Getting Your Book Published!

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Whether you have wanted to write a book about your travels along Oregon’s wild coast where driftwood is shaped into a dragon’s head or an academic tome on gerontology, now may be your moment! Why? Writing a book is one of the best ways to generate sales, establish yourself as an expert, and find potential long term clients. 

One of my small business clients wrote a book sharing his knowledge of business sales. A person who bought the e-book was so impressed the client bought a hard cover copy of the book for the spouse. The client has now signed up for thousands of dollars of one-on-one coaching from the author. 

How do you get published?

There are three options:

  1. Research publishers or publishing houses in your genre. 
  2. Research agents who will negotiate a contract between you and the publishing house. 
  3. Self-publish. 

How do you find a publisher or an agent?

Buy from a bookstore or borrow a copy of Writer’s Market from the library. Look in the back of the book for publishers or agents (two separate lists) in your genre. Put a sticky note there. Look each publisher up on the page indicated in the index. Does this publisher accept manuscript proposals from first time authors? No…skip them. Yes: copy the publisher’s information into a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. You need the contact information and what the publisher requests. Does the publisher want your first three chapters, a Table of Contents, your résumé, and competitive intelligence report? These are fairly typical. However, make a note of everything this publisher wants from you. 

Repeat with the list of agents—find agents in your genre who accept manuscript proposals from first time authors. 

Send a query letter to any of these publishers or agents you found. 

What is a query letter?

Think of it as your cover letter to a publisher or agent.

  1. Share the sizzle! Why does your book need to be published? 
  2. Share WHY you selected this agent or publisher. List titles of books they published which are similar to yours. 
  3. Search on Google for successful query letters. Use an online thesaurus to find synonyms to customize the letter for you.  
  4. Do NOT start the letter stating that you value this person’s time. 
  5. If you have writing credits which pertain to your book’s subject, list those (e.g, you wrote an article about widgets and your book is about widgets). 

Keep track of to whom you sent your letter/e-mails and follow-up.

Do not send your unsolicited manuscript to the publisher or agent. Those are tossed in a dusty corner and often not read for years. 

If you have questions, reach out to me. Let me use my knowledge to help you build your business (and your sales!) as a published author!