A few years ago, people thought you write a book wowed a publisher with it, and then went from there. But that is not the case today. It is not easy to find a publisher who would like to publish your work unless you already have a Personal Brand Image. For the publishers can only sustain their business if the readers buy your book. Here are some secrets to know before you submit your manuscript.
You don’t drop a book on the publisher’s doorstep and go from there.
In fact, it’s better to just have a chapter or two written along with a detailed outline for the rest. It’s because publishers have to consider how they want to position your book so that it can fit in with the rest of their range and with their brand. If you show up with a whole book, they will think you won’t be making changes according to their reader market and your manuscript probably won’t be accepted. It’s much better to make a killer proposal that includes only one chapter to showcase your writing.
It’s unlikely that you’ll have domination over what the cover of your book looks like.
It’s all about the positioning again — publishers have a certain look that they prefer to go with, and they want your book to fit with that. While they’ll usually let you have some input over what the cover looks like.
Publishers lose money on a lot of books.
Publishers are really picky about the books they accept for publication, but they’re actually just trying to keep a business running. Most bookstores accept books on a sell or return basis, which means that if the bookstore can’t sell the books, the publisher will take them back and you can see how easy it is for a publisher to lose money on a book.
You may only make about 10% per copy in royalties.
Many authors decide to publish a book with the idea that they’ll make a lot of money in royalties if it sells well … but even when a book does sell quite well, that isn’t always the case. The book stores take about half of the recommended retail price, and then you have the publisher’s cut, generally speaking, you can expect to get between 8 and 10 percent of the recommended retail price in royalties.
This absolutely doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea to write a book or that writing a book can’t make you a lot of money. But usually, when it does, it’s because of how having a book positions you as an expert in your field, meaning that you can charge more and that you’ll be getting more clients.
Publishers only really get behind one book per month per year.
Although publishers may put out hundreds of books in a year, they’re really only going to put a lot of marketing focus on 12 a year (one every month). If you don’t make sure that your book is one of the ones that gets focused on, then it may not perform as well as you thought.