Finding a publisher can be difficult, particularly for acim. There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that you may need to send your manuscript to hundreds of publishers before the best offer arrives. And, unless you are already a published author, you will probably have to pay some of the publishing costs. The good news is that almost no publishers want a paper manuscript any longer. Publishers today prefer that you send a proposal by electronic mail. This makes it much easier and less costly to contact publishers. However, your proposal must be perfect and that takes time.
Don’t waste your time sending a proposal to a publisher who doesn’t specialize in your type of book. You are not going to change their mind and they receive hundreds of proposals each week. So, research publishing companies carefully. Search within each company for books of your type. You can often begin by using search terms related to your book’s title and content. Some of the larger companies have departments for specific genre. Search for “science fiction, self-help, children’s,” or whatever genre your book represents. Narrow your search to those publishing companies that publish your type of book and are currently accepting submissions. “Once you find a publishing company that specializes in your genre and scheme, get ready to contact them.
Some people prefer to seek a literary agent first. While literary agents can and do find publishers for novice writers, this method is not often successful. Literary agents seek published authors, established in a certain genre. If you’ve never been published before, your chance of successfully obtaining an agent for your first novel is poor. Like find a publisher, being represented by an agent requires an excellent proposal and just the right opportunity. Meanwhile, you can and should go ahead and contact publishers on your own. You can always seek an agent later.
Each publisher prefers his or her own specific way of receiving information. That means you must research each publisher on the Internet. Look for something that says, “Submission Guidelines.” This will tell you precisely what to send, and how to send it. Read this very carefully. If they are seeking a manuscript that is different from yours, forget them and move along. If your book seems to be a good fit with the publisher’s interests, then create a proposal that will fit their guidelines. Some publishers are very diligent in rejecting author proposals that do not address each content requirement from the submission guidelines. Do not take this lightly.
Step one is developing a terrific book proposal. Proposals must include very specific information in a very particular format. Fail to do this and your proposal will be rejected. In the absence of other directions, your proposal should include a table of contents, sales attributes, author biography, synopsis, chapter titles, market analysis, competitive analysis, and marketing strategies. Each portion of this proposal is critical. Take your time and use at least one page for each content topic. The synopsis might require several pages. Sometimes the publisher will request several chapters, or the first three chapters. Read their submission requirements very carefully. Tell them who will buy your book (market analysis and sales attributes), why it is better than similar books (competitive analysis), and how you will persuade people to buy it (marketing strategies). Take your time and give each topic a page of its own. If you’re still uncertain about what to write, dig deeper with Internet search efforts. There is a great deal available.
Publishers receive hundreds of proposals daily and they will gladly delete yours if you fail to follow directions carefully. Remember, you not only must attract their attention, they must also desire your type of book. Sending a proposal for a horror fiction novel to a publisher who specializes in children’s books is a waste of everyone’s time. Even if you find the right publisher for your work, you must convince the publisher why the public will enjoy your book, who will buy it and how you will sell it.
Acquire lists of prospective publishers on the Internet. Use search terms to find publishers for your topic and genre. Some companies will sell you a list of publishers. You can largely find them on your on. Plan to contact a few hundred publishers via the Internet. That’s right a few HUNDRED. Being published is like getting a job. Your proposal is your resume. The better it is, the more interviews you will obtain. The more proposals you send, the more positive responses you will receive. The first offer is not necessarily the best. And, in this world, patience is most definitely a virtue. It might take months or years. But this I guarantee… the more proposals you send each week, the faster you will be published. Two or three proposals per week just won’t get the job done.