You can approach a publisher with your book idea, title, back cover, table of contents or structure and an intro or first chapter. They will also want to know how big your reach is. Think of the number of followers on social media, mailing list size of your email newsletter and other measurable awareness metrics that prove your reach within and access to your target group.
Take a good look at the website of the publisher you approach and follow their guidelines. Do not call, but wait for a response. This can sometimes take up to 3 months: most publishers receive loads of manuscripts.
It helps to make contact via social media. Publishers who are active on Twitter or LinkedIn for example, appear to be much easier to approach.
Be open to feedback when working with a publisher. A publisher knows the book market way better than you do.
Always discuss the contract you get with another author. Then you can check whether the proposal is okay. The default is a percentage of 8 to 10%. So no, you don’t get rich from writing a book.
Make agreements in advance about what you will do and what a publisher will do. Are you looking for photos for the inside or is your publisher checking that box? Who does the design? Who decides what will be on the cover? These types of agreements are not in the contract, so discuss them as soon as possible so it’s clear for everyone.
Agree on regular check-ins to find out where you are and whether you’re on the right track. Coordinate this with what YOU need.
Printing on demand (POD)
POD is a great option for printing your book and making it available where and when you want, without much effort and without major investment. In contrast to bulk printing, printing on demand means that only books that are actually sold will be printed. You do not have to invest in pallets of books and you also have no storage hassles (or costs). Everything is possible: direct shipping to the buyer, or a personal message in a book.
Nowadays you don’t need a publisher, you can also self-publish. The process is very straightforward, but I recommend seeking expert help and following a set format in the self-publishing process. Since markets differ depending on where you live or publish, I recommend googling for tips and platforms for the region or language you want to publish in.
Don’t reinvent the wheel, like I did. As the author and co-author of more than 30 books, writing coach for hundreds of people and organizer of 20 writing retreats, I have finally found the best system for writing a good book: the ‘Reverse Writing’ method. If you begin at the end and create a good structure before you start writing, you will be able to follow your energy, instead of the page numbers.
Learn all tips & tricks in the live online workshop
Everything you need to turn your idea into a bestseller: practical advice, examples, and inspiration about writing, publishing, and promoting your book. Check out the ‘from idea to book’ workshop.
Private writing coaching is a unique opportunity to work on your book with my personal guidance and support. Book a single strategy session or plan a series of 1-on-1 calls. Do you want the best for your book?
A writing retreat in an exotic location?
During the online writing retreat@home or an all-inclusive retreat on my favorite islands or in the French Alps, you will work with like-minded people and get 1-on-1 guidance. The daily workshops help to get started, followed by focused writing time, delicious food, and personal guidance & feedback. Where will we go?
The book ‘Reverse Writing’
Learn my Reverse Writing method (start with the back cover) in my brand new, the super-comprehensive book ‘Reverse Writing’ and the companion workbook. You will find a step-by-step explanation, lots of examples, inspiration, and practical tips about writing, promotion, and publishing your book.
Original ideas and proven formats for your next bestseller
A successful book starts with a good idea. Check out the 10 best ‘formulas’ I’ve found for successful non-fiction books. Each of these ten proven formats gives you a different perspective, inspiration, and examples you can adapt for your own book. Subscribe to my ‘interested in writing’ list for book inspiration & tips and immediately receive the PDF with 10 ideas for a successful non-fiction book.