Everyday I speak to nonfiction writers who want to get published. They ask me about finding an agent, writing a book proposal, editing, or writing a book.
They all need the same things in order to get their nonfiction work published:
- A Great Idea
- A Great Pitch
- A Great Platform
- A Great Proposal
A great idea seems pretty self explanatory. A great pitch allows you to tell agents and publishers (and readers) what your book is about–and to sell them on your idea. Plus, if you can hone your book idea to 25 words or less, that means you really know what you are writing about. That’s necessary to write a good book and get it published, too.
A great platform is required because this means you’ve created a built-in readership for your book. You have readers ready and waiting to purchase your book when it is released. This also implies that you will have a great promotion plan. (This is 4.a.) You must know how to sell to those readers once the book is published.
Chuzpah…ah, the Yiddish word that means nearly arrogant courage, gutsy audacity, brazen nerve, over-the-top self-confidence. You must be willing to do whatever it takes to get your book published. You must be shamelessly bold when tauting your book. No one else is going to do it for you. Yes, an agent will help, but you are the one who initially will make that agent passionate about selling you and your book. You are the one who will convince an editor via your proposal. You are the one who will sell your book to readers via your promotional efforts.
Now good writing is great. It helps a lot. A good editor can help you with that, however, if you are not a natural writer. That’s why good writing does not appear on this list.