Q. Are you a candidate for a book deal?
A. Anyone who is an expert and has credentials in a particular field is a candidate for a mainstream book deal. Major publishers like to publish books on current issues, health, nutrition, diet, fitness, food, human potential, spirituality, business, finance, legal matters, marriage, relationships, family, interior design, beauty, and other topics by those with a lot of experience in one of these areas.
They choose these types of books to publish because of their long history of becoming big sellers. If you are a medical or holistic doctor, nutritionist, chef, fitness trainer, attorney, entrepreneur, business consultant, financial consultant, psychologist, interior designer, skin-care expert or any other credentialed professional, you are a good candidate for a book deal. Also, if you have an interesting real-life story with a message, you might qualify for a memoir deal.
Q. What are some of the advantages of getting a book deal with a mainstream publisher?
A. The first advantage is that a mainstream publisher will give you money in advance just to write the book, or you can even have a ghostwriter write it for you. This monetary advance can often be six figures. Most people only focus on getting a deal in the United States; but with a topic that impacts people universally, you can get substantial monetary advances from other countries as well. Before the book is even finished you could have made six figures. All advances are yours, and they never have to be paid back.
Next, the publisher pays for everything related to publishing, distribution, and in-house publicity. You can become well-known relatively quickly when you have a mainstream book in circulation. You will be doing book signings, giving talks and appearing on radio and television while your book is getting reviewed in newspapers and magazines. This can skyrocket your business. Just one appearance on a radio or TV show can sometimes launch the book into instant popularity, with sales soaring.
Lastly, you will probably get a future book deal as a result of a successful first book. You will also get many new opportunities locally, nationally and internationally that can skyrocket you and your business. This is because a book deal with a major publisher adds tremendous credibility to your career. As a result, you can pick and choose the opportunities you want to explore. You will also get many opportunities for paid speaking engagements.
Q. What should my first mainstream book be about?
A. Your first mainstream book should be one that brands you and helps build your reputation. It should be on a topic you have credentials in and are qualified to speak about. It also should be applicable to as many people as possible, so publishers see it as a potential big seller.
You will be married to your first book for a couple of years, starting with writing it, then speaking about it and promoting it. So make sure it’s a topic you love and are passionate about.
Q. How do mainstream publishers buy books?
A. Publishers buy books from proposals about 50 pages long that contain specific information about the book. The publishers buy the books from literary agents, not the author.
About Your Columnist
Lindi Stoler is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers mainstream book publishing. Lindy is the owner of a full-service media and book company since 1980, she provides start-to-finish mainstream book services. Lindi helps you figure out what book to write, what style best suits the material, writes the proposal to publishers, and gets you to the literary agents whom publishers buy books from. She also trains clients in how to write books in best-seller style. Her clients include Tony Robbins and Michael Jackson. Lindi can be reached at [email protected]