According to Michael Shymanski, one of Ooligan’s Acquisitions Managers, think of your first page as the reader’s initial impression, much like “meeting your friend’s spouse for the first time.” First impressions can be insignificant, even disastrous, or they can be absolute magic. If the magic is there, an editor will know it immediately.
Ooligan Press receives many unsolicited submissions through our Submittable from authors all over the world looking to get their books published. Despite the traffic our Submittable receives, there are times where the works we have received do not provide the press with the manuscripts we need. This is where community outreach comes into play.
One of the perhaps forgotten challenges to writing and publishing books is explaining to others what it’s about. In the publishing world, this struggle is combated with what we know as “comp titles,” which Penguin Random House defines as “an elevator pitch for your book.”
With millions upon millions of people in the United States who think they have the next New York Times best seller, how can a publishing company find the diamond in the rough? What can a publishing house do to ensure they are receiving submissions for books they actually can and want to publish? The most effective way a publishing house can convey this information to an author is through the company’s mission statement.
Oftentimes, developing target audiences can reveal interesting information about how to get the book into the hands of the reader. For example, if members of a target audience are likely to listen to podcasts, then the marketing plan for the book should include some reviews by podcasts they probably listen to.
Writing book proposals can seem intimidating. Writing the book was hard enough, and now you have to get other people to like it too. The number of resources for writing query letters is infinite, with published authors, agents, and publishers all weighing in on what makes a good query letter. But what about the next step—the proposal package?