Friday, May 9, 2014

Writers: The Secret to Getting a Publishing Deal

Writers: The Secret to Getting a Publishing Deal


How many rejection letters have you accumulated over the years? Over 10? Over 20? Over 50? Maybe even over 100. The problem with being a writer is that you think your next book is the one that’s going to be the big break you’ve been working so hard for.
Are you sure? Isn’t the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

So take a moment and look at the publishing business from the agents and publishers viewpoint. What would be your main concern? Well. obviously securing the rights to the next best-selling novel would be goal #1.

So let’s go back to that new book you’re working on. You may think the topic you’ve chosen is hot stuff but have you taken a moment to check with the buying public? Some books have a built in audience. Take dogs and cats for example. There is a huge market for book on pets. Remember Marley & Me? Bestselling book, big selling movie.

Cowboys & Aliens? That became a #1 movie.

Then there is the triumph of the human spirit. Thousands of successful books have been written about people living through difficult and dangerous times. The Holocaust, the Great Depression, the Civil War, Slavery, The World Wars, The Dust Bowl and so on.

Police and Lawyer stories are always popular. The TV show Law and Order has been running for how many years? And of course, SEX ala Fifty Shades of Grey

Let’s take a step back to you being an agent or publisher. You likely have a boss. He’s going to want an explanation as to why you think the company should sign this someone to a book deal. You tell them it’s a great book, fast-paced well-written with great content.

So your boss asks if it is about pets. No? Triumph of the human spirit? Kinda but not really. Contemporary popular topics? No? Police or Lawyer? No?

What’s happening here is the boss is going down the list of the best-selling topics and you’re striking out. But there is a still a chance, the book you love is about a bi-polar woman during the Great Depression. It’s well written and engaging. But here’s the problem. Although it is about the triumph of the human spirit somewhat, books about the Great Depression aren’t HOT right now and therefore it will require a lot of promotion to get it off the ground, meaning a lot of money invested in advertising and publicity.

But money is tight in the publishing business. Advances are WAY DOWN and advertising money goes to the project most likely to turn a profit.

Have you noticed all the Duck Dynasty and Kardasian books on the shelves lately?

So the secret of getting a book deal is this: You need to have either a well-written book that’s about a current hot topic OR make yourself into a brand by becoming well known on social media.

For example, my blog has been read by over 27,000 people. My facebook page has over 1300 LIKES plus I won a writers award for my YA novel Frostie the Deadman.  

So ask yourself, What am I doing to improving my chances of getting a book deal? If your answer is, I’m writing great books, and as a writer that’s all I need to do.

If that’s your attitude then your chances of getting a deal have dropped even further because once an agent or publisher realized that you don’t intend to do anything to promote your book, they will likely hand over that contract to someone who’ll promote their book 24/7

So here are your options. Keep writing and sending manuscripts to agents and publishers hoping that sooner or later one of them will offer you a contract or TAKE ACTION.

Example: Best-selling author Amanda Hocking sent her books to every publisher and agent she could find. ALL turned her down. She kept this up until finally she decided to TAKE ACTION. She researched the best-selling books and discovered a niche she knew she could excel at. The Zombie/Vampire/Romance/Teen market.

She created a blog and heavily engaged her readers. She wrote at an explosive rate, sold her books on Kindle and built a strong loyal following. She’s now a millionaire. Why? Because she TOOK ACTION! And guess who’s offering her huge advances for her books, and a boat load of other perks?

That’s right. The same publishers that consistently turned her down before.

When my publisher ran into financial difficulty and had to stop publishing, I considered looking for a new publisher then decided that I wasn’t going to spend any more time looking for an new publisher. Instead I partnered with other novelists and created Ari Publishing.

It was a considerable undertaking at first but it’s doing quite well now and I’ve expanded it into a full service agency that helps professionals establish themselves in their field and new authors to learn the business and build a following.

If you have questions about writing or publishing you can contact me at or just visit and have a look around.

Remember, nothing is going to happen until you TAKE ACTION!