially pertains to personal memoirs, of which there needs to be a guarantee thousands of readers would want to learn your life story. And that the individuals approached (in publishing) are interested in seeing a book of this nature.
2. Remember beta readers, as well as population segments who’d be interested in your book idea. It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another to get the input of readers who represent your audience/market. If you haven’t found beta readers within your book’s target audience, it’s time to do so. Some of the best critiques can result from this part of the writing process.
Ex: If writing a book for teenagers, then find a few teenagers who’d happily read your book. As we all know, most teenagers have no issues in expressing their opinions. Teens who read (and possibly write themselves) will provide much needed feedback on the strength of your book.
3. Do the necessary homework before approaching editors and agents. I sometimes feel like a broken record, in that I’m always saying this. Yet, it seems that many writers fall into the trap of putting the figurative cart before the horse. In Mike Nappa’s book, 77 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected, this is a constant reminder. DO YOUR HOMEWORK–it’s not a choice, this is a mandatory requirement. (Makes me feel better that I’m not alone here.)
Ex: Sending a query to an agent or editor that is outside his/her book categories=an immediate rejection. A good publishing experience requires one works with individuals who share the same goal(s). If your book idea doesn’t mesh with an agent or editor’s categories, it’s not a good foundation for a positive publishing experience.
4. Remember that publishers are looking at the bigger picture (in publishing), as well as agents. Do you truly believe your book will sell thousands (upon thousands) of books? Do you have a large enough writing platform to turn the heads of editors and agents? Can you write and do it well? Do you have more than one book in you? Is the publishing process a long-term goal you’ll stay committed to, or is it just a hobby? As Mike Nappa aptly states, publishers need to believe they’ll make a profit on your book. If one is lacking a noticeable writing platform, the ability to write, and/or commitment to helping ensure a profit will be made, there’s a good chance it’ll be hard to win an agent or editor over. So go back to points #1, #2 and #3. Then make a plan and prepare accordingly.
Questions? Thoughts? It’s always a treat hearing your feedback, your personal experiences.
Thanks for all your input…..I’m applying each and every one of these points as I step forward in confidence this year in the pursuit of a literary agent and a publishing deal. Appreciate your wisdom!