Learning to Act and Think Like a Publishing Professional

This post is a blogged draft excerpt from The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014). Read the previous blogged excerpt, here.

magnifying glass for writersThe path to becoming a published author can seem long and arduous at times. Some writers get too tired, find it too difficult and give up before they see their name on the cover of their books. Others simply don’t get the proper training. And others are searching for the correct information to help them train. They need a manual.

Of course, there has never been a manual for writers. In fact, I first saw this mentioned on Twitter some time ago. Someone tweeted, “Why is there no manual for authors?” I realized in that moment that such a manual did, indeed exist; it was the book I had proposed to my agent.

To be more accurate, a process actually exists for becoming an author and there is a manual to go with it. I am currently writing The Author Training Manual, and it will be published by Writer’s Digest Books in 2014. I’m also blogging bits of it here on this blog, such as this post.  (Read other posts here.)

Yet, even with a manual, there will be some aspiring authors who won’t want to read and study it, let alone do the training that helps them become published authors.

You don’t want to be one of those writers. Nor do you need to be. With this manual you will gain access to a time-tested process—the proposal process—that trains you to think like publishers and to act like them as well. You learn to evaluate yourself and your books through the same “lens” used by an acquisitions editor in a publishing house.

Acquisitions editors are the ones who actually acquire new manuscripts for a publisher. They do so by looking at a variety of factors included in a book proposal.

Of course, the writing in the manuscript should be good, but your ability to write does not represent the ultimate determining factor when it comes to purchasing a book. In fact, writing can be fixed by an editor.  Since publishing is the business of selling books, acquisitions editors pay closer attention to your idea’s marketability and whether you will make a good business partner. If both these factors seem apparent based on the information found in the book proposal, the publisher decides to invest in your book project—to back it financially—and offers you a contract. In other words, the publisher purchases your book.

In my first post on this topic, I mentioned that you need new glasses.  Here is where your new glasses come into play once again. Put them on to see your work and yourself in the same way an acquisitions editor would if he or she were evaluating your book proposal. Train yourself to do this regularly. Train yourself to see you, your ideas and your work through the lens of an acquisitions editor. When you can do this, you will more accurately evaluate if:

  • your book idea is up to a publisher’s standards
  • you are the kind of business partner a publisher seeks

By using the same process an acquisitions editor uses to determine whether or not to purchase a book, you train yourself to

  1. evaluate yourself
  2. evaluate your ideas
  3. do the necessary tasks to make yourself ready for successful publication
  4. do the necessary tasks to make your books ready for successful publication

You train yourself to become a published author.

The Author Training ManualNote: You can read additional blogged draft excerpts from my new book, The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014) here. Only select pieces from the manuscript, a “working draft,” were posted—not the complete manuscript. Read the next post in the The Author Training Manual blogged-book series by clicking here. Purchase the book on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or at Writersdigestshop.com.

LeaLearn how to become a successful authorrn how to create a successful book—one that sells to publishers and to readers—by developing an AUTHOR ATTITUDE and writing a BUSINESS PLAN for a MARKETABLE BOOK. Register for the AUTHOR TRAINING 101 Home-Study Course, and go from aspiring to successful published author! This course is based on The Author Training Manual. If you like what you’ve read here, you’ll love the course.

Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan | freedigitalphotos.net

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