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How To Get A New York Publisher
When you look at the numbers, it�s clear that the New York publishing scene is a tough nut to crack. The reality is that with 83% of Americans wanting to write a book, the competition for a publisher�s attention is steep. So what�s an author to do? Well, if your attempts for finding a traditional publisher aren�t bringing any results, maybe it�s time to think like a publisher, instead of an author.
Writing a book is the easy part, and while publishers look at writing style and voice, there�s a whole lot more that goes into a successful book than just how well it�s written. When it comes to success, a publisher looks at this much differently than an author does. Truth be told, a publisher gauges a book�s potential success largely by the author.
Now don�t misunderstand me, there�s market consideration as well, but the author�s �salability� is looked at very closely. What we refer to as a �platform� is something all authors need to have, regardless of their target market. A platform is not who you know, but who knows you. It�s your area of influence. A platform can be any of the following:
� Your business
If you�re new to the book world (meaning this is your first book) you may not have a single item on the above list in your vault of marketing tools. That�s okay. Now�s the time to build them.
The next piece of this is to write for a market. Over the years I�ve seen countless authors write a book on something for which there is no market. They believe their book will create the market. This won�t happen. Ever. First, if you�re self-publishing a book you probably don�t have the funds available to you to �create� a market even if you wanted to. You may respond to this by saying, �Yeah, but new markets are created every day.� And yes, this is true; what�s also true is that while it may seem that these are �new� markets, they were in fact already existing but, perhaps, untapped. Finding these markets can cost you a fortune in consumer research, advertising, product/book placement, etc.
When a company like Coca-Cola decides to put out a brand new product, you can bet that millions of dollars has gone into this prior to the launch. When authors come to me and say, �I have a great idea and it�s never been done before,� I suspect there�s a reason why, a publisher will too. Now, let�s say that you�ve done the research, you�ve spent years working in this arena and you know there are readers out there. Millions of them. If this is the case then I�d suggest you show up armed with your (current) research and data.
The ability to self-publish your book has (thankfully) brought a number of books to the attention of a traditional publisher that might have otherwise gone overlooked. Why? Because publishers like what other people like. If you have a book that you�ve self-published and it�s done well, a publisher might consider this for commercial access as well. By �commercial� I mean consumer, trade paperback, mass market. The key is to keep a close eye on the track record of the book and document your success. This form of documentation will later become the resume you use to entice a publisher into considering your book.
I was talking to an author the other day who had a great idea. He had a hard time getting a traditional publisher interested in his book, so he self-published with the intent of getting a major house to publish him. With that he mind he solicited referral letters from bookstores. Why bookstores? Because if you can get a bookstore excited about your book and tell publishers it �flew off the shelves,� you�ll be a step closer to piquing a publisher�s interest. Why? Well many (if not all) publishers will solicit advice from booksellers on the sales potential of a book they�re considering. They do this because they know that the bookseller is front and center with the consumer every day. They see what sells and what doesn�t. Having a bookstore (preferably several) in your corner could be a tremendous thing for your future and the future of your book.
And finally, let�s be realistic. With 500 books published each day in the U.S., the competition is fierce for gaining the buyer�s attention. Your book is your resume and because of this, it needs to be letter perfect. You should never wait for a traditional publisher to come along and �polish� your book, it should be gleaming with perfection. Yes, there are always things you�ll want to change after it�s published, but having a book that�s edited with a cover that sparkles will not only get you noticed by a publisher, but by your reader as well. And in the end, it�s the reader we must reach. Once you do, the world will beat a path to your door.
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