Right Fit: The Search Within Publishing
By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
For over seven years, I've been acquiring books for Morgan
James Publishing. As an acquisitions editor, I have a lot of interesting exchanges wtih authors, editors and literary agents about books. In this article, I'm going to tell you a few stories related to a constant search within publishing: finding the right fit.
If you can't find the right fit for you. You can always self-publish. Last year over 1.6 million new books took this route of self-publishing. One of my writer friends self-published and told me how he spent over $10,000 in the process of creation, editing and launching his book. When I spoke with him, he was wondering if he made the right choice for his book. As an editor, I've heard this story many times from various authors. For many houses if you self published, they will not consider taking it into their publshing house—unless you have huge sales like 100,000 copies. The good news is occasionally at Morgan James we take a self-published book and move it into our books. It does not happen often but it is possible and something to explore if you have gone this route with your book.
I regularly read a number of blogs and online articles. While reading a recent article, I learned a detail buried in the article. This author (also a book editor) was looking for a publishers for her historical novel. Because Morgan James publishes some fiction, I used her website to reached out and suggested she submit to Morgan James. We are looking for clean fiction (no profanity) and 100,000 words or less. This author responded that her story was gritty and over this word count. It was not the right publishing fit for this author.
Recently a Christian author with an unusual proposal approached me. While over the years I've reviewed thousands of submissions, I had never seen a book with this particular topic. From my understanding of the publishing world, I believe it will be a challenge for this author to find the right publishing fit but I liked the concept and wanted to help. As an editor, I went ahead and processed his submission and moved it forward through the process. My colleagues agreed with me that it would be a fit for Morgan James (doesn't always happen—yes my pitches get rejected at times) and we offered this author a contract. He responded that he's looking for a literary agent and a different type of fit. Will he find it? I don't know. He has an opportunity with Morgan James but like several other authors that I've spoken with, he is looking for the right fit.
This search for the right fit is not just something writers are doing. Literary agents are looking for the right fit. They do not represent every type of book but search in specific categories and types of books they want to represent and place with publishers. Publishers are looking for the right fit. In fact, every person in the process is looking for this right fit. In many ways it is one of the constant factors in the publishing search.
One of the best actions any writer can take to find the right fit is to make sure they have a solid pitch or proposal to send to the editor or literary agent. Often these pitches are missing a critical element. Years ago as a frustrated acquisitions editor, I was not getting the right pitches from writers to be able to convince my colleagues to give them a book contract. I wrote Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success.
This book has over 110 Five Star reviews—and I have all of the remaining print copies—and I've discounted the book from $15 to $8. No matter what you write, you will find valuable information in these pages and be able to use it to improve your pitch and search to find the right fit in the publishing community.
What steps are you taking to find the right fit for your book? Let me know in the comments below.
Are you searching for the right fit to publish your book? Get insights here. (ClickToTweet)