How to Be an Author Publishers Want to Work With, Part Two

Yesterday, we offered some great pointers for aspiring published authors…but there’s more where that came from! Here are three more bits of advice. Best of luck!

4. Do not, under any circumstances, call or drop in at the office of an agent or a publishing company to speak with an employee about getting your book acquired. Agents and publishing companies are not like bookstores, where you can expect to walk in and get your questions answered; they are business offices like any other. You wouldn’t walk into your doctor’s office without an appointment, and you would understand why your doctor also can’t diagnose you over the phone (for many reasons). Most companies have just enough employees to keep things rolling smoothly, and no one has a professional dedicated to talking to you about your unsolicited submission. Send your proposal as the publisher instructs, and if they’re interested, they’ll be in touch with a real contact name and real phone number.

5. Understand the difference between showing initiative and being rude. Don’t call the front desk of a publisher and pretend you’re returning a call from an interested editor; the office staff has heard it all and they know what you’re up to. If you choose to play games like that, you’ve instantly become someone most publishers won’t want to work with. And it’s a small industry—bad behavior gets discussed among publishing professionals and you can be blackballed before you’ve even made contact with other publishing companies. (Don’t believe us? Start reading agent blogs.)

6. Find an agent. (And we don’t mean someone who you pay before your book gets signed—that’s supershady and not how legit agents work.) Many big houses don’t accept unsolicited or unrepresented book proposals; they want to know that at least one person other than the author stands behind the proposal and that there’s been some level of professional vetting. If you could see how many manuscripts come through the slush pile (and the quality of those manuscripts), you’d understand why.


About fulcrumpublishing
Founded in 1984, Fulcrum Publishing is one of the largest independent publishers in the country, with more than 450 active titles. The company maintains a high standard of quality and pride in its books, with the objective of encouraging readers to live life to the fullest and learn something new each day. Fulcrum Publishing specializes in general-interest nonfiction titles with focuses in public policy, education, Native American culture and history, travel and outdoor recreation, environmentalism, and gardening. Fulcrum is headquartered in Golden, Colorado. The Fulcrum Publishing blog is run and updated by Dani Perea. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, comments, or ideas by e-mailing her at Dani[at]fulcrumbooks[dot com].

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