Finding a book publisher takes a lot of TLC: Talent, Luck, and Connections

Looking for a royalty-paying publisher for your book?

Ask yourself whether your writing skills and your ability to organize and express your ideas are up to taking on a book-length project. Tackling a book is different from putting together an article or an advertising piece: there’s a great deal more structure and development involved. If you’ve done some writing previously, ask others whether they believe you’re equipped for the task. The better your writing, the easier it will be to place your manuscript with a publisher. Do you have the talent required?

Whom do you know, and whom can you meet? If you have writer friends, can they introduce you to an agent or a publishing house editor? On your own or in collaboration with your publisher, you’ll need to contact media outlets, wholesalers and retailers, publicists, and possible readers because nowadays much of your success will be DIY–do it yourself. Being comfortable with multiple levels of social media is essential. What are your present and potential connections?

Talent and connections will get you a long way, but they’ll also have to be accompanied by a lot of good fortune. Will your book hit the market at just the right point in time to ensure sales? Ideally it will impress all (or at least several) of the people who matter in your field, and you’ll receive praise that will help you sell copies. The bridge between your talent, your connections, and sales is a large measure of luck. JK

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