This account of one author’s troubled road in getting his book published is part of our article, Getting a Book Published — Is It Worth It?
Author Ford Myers noted that getting published was “extremely difficult.” He shared the steps entailed in his investment of time, energy, research, and money:
- I did extensive research on how to get a book published, including purchasing every book available on the subject.
- I hired a marketing consultant — who had published a few books himself — to help me with the entire process.
- I attended conferences in New York and Philadelphia on how to get a book published.
- I wrote a compelling “query letter” and sent it to hundreds of book agents (which yielded two or three positive responses).
- I interviewed these agents who were potentially interested and traveled to New York to meet with the selected candidate.
- I prepared a comprehensive, compelling “book proposal” for my agent to use, as he tried to get publishers interested.
- We contacted many, many publishers and sent the proposal to all of them, a process which, in itself, was quite expensive.
- Of the publishers who responded, 95 percent gave the same response — which was some version of, “There’s nothing new in this book, and we don’t think it will sell”). This was frustrating because their comment proved that none of the publishers had even read the proposal. Had they actually read the proposal, they would have seen immediately that my book offered a totally fresh approach to the subject).
- Concluding the first “round” of contacts with all these publishers, none of them was interested in my book. This was a big disappointment.
- I wanted my agent to continue aggressively promoting my book to these publishers, but he didn’t want to.
- In desperation, I decided after a few weeks to change the title of the book on the cover of the proposal.
- I directed my agent to do the entire campaign over again, re-sending my proposal to the same publishers — with the new title, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.
- Within a few days, three well-known publishers expressed serious interest in the book. This was only because I had changed the title on the proposal, even though the content of the proposal had not changed at all, which proved, once again, that none of the publishers had read my proposal the first time around.
- With the help of my agent, we chose one of the interested publishers and received their standard contract a few days later.
- I hired a New York-based publishing lawyer to review the agreement and provide counsel as to what should be negotiated.
- After successfully negotiating the terms of the contract, we came to an agreement for the publication of my book.
Go back to Getting a Book Published — Is It Worth It?
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