How to get a non-fiction book published!

A question I get often is how to get a non-fiction book published. People have a passion for a certain ministry and they want to reach other people. That’s great! The trouble is how the publishing industry sees things.

I had a sweet woman write and ask me about how to get her book published. I’ve changed her name and topic to keep her anonymous, but here is my answer.

Dear Chelsea,

That’s good news that your book is already written! That’s a great start. You’re right that publishers are looking for “established” writers. They are looking for people who are “known” in their industry for what they are writing about. I think your book proposal will get noticed if they can see you’re an “expert” in this field. It would probably take a few years to get established in that.

Things you can do are:
1. Start a blog and build and audience of readers. (The greater the number of followers, the better.)
2. Get a Twitter or Facebook following, who know you as an expert on step parenting. (The topic of Chelsea’s book.)
3. Writing magazine articles on the topic.
4. Speak on it often.
5. Have a fantastic website.

These days, the thing about publishing is that writing a good book isn’t enough. Writing a great book isn’t enough. Publishing houses are looking for authors with “platforms” who have a ready-made audience who wants a book from that author. Unfortunately publishers have only a few book titles they publish a year, and tons and tons of authors wanting their books published. For example, some publishers might get 5000 submissions a year and publish 50. You are competing against established speakers, writers and others in the industry.

This shouldn’t discourage you, because new writers are getting published all the time! If you build your platform and grow your audience, publishers will sit up and take notice!

I hope that helps!

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  1. It’s hard not to get discouraged about the non-fiction publishing world. It’s hard to build a platform when you dont have a book and it’s hard to get a book published when you dont have a platform! I agree with your advice, and I have been working hard at becoming an expert on my topic. Good job on the letter.

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