Thursday, 26 February 2009

How to get your book published in a recession

As the global recession bites the publishing industry is as much under threat as any other. We have seen big companies shedding jobs and small indies going to the wall. So in this climate can a writer still get their book published?

Here are a few things you can do to give your book the best possible chance:
  1. Know your market: A writer must remember that a book successfully pitched today will not be in print for one or even two years. This means publishers are not looking so much at current trends, but trying to predict future trends. However, certain genres are easier to place than others. Young adult fiction is currently experiencing a boom, whilst historical fiction is always a good seller.
  2. Don’t be rubbish: When approaching a publisher or agent a writer MUST offer the best possible pitch they can. Your cover letter must be immaculate, the synopsis beyond reproach and the manuscript the best it can be. The key is self editing. Before you send out your work make sure you have been over it with a fine tooth comb. Remove all unnecessary sentences, tighten up each and every paragraph and make sure the grammar is spot on.
  3. Offer the whole package: Publishers are looking for more than just a book; they are looking for the whole package. As a writer you need to offer yourself as part of the deal. Develop your story by producing a potted narrative of your journey to writer. Give them a hook on which they can hang your marketing. Also establish an online platform. Set up a blog, start twittering and make a habit of populating the writer’s forums.
  4. Persistence: Beyond all else don’t give up. It can take years to find the perfect publisher for your book. It also helps if you widen your search. Every writer looks for one of the big boy publishers but these are almost impossible to snare without an agent. Don’t be scared of setting your sites lower and targeting the small (and not so small) indie publishers.