How to Land a Major Publisher (or Sell Your Toughest Prospect)

By Kevin on September 13, 2010 in For Writers, Sales

It seems like everyone has the dream of writing a book someday and I’m often asked how to get a book accepted by a major publisher. Penny Sansevieri recently wrote a spot-on post for aspiring authors, How to Get a New York Publisher. Key points:

  • 83% of Americans want to write a book
  • 800+ books are published each day
  • the competition is fierce

The first thing a publisher will look for has nothing to do with your book or skill as a writer at all. They want to know the size of your “platform.” How big is your email list? How many visitors go to your website? How many employees or clients do you have that might buy your book? How many people do you speak in front of each year? No platform, no book deal.

Penny goes on to tell the story of one writer who circumvented the platform problem by self-publishing a great book, and then collecting testimonial letters from bookstores which were then used to convince the publishers of the commercial viability of his book.

These tips are great for aspiring authors, and for anybody that has something to sell. More than the product itself, often your own “platform”, the number of relationships you have will determine your success or failure.

And while especially tough prospects might not return your call, or take your meeting, it will be hard for them to ignore their own customers. Show their customers how your product or service will ultimately benefit them, and convince them to reach out on your behalf.


Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.

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