How to pitch to traditional publishers

How to pitch to traditional publishers

Finding who you want to publish your manuscript can be a daunting task, especially when it is your first time publishing; you need to understand the different types of publishing in order to get the best-suited publisher for you.

The way that traditional publishers work is that they provide business contracts to the author of the work but before that, you need to provide a pitch as to why you want them to publish for you, and you need to do this effectively.

When you or your agent requests for traditional publishing services, what you first do is first give the manuscript to the editor who will then look through it to see whether it is right for that house. If it is not, they will choose not to publish it.

However, if your manuscript sparks interest in the editor, they can have it sent back to you for revision and then proceed with the publishing process. After revision, the publishing house can now purchase your work and buy rights from you as the author. This process will also include paying future royalties in advance before going forward with the designing, printing and marketing. The number of prints will depend on how well they think the book will do in the market.

As you prepare to pitch to a traditional publisher, you need to look into your market, your message and the media. With the market, what problems are your readers facing and what solution are you providing for them? Or rather, what is that one thing that will make a publishing house choose your book and have it in the reader’s hands making them want to buy it? You can research what gaps you can fill in readership and how available your market is.

The message in your book should be communicated clearly and succinctly, it should have messages that make your readers go “wow!”. The message should add value to your readers and create a positive relationship with them.

Lastly, build an audience even before you pitch to a traditional publisher, you can start with blogging, doing snippets of videos, being consistent with posts on social media and so on. Thereafter, build a database to whom you can start sending emails to, perhaps weekly. As you post, you will be able to gauge which media outlet works best through their responses/reactions.

When you line up these three things; market, message and media, then you are on the way to becoming a powerful thought leader touching the minds and hearts of your readers. You can now head to a publisher and show them what you have learned and done during that time showing how the audience is reacting to you and how they think and feel about your work, also keying in the KPIs to show how you are growing. This will help build confidence in you because you have proven that you are serious about your craft and how you want it to do phenomenally. And who knows, maybe the publishers will start chasing after you.