Publishers need and are always looking for great authors. But what it means to be an author these days is changing. Of course publishers want talented writers, but they're also looking for a certain kind of person.
Below are a few tips on how you can be the kind of person publishers and editors want to work with, which will greatly improve your chances of seeing your work published.
1. Write the best work you can — live what you’ve written.
Don’t write only for a perceived market; write from your soul, your essence, the very core of who you are in this world. Write a book that matters.
2. Write for yourself AND write for a specific reader.
Don't write for fame or fortune. These are the unexpected gifts of grace — for some of us — when we write what is real and true and needs to be told.
3. Write your story AND create a message from your story that others need to hear.
You're writing for an audience. Connect with your own emotional truth and learn the ways of the craft so that you can write to create an emotional connection with your readers. Think of your readers as your most beloved companions with whom you're sharing the best parts of who you are.
4. Have great intention but zero attachment to the outcome.
Your only attachment should be to the process of writing the best book you can. In the publishing market, there are no guarantees. You will probably not get rich or famous, but then again, falling in love doesn’t make us rich or famous either. Just happy.
5. Stand in your publisher’s shoes.
Publishing is a business. Your publisher needs to sell your books to stay alive. How will you help your publisher to achieve its goals while simultaneously achieving yours?
6. Be easy to work with — take your publisher’s suggestions, and don’t get huffy or precious.
But guard your book like a mother guards her newborn baby — you don’t have to take all editorial suggestions, but at least sleep on them.
7. Create a personal relationship with your commissioning editor.
Publishers are people. They love books. Be the author they love to work with.
8. Become your publisher’s partner in getting your book out into the market.
Don't expect your publisher to do all the work. No one cares about your book more than you do, so be its best cheerleader and spokeswoman.
9. Come up with creative, innovative ways of bringing the world’s attention to your book.
Be proactive. Your work isn't done when the book is written. Your work is done when your book has sold well enough for you to take a vacation in Hawaii on your royalties.
10. Find your speaking voice — not just your writing voice.
Learn how to talk about your book so that when you’re interviewed about it, you are articulate, clear and speak with credibility and sincerity.
11. Learn the basics of marketing so that you can determine whether the marketing plan your publisher has drawn up will work or not.
You don't like being in the public eye? Um ... find a way to get over that.
12. Learn what needs to be done to bring your book into the hands of those who want to read what you’ve written.
Do you need to get more social media savvy? Do you need to get on LinkedIn and Pinterest? Do you need to make a few YouTube videos? Do it.