Publishers are rightfully picky because they get pitched thousands of books a day. It takes effort to learn the ropes, send out brilliant book queries and do the research required to both craft the idea for a book, and then to propose it effectively. Finding a publisher is no mystery, but getting them to accept your proposal is another thing all together. It’s not likely a major publisher will pick up your book if you are a first-time author. However, if you are already a highly successful expert with a good marketing plan, full speaking schedule and media engagements lined up, you just might get picked up.
I got lucky securing my New York book agent, Jessica Faust of BookEnds. She found me from a Google search. Few authors get a book agent this way. But experts who already have a great online presence have a good shot at it. Jessica has sold three books of mine to three different publishers. When Jessica sent the proposal out for my latest book I had a number of major publishers respond immediately with interest. My agent negotiated with publishers back and forth for a couple of months before deciding on Career Press. I choose this publisher because they gave me the shortest deadline for publication. I wanted to get the book out there fast. Nothing will motivate you more to complete your book than a signed contract with a check waiting for you on the other side!
If you don’t get picked up by a major publisher, self-publishing is the way to go. The good news is that it’s a lot easier today to self-publish than ever before. If you want to get your book out there fast and make a name for yourself, self-publishing is a great way to go. With self-publishing you have total control over your title, content, cover and sales. Yet you also need to do all the work to get it published. That’s the reason they call it self-publishing. Today, self-publishing can be easier than you think. You can become your own publisher at any time and print any number of books you wish. Print on Demand (POD) costs are now low, making it easy to print a short run of books. With POD there is no inventory piled up in your garage, because you are able to print any number of books you need with a quick turnaround time.
You’ll need to hire an editor and a book designer, but otherwise the base costs can be minimal to get your book out there. As an expert you should have lots of great information to share, so writing a book should not be a challenge for you. But getting it done and meeting a deadline might be. As a self-published author you need to create your own deadline, and you need to stick to it.
If you are not good at staying focused and keeping deadlines you may want to consider hiring a book coach. A good book coach can help by walking you through the step-by-step process of getting published. They will also help to cut your learning curve on the writing process, build your confidence, keep you motivated and keep you on track of reaching your publication goal.
One very important thing I suggest as a self-published author is to have a professional cover created. People do judge a book by its cover! If it doesn’t look great on the outside, it’s probably not going to sell. It’s worth the investment to get it done right. You want to feel proud and excited about your book. So don’t go cheap on your book cover! For a professional book cover design, like what you would see from a major publisher, you would expect to pay anywhere from $500 – $1,500.