What Publishers Are Looking For Now (And Always) by Randy Peyser
Note from the editor: This article is intended for those wishing to publish non-fiction books but there is information about the publishing industry that may be relevant for all writers, so read on…
There’s the book you want to write and the book a publisher will buy. Are they the same book?
If you can answer the following 4 questions to a publisher’s liking, it may be possible for you to snag a book deal.
1. How current is your topic?
Are you addressing an issue that is relevant in the media right now?
For example, recently, books on ‘The Great Resignation’ were hot in the business book market.
As that wave diminished, business publishers were asking for books related to ‘Quiet Quitting.’ Currently, the term, ‘Quiet Hiring’ is being bandied about by some of the top business publishers.
2. Are you addressing a pain point for your target market reader?
Think about the self-talk going through the heads of your potential readers.
- Are you speaking to them using language that includes their self-talk?
- Are you addressing their pain points?
Hot topics with powerful pain points for readers include books related to ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as books on advanced parenting.
3. What are you bringing that’s new to a conversation that is already happening?
Your book has to be unique.
Publishers want to see original thought, not a rehash of other people’s work.
The market is flooded with books. For your book to stand out, you’ve got to contribute something new, or provide some unique twist on your topic.
4. What’s the size of your publicity platform?
In this economy, the marketing departments are counting every bean to see if the numbers justify the purchase of your title. You must show strong statistical evidence that there is a market to support the sale of your book.
You could write the best book in the world, but if the numbers don’t add up in a way that satisfies their marketing department, your book is toast.
When an agent or publisher asks: What’s the author’s platform? Here’s how the math breaks down: Publicity = Eyeballs, and Eyeballs = Sales.
Every agent and publisher will immediately ask for your social media numbers.
They are also using apps like Social Blade to track the amount of engagement the author has with their audience.
Many people think they will start speaking or building their publicity platform once their book comes out.
Publishers consider this strategy to be meaningless. They want to see your real numbers now.
What numbers do they need to see? As one agent mentioned: “Any numbers that are better than the other authors they are considering at the same time.”
A good minimal number to aim for is 10,000 – followers, connections, email subscribers, etc.
The higher your numbers the better the possibility of receiving an offer for publication.
If you’re not big on social media, don’t worry; there are wonderful people to help with that aspect.
Prove your publicity platform, write a great book with differentiation, and speak to a topic that is current with a sizable market, and you’ve got a potential winner on your hands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Randy Peyser edits books, provides book coaching and ghostwriting services, and has a high success rate in helping people secure literary agents and publishers. www.AuthorOneStop.com.