What to do to get your book picked up

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You’ve finished your book — or at least made it as good as you can. Now you want it to get picked up at a publisher or earn a spot in an agent’s pool. What’s next? You want to get picked up by readers, agents, or editors.

This is a good time to think about how you’ll get into another gear about finding a business partner for your book; i.e. your agent. Your book is a startup, but snaring an agent is different than getting Series A funding for a tech startup. Tech founders don’t have to impress the venture capitalists about how much they know about the VC’s work. But an agent expects you to point to the similarities to whatever they’ve accomplished — a successful client, their latest deal — that relates to your book.

We can do agent research together. It’s no less important than a dramatic, trouble-laden opening passage from the book.

Also crucial: finding a comp title that’s two years or sooner away from now. Publishers and agents don’t want to see a comp that’s much older than three years; certainly not the only comp. “My book is in the spirit of Forrest Gump” won’t help much.

You haven’t come this far just to come this far. You can make connections with relevant books of very recent vintage. This is the time to get serious about how well your logline summary compares to the loglines from your comps.

Another kind of pickup

You might make a good quest for an agent and don’t get a pickup. Maybe your queries go unanswered that you submit directly to publishers who accept un-agented work. Without an agent, you’ll be moving ahead into self-publishing and ready for Marketing Architecture: landing the four kinds of media. Creating your Editorial Marketing.

Your Marketing Architecture is a consulting practice for my authors. We develop your Editorial Marketing materials together. We choose which kinds of paid media you’ll use. We set Social Media Goals and create assets. We look over your Owned Media. We develop a pitch for Earned Media, the coverage from bloggers, podcasters, and reviewers.

To be honest, you need all of that even when you get a book deal. A publisher will create a logline, but they’re likely to be using yours and making it better. You’ll get a starter kit for social media, but it’s up to you to create the posts. They’ll pitch you for earned media, for a while. You go farther for longer when you understand pitching, or can get consulting and help that’s ongoing. The time to start on it all is now. A new author has to develop a foundation of discovery in the book world. That’s what the Marketing Architecture can do. The architecture builds upon your efforts you make on the editorial and the pitching.

For now, you can put in some more time on making your query stand up for itself. Put immediate trouble on the page, pitched with the precision of a major league player.

And get in touch with me if you’d like help getting picked up. Your book can represent a winning hand to an agent or a publisher. Or even readers.

Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

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