The PPG Publisher’s Blog has so much valuable content from independent “indie” authors; but, until today, it didn’t contain any advice straight from a traditionally published author. Peter Davidson has changed that for us by providing this guest post, and I’m very grateful to him for his contribution. Thank you. Here’s what Peter has to say…
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I am the author or co-author of twenty-eight published books. Through it all, I have found the following to be very helpful in my writing:
- Develop a clear concept of the work and the intended reader audience before you start writing, even though these may evolve as you actually get into the project,
- If you have difficulties figuring out a particular scene or approach to a topic, literally “sleep on it.” That is, as you fall asleep, rehash in your mind everything you know about that which has you stumped. Your subconscious mind will mull It over during the night and when you awake, the solution will likely be there for you. It works for me every time.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread before submitting your work to any literary agent or publisher.
- Spend more time on the first sentence, and first paragraph, of your query letter than you spend on any other part of your work. If it doesn’t grab the literary agent or editor’s attention, it won’t matter how fabulous your manuscript is because no one will ever see it.
- Never, Never, Never quit.
I have had a half dozen non-fiction books published by major publishers and have had several literary agents through the years. The question that is always in a writer’s mind is this: “What is it that literary agents and publishing house editors are looking for in a manuscript for representation or publication? Is it a unique topic? Brilliant writing? Dazzling art work on the cover? What is it?”
Well, I have found that the number one thing literary agents and publishers are looking for in a non-fiction book is this: Do you have a significant PLATFORM?
Platform means: do you have a built-in audience for the book? Do you have a nationally-syndicated radio or television program that has million of viewers who will rush out and buy your new book? Do you have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, related to the topic of your book, who likewise will be eager to buy the book? Are you on the lecture circuit, making presentations to tens or hundreds of thousands of participants per year? In other words, what can you do to market the book?
So, if you haven’t done so, get started building a social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media or create your own blog and build up your following . Also, look for other ways to be in a position to help market your book. Your platform will be one of the most important elements of your non-fiction book, if not the most important element.
Before I go, please check out my author page on amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/-/BOOMNT8QKC. Also check out my new book, PENNY, that was released June 5, 2017. It is the story of the last U.S. penny ever minted of 95% copper, on October 22, 1982, the hands it passed through, the things it saw and heard, and the stories it can tell.
Best wishes. Peter Davidson
© Peter Davidson 2017