How a publisher might select your work: how do you get found?

author-typing-for-publisherBeing ahead of schedule in my book writing, at least so far, does loosen up the creativity for subsequent chapters. If you are just tuning in to this either short or long series of a book publishing experience, you can catch up if you like at How a publisher selects your work: a publisher knocked before I thought about a book

There are a few questions in my mind, as well as a few from some of you. There are also questions that come up regularly as I work with the publisher.

Here are some questions in no particular order:

How does a publisher find you?

Are you ready for the opportunity?

Is there a fit?

Can you work with the time frame to complete the book?

Are you given a topic?

What if you cannot be credible about or lack interest in the topic?

Does a publisher want something you have already written?

I’ll be answering these, and more if you have further questions.

To get started, 

How does a publisher find you?

If you’re an aspiring author then this might be something you ask. Even if you are not interested in getting a book published you might have interest in how books that you buy, end up at the bookstores and even on Kindle.

You might be writing your book now. If you are, you know the work does not end with the writing. Even with all those hours of being in your head, taking your creative ideas and getting them on paper, that is just the beginning.

Someone has to edit your work.  You’ll edit it first of course. But then someone else has to look at it. There are spelling and grammar rules that you just might be too close to. There are parts of your writing that may be perfectly clear to you but not to anyone else. Plus a different set of eyes will scour out anything that is written poorly.

If you didn’t decide upfront, before writing, then after the editing is when to decide to either self-publish or find a publisher, often with the help of an agent. That brings in a proposal, both one that sells your idea and gives enough detail for the publisher to know, it is a fit for their goals and audience.

Eventually is the marketing of your book. Another major task that some publishers do some, all or nothing with. That could mean that you are also the marketer.

One of my longer-term online friends, Jeannette Paladino, View Jeannette's LinkedIn profileView Jeannette’s profile commented to me that it is rare that a publisher finds you. She reminded me my opportunity was not by accident. I think she’s right!

I’ve been blogging for years. In particular about almost everything introvert.

I’ve authored several books; two in print, others on Kindle and still others as eBook PDFs.

The reason I accept any invitation for a podcast, radio show interview, guest blogging, and even a few local pro-bono speaking engagements is to broaden my reach.

All of these actions build on experience, credibility and authority.

How a publisher finds you is more all about timing than anything else though. In my case two timelines merged: The publisher was at the beginning of a new genre for their titles. Their team scoured the Internet for writing that looked and sounded like a fit for their style. They came across me, and more importantly my blog. It seemed there was a fit for what they wanted to do for introverts.

How do you know there is a fit?

What I was originally asked to write I know I am qualified to do, but even with some research and help from others in my field, it was impossible for me to say yes confidently. My first proposal back, was to ask if I could suggest another topic title. One that would reach a broader appeal after I did a little research with my tribe.

The publisher’s editor liked it.

And from there we went to uncovering more details before proposal stage.

Because the publisher emailed me a sample proposal, I knew the amount of time and energy needed to create a proposal they would buy. So we bandied emails back and forth for a couple of weeks to flush the details out.

Then we went back to talk about the money.

Have you written a book? Why?

Did you go to find a publisher? How did you succeed?

Did a publisher find you, and how? Talk with me! I want to know.

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  1. Interesting post. I have not written a book – been playing with the idea though. 😀 Reading your post, i can totally see how blogging and all other writing-related activities you do and accept can and do help you broaden your reach. Great insights – thanks for sharing, Patricia!

    Another question came to mind though – can a publisher find you even though you have not written a book before?
    Diana recently posted…How to Use Google Calendar for Better Time ManagementMy Profile

  2. Jeannette Paladino

    Pat — first, thanks for the mention in your post. You’ve been out there with content and built a body of work about introverts that made you bubble to the top in search. You’ve reconfirmed my oft-stated belief that everyone in business needs a blog. It’s where you control your own content, distribute it to social media networks, and establish your authority. It’s your home base. Congratulations on doing everything right and getting a book publishing contract!
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…A LinkedIn Message That I Couldn’t ResistMy Profile

  3. Thank you for your observations, thoughts and suggestions. I am (we my assistant, editor and I). It gives me hope that just maybe I might be successful somewhere in this blogosphere. I am so excited for you and very much look forward to hearing more about your journey. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Caprese Salad by Susan: RecipeMy Profile

  4. Lorraine Regulyl

    I wrote a book when I was in university. I am only now trying to get it published. Initially, my plan was to get a publisher to publish it, but now I’m not so sure; self-publishing has its advantages!

