By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about why picking and pitching the right publisher and agent is essential to your publishing success.
Each book has a genre and bookseller category of its own. Its individual success depends on the category it’s in and how it competes with other books that serve and support the consumers who buy it.
From the publisher’s and agent’s perspective, your book has to be one they are interested in and be in a genre that they are accustomed to supporting and selling.
The truth is not every publisher and agent represents every kind of book. Instead, many of them specialize in a particular genre or genres that they enjoy selling projects in. They tend to repeat their great sales experiences they’ve had with new books like yours.
Too often I see authors getting rejected by agents or publishers for their projects and wonder what they need to do differently. Sometimes, the answer may be as simple as you submitted your project to the wrong person or company. Why is it wrong, you ask? If that person or company doesn’t work with your type of book, it’s not going to be considered for representation or publication.
It doesn’t mean that your book is no good or that you really need to change much. In these circumstances, it just means you didn’t knock on the right door.
Let me give you an example. I had a client a few years ago who showed me his file of rejection letters that he had collected for his innovative cookbook that complimented his unique personal training business. Letter after letter said no – and that was enough for him to shelve his book… for eight years before he met me.
As I leafed through his letters, I started to smile and shake my head. I recognized some of the agents who had been kind enough to send him a rejection letter – a standard one – that neglected to include that they didn’t represent cookbooks.
His story is a perfect example of what I hear happening to many authors. They just don’t know who to turn to so they send their book to everyone!
In order to better position yourself for your successful pitching and publishing journey, do your homework and find out what types of books interest the agent or publisher you want to approach.
Just like the guests on my show have said – including today’s guest, Nancy Cleary, the publisher of Wyatt-MacKenzie, don’t send them just anything. Send them the books they are hungry for – the ones they like to publish and want to have in their stable.
It’s a shame to see authors work so hard on their projects, only to see them shelve them when they receive a few rejections. While publishing is about being persistent, and every author will tell you that persistence pays, you can simplify your own path to pitching your book and getting published by doing your homework first. After all, when you do, everybody wins with your great book that they can join you in getting behind and enjoy supporting it.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.