When The Big Book Gets Away....
Much of the publishing world is outside of our personal control. As an acquisitions editor for me to find a New York Times bestseller is almost like the storm chasers looking for the perfect storm. It is rare for the right variables to come together. Yet it does happen and I continue actively looking for that book. When the big book gets away for a multitude of reasons, you keep searching for it.
While I can champion a book to my publishing colleagues so they issue a contract for the book, even when the author signs and the book moves into production, there can be snags in the process. Recently I learned one of my books was in stall because the author had not delivered their final manuscript nor a complete author questionnaire. Both of these missing elements are important for the production process to be completed. When our managing editor reached out to this author, there was no response. Who knows the reason for the lack of response but the book was stuck.
Even though I acquired this book weeks ago, I have a relationship with the author. I reached out and learned the author needed an excellent editor (even though they had not given this information to my colleagues). I have a list of terrific editors that I sent them right away. I tell my authors that finding the right editor can be like finding the right spouse. The timing and other elements have to be a fit for it to work. As I sent the editor contact information, I mentioned if he didn't find the right editor to reach out to me again and I would find someone else. I'm eager to help this author succeed—-and every Morgan James author in fact. Why? Their success as individuals will be my success as an editor. It's a team effort.
Many times I've discussed finding a bestseller with my wife. In fact, we've talked about it so much that to be honest she doesn't want to hear about my big potential book. Why?
Because that bestseller hasn't happened—yet. You may be in this situation yourself—looking to get published or looking for your ideal literary agent or looking for your champion within a publishing house or ???. Here's some steps every writer can take as you continue on your journey:
1. Continue writing. You want to write for blogs and magazine articles and your books. The consistent work of writing will help you practice your craft.
2. Continue promoting your current and past work. Look for opportunity to speak and review the books of others and write.
3. Use your current opportunities. Whether we realize it or not, each of us have opportunities. We have email. We have phones. We can reach out and set up coffee meetings or offer to write for new publications or send query letters or reach more people on twitter. The key is to be taking consistent action. For ideas, download my free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author.
4. Keep searching for your bestseller (or whatever your big goal) and learning about the craft of writing and growing. My friend Jerry B. Jenkins wrote over 100 books before his mega hit with the Left Behind series. The first book in this series continues to sell over 150,000 copies a year—even though originally published in 1996. Notice the work that went into his writing life before that bestseller. You may be on the same journey. You can hear Jerry answering your writing questions here (follow this link).
I'm on the same writing journey as each of you but I've been at it for a while. Every day I continue to build my audience and reach people with my books and blogs and other tools like twitter. During the last few months, I've been on the list of the top 100 marketers on Twitter from Evan Carmichael. Check the July link and you will see I went up in the last month from #50 to #46.
Every day keep moving forward. If I can help you in this journey, let me know.
How do you react when your big book gets away? Four actionable ideas here. (ClickToTweet)