In part six of my four-part series on writing nonfiction, I want to offer some advice on sending your work to publishers, editors or agents.
To find a publisher for your writing, research the market. If it's a nonfiction book like mine, ("Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing, published by High Hill Press") you need to decide if you want to have it published by an academic or commercial press. The first step is to go to the library or bookstore and find out who publishes the type of book you wrote because that publisher is more likely to publish another.
According to John McManus, assistant professor of U.S. military history at Missouri S&T, if you choose a university press, then find out if it is possible to access some kind of grant to subsidize that cost. For them, the scholarship may be important, so let them know how your book helps them enhance their academic standing. If it’s commercial, let them know how that book is going to make them money, and why is your story better than anything else out there.
When sending a query letter or email, McManus said a couple of paragraphs should suffice. "Tell them why you are the right person to write this book," he said. "If the book is about MIAs, why you? What is your connection to the topic? Maybe your years of research gives readers a different slant." He also suggested naming the competition, and letting publishers know why we need another book like this. Provide information on why these books didn’t get done what you are going to do.
Overview - what’s the book about, maybe three pages
Author information, reviews for previous books, good blurbs, including fellow authors who may give endorsement blurbs
Reader Market (how many Google hits your topic gets)
Promotion - How are you willing to promote your book? Do you have a blog? Can you travel to book signings and conventions to speak?
Resources Needed to Complete the Book
Chapter outline with chapter titles
Sample Chapters - this is to entice them, it doesn’t have to be exactly what you turn in, but sometimes things change and it may not fit anymore.
Finally, keep in mind that anyone interested in publishing your book will probably need to defend that decision. Providing the information listed here might make it easier to persuade a committee or the publisher, who may, in turn, give your book the green light.
Write (and send it out) soon,