Does Your Book Idea Sizzle?

If so, congratulations. But if you want to win the hearts and minds of editors and agents, you still have challenges. I hate to sound negative, but these days it’s tougher and tougher to persuade editors your book will sell.

One well-known publishing house expects the author to buy thousands of books. That’s a lot of books to try to sell or even distribute on your own! I know major corporations who scoff at the idea, so small business owners should seriously consider other options.

Other houses want to know how many hits your blog or web site generates. They might ask about your number of twitter followers, but if it isn’t in the five-digits, it’s likely not worth mentioning. They also want to know about your media contacts.

Which begs the question…if you don’t have a following, can you get a book deal? The odds don’t look good. But if you invest the time in cultivating a following, if you find ways to express your ideas in big rather than modest ways, maybe, just maybe, your proposal will be worth a second look.

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About adinagenn

The author of three published books, a writer and a journalist, I'm still debating which format I like best...
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4 Responses to Does Your Book Idea Sizzle?

  1. Liz Seegert says:

    I’m really glad you started blogging – you have a real knack for capturing the essence of an idea and stating it very clearly and succinctly.Obviously a good place to start is with a following is social media – your Twitter followers and FB friends. What are some good ways to expand beyond that universe?

  2. adinagenn says:

    Liz,

    That’s a great question. I’d suggest touting expertise on LinkedIn by answering questions, and also building community there by joining groups and asking thought-provoking questions. If possible, get on panels at seminars and conferences — another credential to put to your name. Apply for awards given by local, regional or even national professional groups, or try to get nominated by friends and colleagues. All of these go a long way toward building your reputation capital.

    Hope that helps, and thanks so much for your nice comment!

  3. Adina, I agree with Liz. Great post. I was shocked to read that one publisher wants the author to buy 1,000 books. I’m not sure I understand the purpose of that. I would think it would serve both the writer and publisher more if the publisher worked with the writer on marketing/promotion opportunities to sell books, rather than it being simply a money deal and leaving the author to sell the books on his/her own. Almost sounds like self-publishing.

    Terrific blog!

  4. adinagenn says:

    Thanks Dina, and sadly, that seems to be the publishing climate right now, from what I’ve seen, and also, what other authors share with me. I do not defend the publishers, but I think this puts them at ease about covering their costs. They do not offer as much promotion as writers expect, though some houses are more adept than others. Also, if you are a major corporation whose leader is publishing a book, well, it’s the cost of doing business — and maybe even a bargain!

    However, the forumula may be changing, with the advent of the Kindle, etc., as all the production and shipping costs etc. bring about a new playing field.

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