August 10, 2021- When it comes to what publishers want, we want a little extra brought to the table. Let me explain-we want remarkable manuscripts and stories, but we also want great ideas that will make our books more interactive, exciting and add value for the reader. Here’s how you can impress us not only with your manuscript and stellar writing but with your ideas:
- Investment. I once had an author send me their marketing plan for the manuscript they submitted, and I was blown away that they had put that much thought and effort into the future success of their book before it had even seen the light of day. Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) gets me more excited than marketing! So, it showed me that the person submitting understood the business of books and understood how to get to me! Publishers are looking for investment when it comes to ideas, plans, and efforts on the part of the author. It’s hard to say no to someone who had such an awesome laid-out plan…and I didn’t.
- Added value. When publishers get manuscripts that have additional ideas for the book in the query letter, we stop and take notice, especially when it adds value to our books for the reader. Some examples include a glossary, discussion questions, ideas for book club, links to activity sheets and more. Yes, the publisher generally takes on this role, but it’s awesome for us to see authors already two steps ahead when submitting. It shows us that they get it and understand what we want and what their readers want.
- Forecasting. This will serve you well if you can tell your publisher what ideas you have for the future based on the manuscript you’ve sent. If you have goals for a certain number of books you want to sell and a plan to get there, then it will be harder for us to say no. Don’t just throw out random numbers that are unrealistic, but show us that you understand the business, your genre, and how to reach your targets.
Like everything else in life, going the extra mile is never crowded and makes you stand out!