So, you’ve got a great idea for a book, or maybe you’ve just finished writing the next big thing, and now it’s time to look for a publisher.
You may be an expert in your field; you may have a brilliant new approach to a particular problem that will help countless people. But if you don’t know how to approach traditional publishers correctly, your book may never even be considered.
Well, I’m here to share some tips to give your book the best chance possible.
Now, I’m not talking about all the research that goes into writing your book (although that’s important too!), I’m talking about spending time researching publishers.
There are many publishing houses out there and not all of them will suit your book so, before you start sending off submission enquiries take some time to learn about the companies that you are interested in submitting to.
If you have no idea where to start, think about other books that you’ve seen that may be in a similar field or genre to yours and find out who published them. After all there is no point sending a non-fiction book to a publishing house that only publishes fiction, just as there’s no point sending a self-help book to a publisher that focuses only on military histories!
#2 More Research
Once you’ve found an appropriate publishing house (or two, or more!), continue your research. Visit their website, read their submission guidelines and follow them precisely.
If they don’t accept unsolicited submissions, don’t send them an unsolicited submission. If they only accept submissions during certain months or on particular days, only submit during those times. Don’t give yourself a bad reputation before you even have a foot in the door.
Most publisher’s websites will tell you exactly what they want in a submission. Some may want a completed manuscript before you submit, others will prefer you to have a clear idea and plan for your book but will want to guide you through the writing process so, know what they are looking for and give it to them.
#3 Prepare an Amazing Submission
Most traditional publishers ask for similar things when it comes to submissions, with minor differences such as the spacing, font, or length of submission.
The common aspects of a submission usually include a cover letter, a synopsis, and a writing sample.
Cover letter – Be clear and concise. Stick to the requested length. However, if it wasn’t specified, limit it to one page. If the publisher hasn’t been explicit about what to include in your cover letter, make sure it contains: information on why you are the one to write this particular book (what makes you an authority); what research or resources you have drawn upon; any evidence you have to show there is an audience for your book and why it might appeal to readers; and why or how your approach or perspective is unique (what fresh insights does your book provide, that others haven’t).
Synopsis – Your synopsis should include a detailed overview of your book. It should clearly spell out what the focus or purpose of the book is and how it will achieve this aim. Include an outline of the chapters and take some time to compare and contrast your book with other books on similar subject matter. This will provide a clear view of how your book differs, how it will fill any gaps left by the other books and what people will learn from your book. And again, make sure you follow the guidelines provided regarding what to include, length, and so on.
Writing sample – Make sure to include a sample in the way it has been requested. Some publishers may ask for a sample of a certain number of words, some may want a certain number of chapters. There may be guidelines on how the sample should be formatted. Give yourself the best chance and follow these guidelines precisely.
#4 – Edit
Before you send off your submission, make sure to edit.
Check your spelling and grammar. Check your formatting. Double check that you have included everything requested in the way it was requested. Have someone else read over your writing.
Make sure your submission, particularly the writing sample, is as close to perfect as possible to show the publishers that you take your work and their time seriously.
Remember, traditional publishers receive thousands of submissions every year. Making their job as easy as possible by following their guidelines will give your submission the best chance of success.
But don’t forget, the traditional publishing path isn’t your only option. If you decide it isn’t for you, self-publishing may be your way forward and we can help.
If you would like to know more contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’re writing a self-help book and you’re a wellness coach or practitioner, get our free 3 part video series on How to Earn More Doing What You Love Without Burning Out. This series will guide you through the steps of creating the business around your upcoming or already published book.
To Your Potential
Multiple Award Winning and Best-Selling Publisher and Author