Given this rather simplistic view of how you become a traditionally published author, let’s take a look at what a publisher, or rather the acquisitions editor and the whole pub board at a publishing house, consider when they examine your business plan.
- Your idea. You must have a good idea or story, which means one that is unique and necessary in its category.
- Your book’s market. The market analysis must indicate the potential for great reader interest, therefore, large sales.
- Your book’s competition: Similar books in your category must show a proven track record of high sales.
- Your credentials and author platform: Your bio and your pre-promotion of yourself and the book must show that you have the ability to help sell the book once it is released. In other words, you just have a proven ability to write or expert status plus a large, built-in readership, known as platform, for your book in its target market.
- Your promotion plan: You must show a concrete plan to use your author platform to sell books in a variety of ways upon release, not only for a month but for 3-12 months and beyond. The more creative and extensive the plan, the better.
- Your plans to write more books: Publishers seek multiple-book authors because the more books authors write, the more books they sell. Additionally, they prefer to invest in authors who will continue to produce products for the company or who have ideas for how to brand themselves by writing more books.
- The manuscript or sample chapters: Your writing must prove you can produce a quality product with the potential to sell.