Some writers say that we’re in the busiest and noisiest era in publishing history. It has never been easier to get your book printed (self-published), and never harder to be traditionally published.
But don’t let this opinion discourage you.
Getting a literary agent or a publisher to take a chance on you or your manuscript does not happen by accident. It requires time, focus, and excellence.
Begin by considering the following questions:
- What genre or category is your book? The genre you choose determines your target audience, your potential agent, and even which publishers to pursue.
- Who is your target reader and why will your book sell? And resist the temptation to say it’s for everybody. Naturally, we put that much effort into writing something and we wonder who wouldn’t want to read it? Truth is, that kind of thinking waves a red flag of amateurism to agents and publishers. Successful, even mega-bestselling, books don’t appeal to everyone. They are written to specific audiences, and if they cross over to other markets (as, for instance, the Harry Potter Young Adult titles—which have become vastly popular to adults as well), that’s a bonus.
- Do you have a platform? If that’s a new term to you, it simply means the extent of your influence—how many people are interested in what you do. This is one of the first questions an agent or publisher asks. With the variety of social media and blogging vehicles available today, building a following and interacting with potential readers has never been easier.
Be honest when you think on these questions to get your novel the attention it deserves!