So it’s 2am and I can’t sleep – anyone else having this problem?
Anyway, I was just asked by a friend to provide some advice to an aspiring author and thought I’d share my answer for this group as well. Whether you should publish or self-publish is a completely separate conversation, but the below advice assumes you’ve made the decision that you’d like to be published by a major publisher. Anyway, here it is:
here’s my advice:
I know it sounds basic, but it’s the hardest part. Assign at least 2-3 hrs a week to lock yourself in a room or coffee shop and write. No matter what comes out, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Don’t write a book – write a book proposal.
It’s like a resume for a book. It has a basic overview, chapter titles, a competitive analysis and why your book is better/different than other competing titles, and most importantly, your plan to sell books. Of all the components, publishers will pay most attention to your “platform” or how you intend to sell books, so make sure you think of every possible way and sell them on your ability to sell books!
3. Get an endorsement from the most famous person you know who’s relevant to your book topic. It’s your attention grabber and I put mine in bold at the top of my book proposal. I think it’s one of the reasons Wiley decided to go with me.
Once your book proposal is done, you can send it to an agent (I have a great one if you need a referral) and he/she can shop it to publishers. It’s my belief they’d much rather skim through a proposal than an entire manuscript, so you’ve already put yourself ahead of most aspiring authors. If one bites, they’ll send you a proposal to write the manuscript and probably offer an advance to do so. If they don’t like it, then you only wasted time on a few pages instead of a few hundred pages :).
ok, I think my very pregnant wife is beginning to get annoyed by my typing, so I’m off to bed!
all the best,