One of the big revelations for aspiring authors in the past few years has been the reality that traditional publishers are just as interested in acquiring the author and their platform as they are in acquiring the author’s book. Following are five tactics to use to market yourself as a professional author to agents and acquisition editors:
1. Finish your manuscript. Your book doesn’t need to be perfect, but most agents and editors want to see a complete manuscript because it shows that you are serious about being an author.
2. Make a good first impression. Present yourself as a professional author in all your interactions with agents and editors. As much as you believe that everybody that reads your book is going to rave about it to everybody they know, remember that being seen as a professional author from day one is essential because publishers need to know that you can be trusted to present yourself well in the media and in front of large groups. Agents and editors sign authors that they believe can sell their books.
3. Know your genre. You must become an expert on your subject matter and the categories that are used to describe and market competitive titles so that you understand where your book fits and why a publisher and book retailers need it. Figure out where your book would be featured on bookstore shelves and how a retailer would describe it and a couple of competitive titles to a prospective customer who has asked for a book on your subject.
4. Develop your elevator pitch. You need to be able to describe in 60 seconds or less to an agent or editor why readers will be excited to buy your book. Provide just enough information to pique their interest and leave them wanting more. This may be the copy that is used on the back cover of your book. Make the benefits to the reader obvious and clarify why you are qualified to write the book and provide those benefits.
5. Be thankful. Always thank an agent or editor for any suggestions or tips they provide. While doing so is good manners, it also positions you as a professional author who would be a pleasure to work with. Agents and editors choose from hundreds of authors each year. They tend to choose those that would make their work more enjoyable rather than less.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Shoot me a message via the About/Contact page and I’ll do my best to help.