So you’ve decided that you want to write a book. And you are wondering how to find a publisher for your book. In this article, we will explore what you need to know on in order to find a publisher for your book. Also, things to you should do before you meet with the publisher.
A good idea is worth its weight in gold
You have an idea for a book that you just know your readers will benefit from. Maybe you’ve already written your entire manuscript and it just needs a few finishing touches, which you plan on putting on over the weekend. Or perhaps you are still working on your outline and trying to determine whether your book idea is even marketable. You may have already reached to out to a publisher or – better yet – a publisher has already reached out to you. However, if you haven’t yet been in touch with one, it’s time to find a publisher for your book.
The ten things that are essential in your preparations before contacting a publisher are:
1. Decide why you want to publish a book.
Have you always known you wanted to be an author and feel that now is the time to start on that career path? Are you an entrepreneur that wants to get a leg up on your competition? Do you get paid as a writer already and are looking to become more well-known in your field in order to gain more and better-paid writing gigs? Publishing your first book can help you in all these endeavors and boost your fame, so to speak. As life- and health coaching businesses are booming, coaches who publish their secrets in a book are the most sought-after coaches. So, the most important thing to decide before meeting with a publisher is the “Why?”, even if you haven’t actually completed your manuscript at this point.
2. Determine who your audience is.
Truly define your target audience in terms of demographics.
3. Just write the book already.
This is probably the most obvious step. Yet, it’s often the most complicated one to complete. Which, in all fairness, is easier said than done. In fact, this step can become so difficult at times that authors have written entire books about how to write a book. What it boils down to is that writer’s block is a real thing, and many authors have been hit by it. Which delayed or even eliminated the publication of their book. Read our article on How to Write a Book to get started.
How to find a publisher for your book, now that you’ve completed your manuscript?
4. Get some preliminary feedback on your book.
Perhaps from a few close friends or family members. Have a second set of eyes at least glance at your draft; if anything, just to see if it makes sense. As a writer and editor, I even do this with a lengthy email before hitting “send”, because typos happen. Sometimes an idea that’s completely clear in your own head may be incomprehensible to another person simply because of a different background they might be coming from.
Title and Cover
5. Determine the title for your book
The title is mandatory for the publisher to want to read your manuscript. Remember: The shorter and simpler the book title is, the better. The K.I.S.S. principle applies here – Keep it short and simple. The reason for this is straightforward. A short title is punchy – it can be set on the cover in a big, bold font and will therefore jump out at your potential readers.
6. Have an idea for your book cover design
Unfortunately, the old adage to never judge a book by its cover is a complete farce. In 99 percent of cases, your book cover is what draws your reader to your work in the first place. And of those 99 percent of cases, about 25 percent of readers will not actually read the book if the cover does not look promising to them. Once you find a publisher for your book, they will set you up with a designer to refine your book cover. So don’t worry about bringing a finished design to your first meeting. But chances are you will hear a question about what you might like the book cover to be. Be prepared to answer it.
7. Identify the important elements in your book
If your book is a novel, pinpoint the main characters. Make a list of your characters and add short descriptions to them. Regardless of your book genre, though, this is another essential thing to do before meeting with a publisher.
Examples of descriptions
What are their roles in your story? What do they look like (tall, short, hair color, etc.)? Which other characters do they interact with and which ones do they never meet? Do they have certain gifts or flaws that are essential to the story? And whatever else you can think of someone should know about the characters in your book. Does your story have a protagonist and an antagonist? Clearly mark those characters.
What if you need to know how to find a publisher for your non-fiction manuscript?
8. Create an outline of the main points in your manuscript
You probably already have one that you worked off while writing the book. Make sure your outline is still congruent with your book. Then add it to the thumb drive you are planning to submit.
9. Upload your manuscript to a thumb drive
This way, your manuscript will not get lost in cyber space on its way to the publisher. Add your outline or character descriptions, as discussed in steps 7. and 8. above. Then, read the publisher’s submission page carefully, so you know everything they require to potentially publish your book.
10. Be prepared to not always hear a “Yes” from the publisher you contact
Publishers receive manuscripts daily and they are a business. Publishers need to weigh which books they can publish because their own return on their investment in you depends on the market and its demand. Alternatively, though, authors may choose to self-publish their book with a local publishing company if they did not receive the “Yes” they were hoping for from a larger publishing house. Learn about the pros and cons of self-publishing your book with a company such as Publishing Concepts, LLC in our article The Top 3 Ways to Publish a Book.