Friday, May 6, 2022

The Book All Publishers Want


Publishers are always looking out for good books. No, not just books that read well and are interesting, needed or useful. Good, as in will deliver a decent return on investment.

When I was an acquisitions editor looking through the slush pile for a small, independent book publisher nearly thirty years ago, I was looking for manuscripts that met the criteria of the publisher, namely non-fiction books by credible authors on popular, mainstream subjects, where authors often were ready to commit to purchasing a chunk of books. This type of formula holds true, I suspect, at most small presses and even some of the Big 5 publishers today.

So, to help publishers see the potential sales of a book, you need to make a statistical case as to why your book will sell. They will need to:

See how big the potential marketplace is

Show them what the demographic of a likely reader is — and how many exist.

Track past sales of similar books

Show how other books like yours make money.

Gage the economic landscape of the book world

Are book sales trending up or down? Is the economy good? 

Estimate their ability to market and promote such a book

They will look to see how books like yours have been promoted successfully by them; they will also look to see if they have a good model to follow or a formula to execute.

Examine the production costs

Is there anything about the book size, length, images, paper quality, interior layout, or cover design that will make your book exceptionally inexpensive or cost-prohibitive?

Then they need to judge whether:

* You have the best qualifications to write this book.
* Your book is well written, unique, new, different, or better than what has been published in that genre and in comparison to all other manuscripts on any subject available to them.
* You have a good track record as a published author — if you have been published before.
* You have a chance to grow and pen other marketable books.
* There are other rights to be sold: foreign, film, or other formats, such as mass market or audio.

Most importantly, you must show the likelihood, even the guarantee of some sales, based on what you say you will do, including promises to:

* Purchase a certain number of books
* Hire a publicist
* Provide a big social media following or mailing list that you can tap into
* Indicate how your connections could yield media coverage, speaking engagements, or social media opportunities to sell the book.

Essentially, you must:

* Convince the publisher, with concrete resources and statistics, that you are not a risk for them — and that your book can turn a profit.

* Show them you are easy to work with.

* Penetrate any obstacles that they raise.

Do you have a book that publishers really want? Prove it.


Please Contact Me For Help

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: 

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