Free U.S. Shipping on orders over $20.00

share:

New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

Positive news and inspiring views from the New World Library community


Thursday, August 19, 2010
What Does It Take to Get Published?
 

As the submissions editor here at New World Library, I’ve reviewed thousands of query letters, proposals, and manuscripts and spoken with umpteen hopeful authors. Frequently, I wish I could, like our founder, Marc Allen, says, “give away the essence of what I know” to every author who approaches us. So when WritingRaw.com asked us to complete an interview about the submissions review process, I was happy to oblige. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look, with answers from me and from our editorial director, Georgia Hughes.

# # #

When reviewing a submission, what do you look for?

The first thing I check is whether the topic is something we’d be interested in. Incredibly, we’ve received everything from primers on historical figures to advocacy for self-castration. But this question has subtler shades: for example, we have books in our backlist that were channeled by the authors’ spirit guides, but those books were acquired from another publisher, and our current editors are not interested in new channeled books. Or another example: even though we publish books with the goal of helping readers create a better world, we aren’t publishing new books that address large-scale social issues, like domestic violence or global warming.

Next, I look for whether the author has a platform. An author’s platform is their existing ability to sell books, whether through popular workshops, a long list of clients, or speeches at large venues. I’m not looking for whether an author could do these things but rather whether an author is already doing these things on a highly successful basis. This is an important part of publishing in our corner of the spirituality and personal growth market.

The final thing I look for is the mysterious quality of “power” in the writing. This is a different thing than mastery of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. It’s a quality that’s almost impossible to explain but easy to recognize. When I read powerful writing, I have a sense that it comes from the deepest part of the author’s nature. It seems to flow naturally from purpose and heart. (That’s my personal take on it, at least.)

An editor’s decision not to acquire a book involves so many particulars, and I don’t know whether there’s a way to learn them beyond lots of experience in the industry. I hope you can take this fact as even more reason for you not to take a rejection personally. It’s also a compelling argument for getting a good agent: they have the industry experience and will know the specific interests of editors they work with.

Any suggestions or comments on how a writer can break into the publishing industry?

I can mainly speak to the field of personal growth and spirituality, and I’ll do it in terms of platform: get out there and offer your message to anyone who will listen. Explore how you can help individual people with what you know. At first it might be friends, friends of friends, and new people you meet; later it might be clients, workshop participants, and audiences. The more you speak and teach, the more interesting you are to a publisher. And beyond that, spreading your message in person will help you hone it. You’ll see what resonates with people and what confuses them, what’s new and interesting and what makes their eyes glaze over. And you’ll see what resonates most with you. That’s important, because if you’re like most people, it will take some exploration to find the core, essential, utterly unique ingredients of your message.

Aside from excellent writing skills, what are the literary factors that make an author successful?

It’s important to be focused on your readers when writing. How can you help them most? As a reader yourself, what do you look for in a book? What do you love most about your favorite books?

Another important element is to make sure that everything in the book truly addresses the topic of the book — don’t wander off into tangents or too many personal pieces that take the focus off the intention of each chapter, each paragraph, and each sentence. In other words, as you’re writing, make sure that you are constantly keeping in mind your “ideal reader” and specifically addressing that reader’s questions and needs.

Authors become successful through marketing, but the first step to marketing an idea or a book is to understand the “perceived need” of the person you’re marketing to. Never lose track of that reader, but be prepared to pitch and shape your book like the best advertising campaign, making it appealing and inviting.

# # #

We hope this has been helpful. May your experiences with writing and publishing be fulfilling and enlightening!

For information about submitting your work for our consideration, see our submissions guidelines.


SUBSCRIBE TO RSS FEED

Blog RSS Link  RSS

Add to Google

SHARE THIS PAGE

SHARE THIS PAGE
share:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

CONNECT TO NEW WORLD LIBRARY

ARCHIVES

July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (5)
May 2018 (7)
April 2018 (5)
March 2018 (5)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (5)
December 2017 (3)
November 2017 (6)
October 2017 (6)
September 2017 (6)
August 2017 (6)
July 2017 (5)
June 2017 (7)
May 2017 (6)
April 2017 (6)
March 2017 (8)
February 2017 (5)
January 2017 (5)
December 2016 (6)
November 2016 (8)
October 2016 (6)
September 2016 (7)
August 2016 (6)
July 2016 (6)
June 2016 (7)
May 2016 (7)
April 2016 (6)
March 2016 (7)
February 2016 (6)
January 2016 (6)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (7)
October 2015 (7)
September 2015 (6)
August 2015 (7)
July 2015 (9)
June 2015 (9)
May 2015 (8)
April 2015 (9)
March 2015 (9)
February 2015 (8)
January 2015 (8)
December 2014 (7)
November 2014 (7)
October 2014 (9)
September 2014 (9)
August 2014 (8)
July 2014 (10)
June 2014 (8)
May 2014 (9)
April 2014 (8)
March 2014 (9)
February 2014 (9)
January 2014 (7)
December 2013 (7)
November 2013 (4)
October 2013 (5)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (4)
July 2013 (3)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (3)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (2)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (4)
October 2012 (5)
September 2012 (2)
August 2012 (3)
July 2012 (2)
June 2012 (3)
May 2012 (2)
April 2012 (3)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (3)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (4)
November 2011 (3)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (2)
June 2011 (3)
May 2011 (3)
April 2011 (4)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (3)
January 2011 (1)
December 2010 (3)
November 2010 (3)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (2)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
June 2010 (2)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (5)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (1)