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Thursday, June 7, 2012

How To Get A ‘Yes’ Out Of Others

Book publicists, authors, and book marketers hear the word ‘no’ much more often than ‘yes.’ They also get a lot of ‘maybe’ or just plain silence at the other end of an email or voice mail. So what is the secret to getting someone to say ‘yes’?

<1. Do not expect a ‘yes’ as often as you’d hope to hear one. Strategically reach out to many people, so as to increase your chances of getting a ‘yes’ from someone.

<2. Aside from having an outreach of quantity, do one of quality. Zero in on the ones you either have the best chance of getting a ‘yes’ from or focus on the key people you desperately want a ‘yes’ from. For either of these groups, make an extra effort. That means personalizing your contact, giving them a special offer, contacting them by numerous methods (phone, email, mail, visit in person) and being persistent.

33. Keep a positive attitude. People say yes to those who are easy to deal with, smiling, attractive inwardly, and humble.

44. Act with confidence, but not arrogance.

<5. Be creative. You need to stick out. Doing what others do or being merely as good as them is not good enough.

<6. Give them a deadline. It may sound strange to make demands from those you need something from but attach a response date to your offer to give it urgency and authenticity.

<7. Look for a third party introduction. It always helps to get a foot in the door from someone already in the room.

<8. Trade favors or barter to get what you want.

<9. Do your homework. Know what matters to the person you want a ‘yes’ from. What is it that they need or want?

<10. Know more about the individual you seek a ‘yes’ from. Try to connect with them on a personal level. People do business with those they know, like, or who can do something for them.

<11. Don’t accept the ‘no.’ Repitch them and try another approach to get that ‘yes’ – or until they issue a restraining order against you. Don’t harass them but do give it a second shot.

<12. Cain agreement in your conversations, even if about unimportant things, but get them in a ‘yes’ state of mind.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.


  1. I agree about doing something different. I write romance with magical realism and gentle warm humour. I pitched an idea to a new epublisher last year, then a series based on the same theme, and they said yes. Publisher has told me she loves my writing, and I can tell a good story which she thought some people can't. I think it was because the story is different to what I have seen out there.

  2. I’m a first-time author struggling to get my first novel published. Ok, based on what I’ve previously read, I know most of this stuff.

    Creative – hmmm… I made a three-fold brochure about my book, does that count?

    Deadline? – they all say “don’t call us, we’ll call you” or, “If you haven’t heard from us in six weeks, the answer is no”

    Trade favors – ok, that’s cool. So how do I find out what favors they want that I can produce?

    Do your homework – Maybe there’s another source, but outside of the general info on their blog, how do I find out?

    I’m scheduled to meet with several agents at a writer’s conference on June 30. I’ve read literally everything about them I can find on line. Most of it is pretty general stuff. Three of them do accept children’s literature. Any suggestions?