Whether you are a writer or not, imagine having someone look into your diary or even just your planner. Don’t you feel that your privacy has been invaded? Every writer has a piece of them in the book that they write. No matter how logical or technical, there is something of the writer in every story, journal, piece, article, or newsletter that they write. That is part and parcel of being a writer. You leave something of yourself in every phrase or sentence that you write.
Now, imagine pouring everything into a manuscript and wanting the world to see that. Isn’t that a sign of bravery? So, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the thought of selling that book or idea to an editor or publisher. You’ve already done the hardest task of actually putting your thoughts into words and printing them on pieces of paper that others will eventually read. While at first, it is normal to feel embarrassed about begging others to take a chance on you, no successful writer has gone through their career without selling themselves.
Consider Self-publishing First
As the world continues to shift digitally, so does the world of publishing. Now, it is easier than ever to self-publish. There are plenty of successful self-published authors. Some of them may never sign up for traditional publishers because, with self-publishing, you get to keep control over your work. Plus, you keep the royalties, too.
That is the one huge difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing. But those who eventually want to join the ranks of traditionally published authors should still start with publishing their own book at first. That will attract the attention of publishing bigwigs.
Some people do not trust self-publishing enough because readers don’t take self-published authors that seriously. Avid book fans want the stamp of approval from an editor or a publisher. However, self-publishing has its perks since you can control how to sell your book, and you get to show your thoughts out there, completely unedited and unfiltered.
Develop Yourself as an Expert
Even fiction writers need to be experts of something. Are you an expert in crime novels? How about romantic comedies? Are you like John Grisham with your legal tales? While you are working on your manuscript, work on becoming an expert on the theme you want to write about. Take classes. Attend symposiums. Join workshops. This way, the editors and publishers will take notice of your name even before you publish your first story. Even before you reach out to them, they would’ve already heard about you.
Once you begin selling yourself not only as a writer but also as an expert, that’s when publishers will take notice of you. But for that to happen, you have to do the hard work of arming yourself with the right tools. This doesn’t mean making a name for yourself to your target market. But inside your own industry, you have to do the unenviable task of being an expert on your theme.
Improve Your Social Media Game
You have to be visible on social media, too. It’s not enough that you are a good writer. You need to know how to sell yourself. Set up professional accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. Talk about various topics that are important to you. Make sure to back up your thoughts with actual sources. Not doing so will make you look like any ordinary social media user. You’ll be another voice in the millions of people on Facebook.
Use social media to engage with your followers. These are the same people you will market to in the future. If they are interested enough to hear short snippets of your thoughts on social media, then they’ll also be interested enough to get your book.
However, make sure to always be professional on social media. Don’t cross any lines that can jeopardize your career. Always be respectful of the opinion of others even if they disagree with yours. Remember, your social media accounts are there to share with your followers what you have been working on. They don’t exist for you to argue with them.
Once you have done these, it’s time to put them all together and present yourself before a publisher. Yes, you need to sell yourself and the story you want to publish armed with the right tools—success in self-publication, expertise on the topics you want to write about, and a huge social media presence that any publisher can’t simply neglect. When publishers notice these, it’ll be easier for them to take a second look at your manuscript.
Meta title: An Essential Guide to Selling Your Book to Publishers
meta desc: For first-time authors, selling a book to an editor or publisher can be daunting. After pouring yourself into the story, you’re ready for the world to read it.
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