Q. How do people end up getting major book deals that become big sellers?
A. People who end up with big book deals that end up being big sellers most often follow a specific book formula.
Q. What sets people up for a big deal?
A. Having a mainstream publisher is a big key. It often sets people up for a big deal that launches their careers in a huge way. Mainstream publishers have big money to spend. If they decide to take your book on, they will give you a monetary advance – often six figures – before you even write the book. They will also distribute, market and publicize your book on a major scale. You can even have a ghostwriter if you don’t want to write it yourself.
Q. What kind of books will mainstream publishers buy?
A. Publishers look for books from people who are experts in any professional or business arena, can write on a current trend or have a moving memoir.
Q. What’s the first step of the best-seller formula?
A. The first step to having your idea turn into a big-selling book is to have a well-thought-out book strategy. A book strategy sets up your entire publishing foundation for success. Many people who seek out a book deal and miss this important step also miss huge publishing opportunities and big money as well. A book strategy figures out what book you should come out with first, based on your expertise; the current trends; and what publishers are looking for at the time. It determines what information should go into your first book and what information should be held for future books. In addition, it decides which best-seller style best fits the book, what best-seller format should be used and what chapters should go into it.
Q. What’s the next step of the formula?
A. You need a very specific book proposal that is about 50 pages in length. It should be based on the book strategy and meet the criteria of high-level literary agents and publishers. Then you need to find the right agent for the topic, and the literary agent takes it to publishers. Publishers only buy from literary agents and not the authors themselves. Once a publisher buys it, an entire team is put in place for you, including an editor, publicist and distribution team.
Q. What sets the book up to be a big seller with a long life span?
A. A key to any successful book, even if you self-publish it, is learning how to communicate your message in what is known as best-seller style. Best-seller style is an exact formula. People will not be able to put your book down if you learn how to write this way. It accommodates virtually any type of book and any type of message. Many books that stay popular for years are written this way. It is easy to learn and makes writing so much fun.
Q. What’s the final step in the formula?
A. The last big step to having a big seller is to keep up with the publicity and marketing of the book after the publishing company stops its campaign. I advise hiring a book publicist using the money you got from your advance, along with a social media expert. This will keep the book’s popularity going and give the book longevity.
About Your Columnist
Lindi Stoler is a featured columnist for Women Lead, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers mainstream book publishing. Owner of a full-service media and book company since 1980, 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]