Want to Write a Book and Get a Publisher? You’ll Likely Need a Platform
Want to give yourself the best potential for securing an agent or a big book deal? The importance of your platform cannot be overstated. How familiar you are to your potential audience, and how effective you are in demonstrating that to book publishers, goes a long way toward selling your manuscript or proposal.
Book Publishing Is a (Risky) Business
When a publisher offers to buy a book, they’re making a big bet on you that they can recover the costs of printing, selling, and distributing your book. It’s not enough that yours is a good idea for a book, or even that it’s well-written. A publisher needs to know that you can sell that book to readers, and they want facts and figures to prove this. Just like a business proposal, they need to be convinced of the data and marketing strategies before they’ll invest in you and your manuscript.
What Publishers Want to Know About an Author, Their Book, and Their Platform
1) What is the general subject of the book you are writing about? Some examples include health, self-help, big idea books, diet, inspiration, memoir, food, and business.
2) Have you authored any books or articles before? What were the approximate sales or readership for each? Were any of your previous books bestsellers in any category?
3) Has your specific subject matter (or you personally) received major media attention? What was the approximate viewership/readership of each?
4) Who would be interested in your book, and why would they want to buy it? What is the approximate size of your target audience?
5) Have you made appearances on television or radio? How many viewers or listeners were there for each appearance?
6) Do you have an online following? This can include email subscriber lists, blogs, websites, online articles that mention you, and social media. List all relevant portals and estimate the number of engaged followers or views for each.
7) Have you achieved major professional recognition (awards, reputation, credits, etc.) in your area of expertise?
8) Do you have high standing in a nationally-recognized organization or company?
9) Are you a part of any networks, clubs, organization, online communities, etc., that you would have direct access to and could use to promote the book?
10) Have you had any major speaking engagements in the last three years, or do you have any booked for the future? What was the size of the audience for each engagement?
11) Do you have any strong relationships with any public figures who would endorse the book?
12) Have you worked with a PR or digital marketing firm to increase your book’s visibility?
In convincing a publisher to bet on your book, platform is important, so do not ignore it and assume that your idea or concept it enough. You’ll need to treat your book like a new business. It is not a publisher’s job to create an audience for your book from scratch; they need to know that the audience already exists convinced that you have the platform and marketing strategy to ensure a successful release.
Need Help with Your Author Platform?
If you want to learn more about author platform and how it may affect your chances of securing a publisher, please contact us. Someone from our team of publishing experts would be happy to discuss your platform (or lack thereof) and guide you on how to make you and your book attractive to publishers.