Pitch a Book Idea Based on Your Mom Blog - dummies

Pitch a Book Idea Based on Your Mom Blog

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

Greatly increase your chances of getting a publisher to agree to publish a book you want to write if you have an established audience or have established yourself as an expert in your niche. Take a year to get an established presence online.

In the fall of 2010, Wiley was at the BlogWorld Expo conference in Las Vegas and ended up signing book deals with over ten bloggers they talked to at the show. The bloggers didn’t specifically come to Wiley with a book idea ready to roll.

Instead, Wiley saw the potential in this group of authors, and then worked with each one of them to help develop a book idea based on each writer’s strengths — and on what they knew could be a good, marketable book for their customers.

You can also find a book agent who will work with you to present your idea to several publishers. Agents are far more experienced in selling book ideas than the rest of us, and this may be a great route to take.

Some publishers will only work with agents and not with authors directly — so if you’re dead set on getting that book deal, getting an agent will certainly increase your chances. The trade-off is that a portion of the earnings you receive from your book goes to the agent for setting up the book deal.

Putting together a formal book proposal for a publisher is a pretty big undertaking, and many editors will even help you with it. This is because the editors need to take your book proposal and their market research and pitch the entire idea — on your behalf — to their companies.

If you can get to this point of working with an editor to draw up a formal proposal, that means your editor believes you have a strong chance of moving forward with writing the book. But only when the editor gets the final approval from the top decision-makers can he or she officially offer you a book deal.

To pitch a book idea to a publisher, do the following things:

  1. Establish a blog and focus on writing really high-quality content that showcases your expertise, and target your content to a very specific audience.

  2. Promote your blog and get very involved in the community of bloggers who also write about your topic.

  3. Build a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter.

  4. Network like crazy — both online and offline at industry events.

  5. Develop a book idea based on

    • What you want most to write about

    • What your readers know you for

    • What you know your readers would be interested in learning more about

    • How you would differentiate your book from the existing books on the same subject

  6. Look at books already written on this subject and determine which publishers have experience with putting out books on the subject.

  7. Reach out to the editors who work for these publishers via e-mail, phone, or their social media profiles.

  8. Write a short, one-page introduction explaining who you are, what book you want to write, and why you’re the one to write it.

    Highlight your accomplishments, press coverage, your blog’s traffic stats, and your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. If you really want to go for the jugular, let the editor know about how you plan on marketing the book once it’s published.

If you really do have a following and a great book idea, it will only be a matter of time before that book gets published. If you get any initial rejection letters, your best bet is to spend your time working on getting more established as a blogger and building a stronger community around your content.