Monday, September 17, 2018

Looking For Authors Who “Get It”

By W. Terry Whalin

Editors and agents are blasted with submissions every day. I know because I’ve been one of them for years. Authors are frustrated receiving form rejection letters with no information or no response at all. To many authors, it is a mystery how their submission is “found” and published.     

For the last five years, I’ve been an acquisitions editor for a New York publisher who receives over 5,000 submissions a year and only publishes about 150 books. Yes there is a selection process for every author and every book. Here’s the encouraging news for authors: every day I’m actively looking for authors. Also I understand every day over 4,500 new books are published. This large number includes the self-published books which may only sell 100 copies during the lifetime of the book. This statistic helps authors understand the massive amount of new material constantly entering the marketplace. It also explains why you as an author have to be promoting and marketing your book. 

How can you get the attention of an editor or agent? I want to give five ways to show you are an author who “gets it.”
1.      Submit an excellent proposal or manuscript. Editors and agents can recognize excellent writing. The old saying is true, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.” Every author needs to pour polish and storytelling into their submission. Yes it is easy to reach people via email. Before you hit send, your submission should be excellent. Use my free book proposal checklist at: It works for nonfiction and fiction.
2.      Follow proven author practices. While there is not a bestseller formula for success, there are proven author actions. Every publisher and literary agent is looking for authors with connections or a platform. Pick up my free eBook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author at:
3.      Take action every day to learn more about publishing and build your market connections. Join a writers group or organization and get involved.
4.      Understand the various types of media and do not build your platform on “rented” media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are examples). Start and maintain your own blog and email list to reach your readers.
5.      Diversify your writing business. Write and sell information products. Learn about affiliate income. Write for magazines. Don’t put all of your efforts into one type of writing. As a writer, there are many different possibilities. Get ideas from my first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams at: If I can help you, reach out to me. It’s why my personal email is in my Twitter profile.
As an author, I’ve been inside some of the top publishers and literary agencies. Every professional is actively looking for the next bestseller. The path to your success is out there. Take steps every day to show you are an author who “gets it.”
W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free EBook, Straight Talk From the Editor. His website is located at: Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

No comments:

Post a Comment