My next series of blog posts are going to be about the publishing journey, which is actually very very different to how I imagined it.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, I thought you signed a book contract and were instantly propelled to fame. My dream was shattered at a Legend Press event in 2011 where I met real life Publishers, Agents and Editors. So, as promised yesterday, here is some advice from the experts.
Ideally, have a good ponder on the pointers in this post before attempting the book proposal… and then try and say that after a few bevvies...
Today we’ll be covering:
What Agents are recommending you do before you submit your manuscript
What Editors are looking for in a good novel
What Publishers are expecting from you the author
The Agents on the panel were quick to slice through our dreams with the reality.
They advised the following:
As you know from reading my blog series, this is what an author platform should contain:
Check out more information on developing your online presence and author platform here.
Harder to obtain but pure gold if you can get your hands on them:
Be able to answer the “marketing questions” using these 4 headers:
YOU – Why did you write the book? Are you social networking yourself as a brand? Are you marketable as an author?
BOOK – What is the hook? Is it marketable? Does the story link back to you and life experience/s?
TARGET MARGET – Who will buy your book, and why?
APPEAL TO TARGET MARKET – How will your book appeal to the target market?
REMEMBER, THIS IS BUSINESS AND THE PROFESSIONALS ARE INVESTING IN YOU, ME AND HIM OVER THERE
YOU, ME AND HIM OVER THERE NEED TO BE A BRAND
WE DO THIS BY CREATING AND CULTIVATING OUR AUTHOR PLATFORM
Journalists love an easy headline and people are intrigued by real life.
We had an Editor from Headline and one from Simon & Schuster on the panel. These were the things they wanted from a new manuscript:
There are only 5 or 6 key book buyers for the UK. Even if an Editor loves your manuscript, they still have to get it passed their marketing and sales team and convince them it’s a winner.
Nowadays, Publishers want hard evidence of tangible sales. This is why many debut authors are going down the self-publishing route first. Their aim is to prove there’s a market and readership for their work. If you can self publish, market and sell 2,000 copies of your book, AWESOME. If you can self publish, market and sell between 4,000 to 5,000 copies, that’s exceptional and a Publisher should be knocking at your door!
Publishers expect your input in the marketing strategy and campaign. They want to know your REACH – how many people can you target in one hit with each individual marketing idea?
THERE IS NO MARKETING BUDGET FOR DEBUT AUTHORS
Traditional publishing houses still believe in reviews, but to move with the times, think about the hooks and angles of your story for a book feature. This is much more powerful.
From signing the book deal, it’s usually a year until the publication date – and guess what – the publication date is just the beginning…
It’s not just about the writing anymore. Check out the 10 jobs of a modern day writer to prepare yourself for this mammoth and exciting journey!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.