    I also plan on publishing a few more books, given enough time.
    Lorraine Regulyl recently posted…Apparently, I’m Now “It”!My Profile

  5. Wow, that is incredible how you were found. In order to be found you had to do a lot of work to get to the point where a search could be found on you in the first place. I know I have read your comments on other people’s blog that you were an introvert. I have to say you could have fouled me.

    I am not writing any books as I struggle with writing in the first place. Just writing my blogs has been an enormous challenge for me.

    So is there a continuation to this story? Yes you work out a price, but how to you know if you are being offered the proper price for a book? Are their guidelines? Are you locked into this publisher now? How do you know that this publisher will market your book? I realized that they are paying you but I am assuming that they are getting a percentage. Sorry for the questions. Inquiring minds want to know.
    Arleen recently posted…How Sawaya Found the Building Blocks to SuccessMy Profile

  6. Introverts love writing. It moves from the head to the heart to the hands.

    Blogs CAN be challenging for sure.

    As long as I keep getting questions, tune in on Fridays, at least that is now the plan, for the continuation of these answers to questions. Thanks Arleen.
    PatriciaWeber recently posted…How a publisher selects your work: a publisher knocked before I thought about a bookMy Profile

  7. Elizabeth Scott says

    Patricia, It is so exciting to know the steps to be where you are. There is something about writing that really relates to people. I am not a writer but I dabbled in poetry in high school. It was a release for me. This is great information for anyone wanting to be published in both traditional and e-book versions.
    Elizabeth Scott recently posted…Bloggers Showcase: David SutoyoMy Profile

  8. Cheryl Therrien

    I could not be more excited for you! I have self-published twice and am now trying to obtain a traditional publisher. OMG what a task that is! They tell me it is a marathon and not a sprint.
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…Photos: Preserving Your MomentsMy Profile

  9. Lorraine Regulyl

    Patricia, I wrote a book about poetry analysis when I was in university. You can learn more about it on my poetry blog’s About page. Visit poetryperfectedDOTwordpressDOTcom and watch a video about it!
    Lorraine Regulyl recently posted…Apparently, I’m Now “It”!My Profile

  10. Pat I think it is fantastic that the publisher found you. But knowing what an expert you are on introverts I’m not surprised.

    Have written a book about global leadership for Kindle. Have done th editing with Grammarly. Now, however, I have to deal with the IRS to avoid paying taxes both in Sweden and the United States. And that will take a couple of months. Then I will publish it on Kindle. Selected that way of publishing because it enables me to sell to my readers all around the world.
    Catarina recently posted…Are we moving from mass consumption to the wants of individuals?My Profile

  11. Once my novel is finally in the hands of beta readers (early 2014 hopefully) I’ll up my efforts to decide which agents to submit to. I’m willing to give it a year because I believe a traditional publishing deal would be the best for me. If not, I’ll be still developing a head for all the of the business aspects an indie author needs to grasp to be successful. I only wish I could write faster. In addition to fiction, I have a varied background in writing nonfiction as well. My snail’s pace is not aligned to this day and age of fast everything when it comes to publishing.
    Jeri recently posted…Book Review: A Real Emotional Girl by Tanya ChernovMy Profile

  12. I’ve heard some old authors say that if they tried to publish in today’s market, they’d be turned down. I hear many publishers want you to have a tribe before looking at you. How did you build your tribe?
    Joanne recently posted…15 tips for taking the S.A.T.sMy Profile

  13. I really enjoy following this process as you go through it. It gets to the heart of how you did it/do it and what keeps striking me is the patience, perseverance and hard work involved. As Jeanette so rightly pointed out, the publisher didn’t happen upon you, it wasn’t an accident or good luck, it took years of work and expertise.

    I also think you are exploring a really fascinating subject area that many people can connect and understand or be surprised by. The more I learn on the subject of introverts, the more fascinated I am. We are are culture that worships extroverts and we do ourselves a disservice by focussing so exclusively on one set of traits. The more information out there on introverts, the better. 🙂
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Six Tips for Managing Difficult ConversationsMy Profile

  14. Patricia,

    Excellent post. It is so true, that not just in writing, but with everything that we do, it is usually not going to just fall in our laps. It takes time and consistent networking.

    Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Niekka McDonald

    So this was interesting because even though I’m not in the process of writing a book that has been on my future goal list. The amount of work that goes into writing a book as well as finding a publisher. Once you find one I think the most important thing is the fit. You want someone who values what you believe. Thanks this helps me and I have taken notes.
    Niekka McDonald recently posted…Saying GoodbyeMy Profile

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