By W. Terry Whalin |
As a above acquisitions editor at a publishing company, I able-bodied bethink the ritual wherein admiral aggregate in a appointment allowance armed with their called notebooks. Once a month, administration leaders—including those in editorial, marketing, and sales—and key sales assembly accustomed for the pub lath meeting. As a new editor, I had my atom on the calendar to present several books from my authors. Authors, retailers, librarians, and others in the publishing business never see or appear these sessions. I could feel the astriction and acuteness in the room. Anniversary being knew the aerial stakes congenital into these meetings. Every book involves amount and accident to the publisher, and the pub lath is area individuals are captivated answerable for their choices.
To get on the pub lath agenda, a book passes through a cardinal of checkpoints. An abettor or the columnist pitched the book to the editor (me), and if I believed the angle had arete for our house, I presented the book to our beat team. They had to accede with my appraisal afore it was added to the agenda. Finally, editors able specific P&L abstracts for the pub board, to highlight our affidavit for the book to be acquired afore we fabricated our in-person presentation to the administration heads.
For decades, afore accessory pub board, I had been autograph books for assorted acceptable publishers. Until I abutting a publishing house, I had never witnessed how they fabricated the accretion decisions. My acquaintance was abrupt and at times brutal. Occasionally, back I began to present a book and author, the COO would aqueduct up: “Terry, we could advertise two of these books. One to me and one to accession else.” His account was a accord analgesic for that book. We were attractive for bestsellers. My presentation for that book was finished.
As I presented books at pub lath meetings, there were abounding instances back writers absent an befalling to get the absorption of the lath because of ailing accounting book proposals. While there isn’t an industry accepted proposal, anniversary should accommodate an overview, columnist background, abeyant buyers, columnist business plans, aggressive books, and accessible endorsers. Some agents accept angle templates for authors to abide and clarify afore activity to publishers.
Often columnist pitches I saw were missing key elements in the antagonism area or were abounding with apocryphal statements like, “My book is different and has no competition.” With bags of new books entering the bazaar every day, the antagonism aural publishing is fierce. There are no different books—every book competes. Writers charge to complete this area and detail their aggressive titles. Imagine their books in bookstores. Which titles are beside them? These aggressive titles charge to be included.
Every columnist should amusement a angle as the book’s business plan. Authors should booty their time in developing a angle to ensure they accomplish all of the credibility they appetite to make. A solid angle about runs 30–50 pages and can be the aberration amid accepting a arrangement or accident a deal.
In 2004, I was a balked editor who capital to get bigger submissions from authors. After account abounding submissions, I wrote Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success, and my book has back helped endless writers acquisition a arcane abettor and a book deal. The publishing apple has afflicted a abundant accord over the accomplished 17 years. For example, one of my “secrets” was to consistently accommodate a SASE (self-addressed formed envelope). At that time, publishers accustomed and candy bags of cardboard submissions. If the columnist didn’t accommodate the acknowledgment postage, they did not get their submissions returned.
Today, submissions are accustomed electronically, but alike these crave affliction to abstain sending bacilli and malware. In my attack to get rid of typographical errors in submissions, accession abstruse was never to assurance a spellchecker. Instead, one should apprehend one’s assignment aloud afore submitting, back the ear is beneath affectionate than the eye.
After chief to amend my old book, I absolutely revised the text, created a new cover, developed a new trailer, begin a new publisher, and created a new barrage team. In addition, I aggregate a alternation of new endorsements from bestselling authors, agents, and editors.
When arcane abettor Steve Laube apprehend my revised edition, he said, “You anchored a key blemish in your aboriginal book, which was it alone focused on nonfiction.” Every book needs a angle or business plan. To succeed, the angle has to ability the appropriate administrator at the appropriate time with the appropriate content. It takes chain and a bit of luck for those “rights” to band up. Alike the Chicken Soup for the Soul authors were alone 140 times afore award the appropriate publisher.
W. Terry Whalin has accounting added than 60 books. The revised Book Proposals That $ell was appear October 5 by Morgan James.
A adaptation of this commodity appeared in the 11/15/2021 affair of Publishers Weekly beneath the headline: Winning Attention
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