BEWLEYBOOKS: To attract a publisher
Updated: May 27
In the past three decades, having worked in the book world, publishing and printing, marketing and media, I figured it should be about time I put together my knowledge and experience. This is to help you, as an author, wade your way through the maze that it can sometimes be.
In the next few postings you will have the benefit of my experience and from it, you will get:
insights into how a publisher choses a book
what they look for that makes it stand out
how you, as the author, should present it
what you should say to grab attention
and much more besides
This series of topics will be aimed at helping you once you have finished your book - when you have in you that burning desire to see it in print.
To figure out how to write your book, simply check out How to be an author and gain some insights into creating your masterpiece.
For me, it was wonderful to be blessed with being able to grow up with my head forever in books (seriously) and then having the most fantastic adventure of actually working in the book industry. That thrill has never left me.
When it came to writing my own books, all I had to do was put all that I had learned into practice.
When you write a book, it's a cathartic experience. Putting the words down on the page lets loose the demons in your head. The multitude of views and characters that scream to be heard are forever at your finger tips - and they won't let you go until you write those final two words: THE END.
Once you have written those words, it's not the end for you as the author. Far from it.
It's the beginning of a new part of your book you now have to navigate
Of course, initially, you wrote the book for you. But now, to get your work into print (either by yourself or through a publisher) you really must connect with the reader you want to capture.
Knowing how the publishing wheels turn, is a distinct advantage, however, you won't have to spend thirty years doing what I have done in order to get that. You only have to take from my experience, knowledge and insight which I'm freely giving to you.
Back in the 'old days', people used to write a book, then print it off (a huge 300+ page manuscript) and pop it into the post - to one of the big five publishers, based in London or New York.
At the beginning of my career, I often found myself sitting in the darkest slush pile room where I was ordered to shred the rejections.
I heard the story (and it might not be true, but just go with it), of JK Rowling's great good fortune when a woman like me decided to have a tea-break in one of these slush-pile rooms. Of course, that's when she sat down and started to read Harry's adventures. Once she saw the story unfold, she scurried off to her editor with it hot in her hands.
The rest, my friends, is history.
There are other writers, though, who don't get such luck. So, all we can say is:
"Thank God the publishing business has changed!"
Well, yes, and no.
In my next blog, you'll find out more about how publishing has changed and what to do about it.
Until then, all my best,
Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
Feel free to visit her BewleyBooks.com site, where you can sign-up to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.