Many writers aspire to write books. Writing a book is a long, involved, difficult process. Book publishing is harder. A writer may submit his book repeatedly only to be turned down. The writer may eventually succeed. Wouldn’t it have been easier to get published the first time? Is that possible?
You can improve your chances of a publisher accepting your book manuscript if you understand more about what happens at the publisher’s desk. Book publishers are busy people with several projects bombarding their desks every day. They must decide quickly about what will sell. They must also delegate their time efficiently to keep the business running. Only occasionally do publishers actually seek out work. Let’s look at a typical work day of a publisher to help you understand book acceptance and book publishing.
PERSIST AND PERSEVERE
Writers must be persistent. Regardless of how many times a publisher rejects your book manuscript and throws your ideas in the trash, you have to keep going back for more discouragement. Eventually you’ll make it in the door. If you can get all the way through, you will finally get to a place where publishers accept more of your work. When working with a book publisher, the rule is the same. If you have a book that you know will sell, you must persevere to get the publisher’s attention. Most likely, you will be sending excerpts of your book, not the entire book, to a publisher. As you continually send your manuscript or book excerpts to publisher after publisher, you should try to market it in different ways. Publishers seek a particular kind of writing; they will dismiss anything that doesn’t meet their criteria and high standards. Variation in your marketing techniques may turn a rejected book into an accepted book.
WHAT DO BOOK PUBLISHERS WANT?
Book publishing is a strange business. People’s tastes are somewhat fickle. A book publisher has to keep up with what kinds of books will sell. It seems mysteries will always have a place on the bookshelves. Crichton and Grisham may tie up the book market until they are finished. That is just one example from one genre of books. Publishers have to keep track of what is selling in all areas of literature. The best way for you to get your work noticed is to make it look similar to what is already selling in the marketplace. Be careful not to imitate style or voice of another author. Write with your own unique words while imitating the use of popular public opinion. Another way to improve your chances of getting published is to find out who’s publishing what.
ARE YOU MARKETING TO THE RIGHT PUBLISHER?
Some publishers specialize in a certain kind of writing. If you are writing a novel, you’ll look stupid (and get rejected) if you send it to publishers who publish technical manuals. How do you find out who is the most likely candidate to publish your work? There are reference manuals, such as Writer’s Market, at your library that will tell you who’s publishing what and what publishers are seeking. It will contain valuable information leading you to children’s book publishers, novel publishers, and textbook publishers. If the handbook at your library is not up to date, your next option is to check out the new releases and best sellers rack at the bookstore. Buy a few books and read them. You’ll have a much better feel for the book market as a consumer first, and book writer second.
Book publishing is difficult to break into. It can be helpful to approach the issue from the direction of the publisher. Before you submit your manuscript again, improve your chances of acceptance by following these tips:
1) Change your marketing style so that you grab attention;
2) Make sure you are a book consumer yourself. You’ll get a better feel for what’s selling and what a publisher will buy. You’ll also find out who is publishing which types of books.
3) Finally, by buying the product you are trying to sell, you will improve the book economy all together. Publishers need to see people buying books before they can commit to publishing more.
Many authors begin their careers with the single goal of getting their book published by a reputable publisher. Book publishing is difficult to accomplish. It takes many months of work and extensive preparation. Writing a book involves intricately woven ideas. A book is a project, and it may contain many other projects that involve research, development, and marketing. Most authors are disillusioned about the intensive process of creating a full, coherent book. Writing a book and finding a publisher is like nothing you have ever done before. It will take extensive and intensive work and development. It will also probably include much of everything you know, and more.
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