Many of you will be attending the Together for Adoption Conference this weekend and I hope you might be inspired to consider doing some writing. Adoption and orphan ministry is an area that needs books and many attending this conference have capability of writing quality and helpful books that the adoption and orphan community could benefit. Yet, many do not know how to contact publishers with their book idea or do not do it very well. Thus, their thoughts will not be published. In this blog I will write some “do’s in contacting publishers and in a follow-up I will have some don’ts.
First, send them your very best work and not something you started and wanted to “throw by” an editor to get their thoughts. Second, give them a compelling reason why you are the very best person to write this book. This is not bragging and please do not stretch the truth. Yet, publishers need to know why you are extremely qualified if not the most qualified person to write your book. Third, go to the publisher’s website and read their proposal guidelines. This will tell you how the publisher prefers the proposal, what to put in the proposal and what to keep out. Fourth, give the publishers several weeks before contacting them on the status. Fifth, it is o.k. to submit your proposal to more than one publisher. This is called multiple submissions. Yet, do let the publishers know that other publishers are also reviewing your proposal out of courteousy. Finally, do your research on what books are in the marketplace that has a similar theme or topic. If there are several out there, then you will truly need to think through what makes your book truly unique. If there are no books on a similar topic, then you will have to consider if there is either an untapped market or no real market at all. The best word I use to sum up this blog is research. It is vitally important you have thoroughly researched why you are the most qualified, why the publishers will want to publish your book,, how to submit a first-rate proposal to the publisher, and what like-minded books are in the market.
In my next email I will have some thoughts on what not to do when sending your proposals.