Want to Sell Your Book? Four Secret Ways to Think Like an Editor
Every day, I receive a lot of emails from new authors and people who have book ideas. I love learning about people and their lives and what they want to say to the world.
One of the main questions asked is “How do I get a major publisher?
I always answer that question by first asking two main vital questions.
- Who is your target audience?
- Who is your primary reader?
The answer I receive the most is, “I don’t know.”
And herein lies the first critical mistake an author can make. Most new authors do not know who their target audience is and in turn, do not have a chance in hell in securing a major publishing deal. Understanding who your primary reader is and how your book will help them is the essential first step toward publishing or not. There isn’t any way around this step and a book should never be written haphazardly without direction.
You must have a plan.
I love writing and writing a book and selling a book is a glorious, achievement filled with heart, dedication and hard work to see it through. Yet, if you don’t think like an editor, your book, even if it gets written and published, will end up in the back of a thrift store as a bargain-basement back-table discount find.
I thought it would be helpful to layout the main questions and get to the heart of the matter when it comes to publishing your book with a major publisher. This advice can also apply to self-publishing so, no matter what avenue you pursue, thinking like an editor will make your path to the bestseller list less risky and rocky. Every editor in every book meeting across the globe asks these four following questions and every book project you undertake should have these publishing questions at the forefront. Every decision about your book, from acquisition, marketability, size of the advance, book cover, advertising, and selling is based upon the following essential questions:
- Does the book project have a specific book-buying audience?
- Who makes up that specific audience?
- What will the book say differently, or angle of significance to this specific audience?
- Will this audience want the book and find the book intriguing enough to purchase it?
Albert Greco, Author of “The Book Publishing Industry, writes, “If questioned, many readers, (and perhaps a clear majority) would maintain that a book is a cultural object, the means by which knowledge is passed from author to reader, from one generation to the next. Books played a pivotal role, and, in many instances, a crucial one in the intellectual, cultural, and educational life of the United States, and they are not perceived as a commodity the way coffee, orange juice, and television sets are. And in this line of thinking…books are special. “
Do you understand your audience and who is the main reader who would benefit from your knowledge? Who is going to read it? Children, Young adults, Mothers with babies, Divorced fathers, Self-help seekers, or Businesspeople? Knowing your exact audience allows you to research the problems the audience experiences and deep-dive into solving the problems that exist within that specific demographic. When it comes to publishers, and literary agents, when you present a book idea with the accurate pertinent information with full comprehension of your target reader, an interested agent or editor has a better chance of selling your book to the publisher for publication.
Novelist, Anne Lamott said, “I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do—the actual act of writing—turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.”
Writing is the special sauce that makes a great book. Yet, a well-written book will not see the light of day without focusing on the unique perspective you have for the reader. Knowing your book’s specific take on how to solve the reader’s problems to pass on critical knowledge is the key to finding a publisher and home for your book. Ask yourself, How does your take on the subject differ from the existing books written? What is your distinctive view that can brighten up someone’s day? What insight do you possess that can provide a more in-depth view of the subject for the reader?
Understanding who your single lone reader is and thinking like your editor will offer an advantage of massive proportions in acquiring a publisher for your book. Because once you brainstorm and determine the uniqueness of your book you will be well on your way to having a well-written, informative, attractive, saleable, marketable, sleek, defined and most of all successful book.
Writing a book is special and something that will live on for a very long time. Take your knowledge and pass it on to those who need it the most.
If you would like to learn more or have a book idea you would like to talk about, get in touch with me and schedule a free (No obligation) book consultation at http://www.ghostwritingusa.com/contact or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.