Today’s post truly comes from my own experience. I’m here to tell you that hard work pays off. I landed a traditional publishing deal! Whoo hoo!
Not only that, the publisher, Writer’s Digest Books, is happy–no thrilled–with my platform, which has been 8-10 years in the making. Yes, that’s a long time, and you could probably build one faster than I did.
I often speak about the fact that it takes more than a good idea and good writing to land a publishing deal. It takes being a good business partner — building author platform, knowing your markets, checking out your competition, finding a unique angle on your topic, and developing a strong promotion plan. That takes work. Hard work.
Here’s how I landed my publishing deal. I blogged a book. In fact I blogged a book about how to blog a book. (I took my own advice.)
My blog, How to Blog a Book, will become a book by the same title. (Yes, the concept of blogging a book really does work! I proved it.) I was told my deadline was August 19th. (Good thing the majority of the manuscript was complete because I landed the deal at the end of June and I was going away for the last week of June and part of the first week of July.) The book has a pub date of June 2012 — if not before. (Originally it was March 2012, and we are pushing for an earlier date.) As it turns out, the contract required 1/4 of the manuscript by August 1 and the rest in October. I completed all but one chapter by July 26.
For today, let me simply ask you this: What are you doing to become a good business partner for a publisher? And if you plan on self-publishing, what are you doing to become a good business person?
I have a client who started working on a Facebook page but gave up when it was too hard. She doesn’t yet have a blog. She hasn’t sent up a mechanism for a mailing list and hasn’t even thought about what to put in a newsletter. She wants to self-publish. Who will know about her book when she publishes it?
I have four blogs, each with several thousand unique visitors per month — no not a million, but enough. Plus, I blog on several other popular sites, such as this one. And I am featured on a popular podcast and just landed a weekly radio gig. Additionally, I try to write ezine articles and press releases and post them. I do a ton of social networking on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I also get out and speak and offer teleseminars when I can.
You don’t have to work as hard as I do, but you definitely have to work harder than my client, if you want to sell books to publishers and to readers. You have to build platform. You have to be a good business partner. I did this in many ways, including by blogging a book.
Are you willing to work hard? How hard? Hard enough to ensure your book gets published