The decision to publish a book: when a publisher finds a writer

book-publishingIt is encouraging for me to continue to be ahead with my delivery of chapters and book images for the publisher. Thank you all following this adventure for the continued questions about the publishing process.

One question I am often asked is, “Why didn’t you self-publish?” Being a personal answer this is likely to be different than every author.

In 1998 I self-published my first book Sales Skills for an Unfair Advantage: 104 Sales Tips for People in a Hurry. This was before technology was into on demand printing and there were minimum orders to give the publisher. There were a handful of National Speakers Association speakers, including me, intrigued by a publisher’s way of packing a book in a pocket-sized format. The idea of The Short Attention Span Library books was to give the most vital information in a small amount of space.

There were book signings set up and either books to sell to books to give away for marketing in public speaking engagements.

It served its intended purpose for many years. It secured me speaking and training gigs and there was always a gift or two for super workshop participants.

Then when my curiosity started about online information products, I started with eBooks, moved them to Kindle, and am delighted that I did.

Do you see the array of books in the footer below? These are my books either on Kindle or available in PDF format.

It was time to step up my personal game. If someone is knocking then open the door. I listened to the proposal, including more, and the collaboration sounded mutually beneficial.

Now I am working to write for a scheduled release of February 2014.

Another question asked is, “Can a publisher find you even though you have not written a book before?”

If my situation can be an example then answer is yes. When I asked the publisher how they found me, there was no mention of either my self-published book from years ago or any of my five Kindle books as a reason.

The commissioning editor’s answer was is two parts; the first one is my interpretation of events that lead them on the search. The publisher launches out in a new direction with a new division. This tells me that when a publisher is ready to expand or go in new directions, they are talent scouting. Looking for authors. It is a matter of timing for the potential author.

What he specifically clarified for me was, “… I found your website via a Google search for experts on coaching introverts; of those I found your advice looked the most practical and well written.” In other words, there was a match for their needs in what he could discern from my writing, for him to move into a conversation with me to see if there was interest in their proposed title.

Are you given a topic? The invitation email I received talked about the business book publisher’s preference for “practical and focused books.” It sounded eerily like me! After a further description, I saw they requested a specific topic. One I felt qualified do write about this skill but not necessarily to stay motivated with it for 180 pages in length. That’s when I used the Internet to poll my tribe to see if my instincts were correct. They were.

If you are interested in following this publishing journey, here’s what’s up next Friday:

How many pages will your book be?

Are you locked into this publisher now?

Are there guidelines?


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  1. I have always worked on the premise of “if you’re working at it every day and engaged with your passion someone will notice”. You have just shown that to be true. You’ve worked hard over the years, even thou it was trying at times you were steadfast in your pursuit of your dream and your passion. With that things happen.

    So here is my question for you. How do you, are you disciplining yourself to write a certain amount each day. What is your process. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Easy Danishes: RecipeMy Profile

  2. Cheryl Therrien

    I am still so very pumped for you. Working on 2 books now – one for traditional publishing and one for self-publishing. Same subject. I am hoping the self-published will help lure both additional audience and the traditional publisher. Fingers crossed…
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…Herbs For Health: A New SeriesMy Profile

  3. Thanks for sharing the journey to involved in working on your book. Now that I’m revising my novel, I cringe that I so carefully wrote it in a plodding pace because it’s too short. It’s harder to add length in than it is to cut overage out…
    Jeri recently posted…Author Interview: Chad Thomas JohnstonMy Profile

    • Oh dear Jeri. Yikes. In my first two chapters (not the preface though thankfully!) the editor wanted more in one place in each. I put my mind in question mode – maybe this will help? But I am not a fiction writer. Anyway, I looked at the section and asked, “Who else? What else? When else? Where else? How else?” if that didn’t help, and maybe you can grab something from this, I’d asked myself, all those questions from the extrovert perspective.
      PatriciaWeber recently posted…6 Ways the Internet Works for Introverts by guest blogger Jake MaglebyMy Profile

  4. Am not surprised the publisher found you, Pat. You must be high up on Google’s SERPS for coaching introverts. Then they discovered that you had already written books. Exactly what they were looking for.

    Keep up the good work!!
    Catarina recently posted…Can Hermès handbags and diamonds give you a start?My Profile

  5. Patricia I was reading a post not long ago that had the writer complaining that people are reluctant to share their knowledge, he used an author as an example of what he meant. I wish I could have sent him a link to this post. 🙂

    You mentioned that the publisher had one direction for you to go in and you thought perhaps another would have more appeal so asked your tribe and went with their feedback. I find it very challenging to narrow my view to a specific area, particularly if the subject matter is as broad as this one, yet to move too far afield can make a book lose cohesion. How do explore fully, but stay focussed on your angle?
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Label Blindness – When You Become Trapped By Your TitleMy Profile

  6. oh, i have missed this! Thanks for answering my question, Patricia, about being found even if you have not published a book before. It does make a lot of sense to scout for talent when a publisher is ready to expand. It’s pretty similar to looking for talent when there’s a new position opening in your department, i guess. This is… oh, well – encouraging! 😀

    Keep on blogging – your publisher-writer adventure series is awesome!
    Diana recently posted…How the Client Sees Your Freelance ApplicationMy Profile

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