When does an author start talking to a publisher?

Planning on writing a book? Here's what you need to know

Some of us have had time on our hands in this year of the pandemic, some have never been busier. Others have made time to look ahead to beyond COVID. What can they be doing now to grow their business? Anecdotally, more people are considering writing a business book.

Authors who write a business book showcase their expertise in an area of leadership, business or investing. They see the value of having a quality publication to use in business lead-generation, to educate their clients and endorse them as an ‘authority’ in their specialist area.

More people are writing books

At Major Street Publishing, we have seen an increase in inquiries from potential authors. We have heard from authors who:

  1. Have an idea for a book but don't know where to start
  2. Have started writing a couple of chapters and would like to know if there's a market for their book
  3. Have completed their manuscript and would like it published ASAP!

Which of the three scenarios works best? We welcome an approach at any of the above stages but, really, the earlier the better because we work quite a long way ahead. I'm writing this blog in October and we are currently contracting books that we will be publishing in May next year -- and we work pretty fast. 

Be strategic when you're planning your book

If I can talk to prospective authors early on then I can remind them of how important it is to shape their book to focus it on who they want to read it and what they really need to say to make it an invaluable marketing tool for their business. There’s no use writing a book on setting up a business if what your company does is provide exit strategy planning – to give you just one example of a misaligned book strategy.

It’s never too early to talk to a publisher

Currently, I'm working with three authors who came to me with an idea, a title and a blank page. I'm also reading a polished, finished manuscript that I'm loving and we might need to fast track! Another author is diligently sending me two chapters a month to read and review and she aims to complete her manuscript by Jan 2021. 

How to find the best publisher for you

When you are looking for a publisher, my advice would be:

  • Find someone you like, because publishing can be a long process
  • Work with a publisher who is happy to offer free advice and support
  • Choose a publisher who takes the time a build a relationship with you
  • Publish with someone who shares your vision for the book
  • Insist that the process is collaborative – it should be a team effort.

If you're ready to start talking to publishers about a book you are planning to write, I'd love to hear from you.

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