How to Get a Book Publishing Deal

How To Get a Book Publishing Deal

Here is a surprising strategy of how to get a book publishing deal. But has definitely been recently proven.

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If you are good writer that writes helpful and highly engaging content as our friend does, you can succeed at landing a book publishing deal in this very simple way.  

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This is not in any way a traditional approach, but it recently worked extremely well for a very good friend of ours.

Later in this article, I will go into how to get a book publishing deal the way that our friend succeeded to do. It is certainly a shocker.

how to get a book publishing deal by Susan Shapiro

However first for now, I’d like to share with you the secrets of how to get a book publishing deal as shared by award-winning author Susan Shapiro.

Ms. Shapiro shared her more traditional secrets at her recent workshop for writers at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in NYC.

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how to get a book publishing deal, the secrets of writing success

Secrets of Writing Success:  How to Get a Book Publishing Deal

Recently we attended a great workshop called “Secrets of Writing Success” moderated by award-winning author Susan Shapiro, and showcasing a panel of highly experienced professional writers, agents, and editors.

Susan Shapiro is an award-winning freelance author—her work has appeared in prestigious publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Oprah.com and she is the author or co-author of over twelve books.

The Byline Bible

Getting paid to write is a subject Shapiro has a deep knowledge in and is very passionate about. Her new book The Byline Bible is not merely just another manual on how to write to get published.

Quite the contrary, it’s something much more sorely needed: a manual on how to get paid as a writer. In her introduction, Shapiro bemoans programs that focus solely on craft while never bothering to teach new writers how to get published.

The Byline Bible was selected as one of the Best Books in several news publications around the United States.

Other Susan Shapiro publications

During the symposium, some of the successful writers on the panel who were showcased openly discussed how they had their first articles published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsday.

And how Susan helped them.

how to get a book publishing deal is like illuminating wisdom

Illuminating Wisdom

There were 3 student writers from Susan’s masterclass who read aloud their first published articles in front of the moderator, the panel, and all the attendees.

Their words and sentiments were truly inspiring.

Meanwhile, Susan Shapiro and her distinguished panel of seven writers, literary agents, and editors shared some excellent inside tips of how to go about getting your first book published, and the differences on how to submit between fiction and non-fiction works.

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What was also discussed were ways of NOT to submit and the pitfalls to absolutely AVOID when you are approaching book publishers, literary agents, and editors.

Here is Susan's list of "How Not to Follow Up": 

  • Don't email the editor, book publisher, or  literary agent the next day asking "Did you read it yet?" 
  • Never phone, text, or instant message an editor, book publisher, literary agent you don't know.
  • You should never email the next day saying, "I revised it overnight, here's the newest version."
  • Don't apologize or waste lines by over-explaining yourself, as in "Sorry to bother you again, while I am sure you are covering another "911 story", I wasn't sure if you received my piece...". Blah, blah, blah.
  • While waiting to hear back, don't email the editor saying "Since I didn't hear back from you yet, I will send my essay elsewhere",  and simultaneously send it to 5 other publications.
  • Never get impatient and submit the same story to another editor at the same place.  For instance 10 editors from the New York Times op-ed page , Sunday Review section, Opinionator blog, and "The Stone" and "On Campus" columns all sit next to each other in the newsroom. If you send the same story to a bunch of editors in the same office, you will risk them passing your story around, saying "What a jerk!"

This last minute event was a highly pleasant surprise; this was a late invitation for us that was highly enlightening and helpful in terms of how to get a book publishing deal.

how to get a book publishing deal symposium

Since there was an open Q & A panel discussion, I was able to get in some pointed questions in front of the large group.

However, let’s now get back to our dear friend who I mentioned at the beginning of this article, and the way she discovered how to get a book publishing deal in a very unorthodox way.

how to get a book publishing deal was revealed at a podcast event

How to Get a Book Publishing Deal Revealed at a Podcasting Event

Last night we were in the artsy neighborhood of DUMBO Brooklyn (yeah that’s right I said D.U.M.B.O a real place, and acronym for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”) to attend the Made in NY Media Center Podcasting Event.

This was an excellent 3-hour event where presentations were given in front of a live audience by many different upcoming podcasters. The topics were highly diverse and the content presented was all high quality.

A lot of the NY audio and podcast production agencies were there as part of an advisory board, and so was the podcasting arm of Slate magazine.

Our friend Virginia was one of the final presenters, and she gave a commanding presentation about the life of an Asian comedienne from Vancouver based on 4 hours of interviews conducted with her.

DUMBO then and now

You can see in from this photo of D.U.M.B.O. how this current thriving artist community which was once an undesirable area has experienced a renaissance since the 1970’s.

The large community of tech startups earned DUMBO the nickname of "the center of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle".

I digress. That’s the background to this story.

how to get a book publishing deal turned out to be shocking news

Shocking News

Here was the shocking news. Another good friend of ours was sitting next us at the event who happens to be a lifestyle coach in NYC. She blogs about women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, etc.

Something that many of us do here.

However, although she has a decent following, she is nowhere near the level of a major influencer on any of the social media platforms. But she writes good content.

Our friend writes great content

After the podcasting event concluded, the event host invited us and everyone in the audience to join the podcasters for 1 hour mingle where food and refreshments were served.

When we were hanging out afterward, our friend dropped the bomb on us: she just landed a book deal with a major publisher!

Note this will be her first book. And it’s not an E-Book. This is a real print book in her niche soon to be sold not only through Amazon and its affiliates, but in major bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

She got the book deal from the publisher, but to my amazement she hasn’t even written the book yet!

how to get a book publishing deal is an amazing thing

The Most Amazing Thing

What is most amazing is that our friend ended up getting this book and distribution deal through that major publisher based ONLY from the content she had posted on her LinkedIn!

Furthermore, she did not have to initiate that contact, or proposition the publisher as most new fledgling authors will. The major publishing house came directly to her based on her content, and offered her the deal.

Wow, this is unbelievable!

LinkedIn social media

Congratulations to our friend on her Overnight Success!

If we aren’t already doing it, we all need to start posting our articles on LinkedIn.

You can bet your bottom dollar, I am now going to be focusing on posting to my LinkedIn account much more often!

The Best Part of how to get a book publishing deal

Here’s the Best Part

Now once again returning to our recent Susan Shapiro “Secrets of Writing Success” workshop, here is the best part.

The best part was being able to meet with author Susan Shapiro directly after the event, and having a 1-on-1 discussion about my latest writing project.

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It was truly amazing!  Susan Shapiro gave me excellent direct personal feedback, and she was so personable and seemed very interested in my project. This was truly breath of fresh air!

Here is something even more incredible. Susan gave me her direct contact information, and asked me to follow up with her. As you can see below, she even wrote me this wonderful and inspiring personal signed message in my copy of her book.

how to get a book publishing deal and technology

"To Kaju....With Love and Great Publishing Karma"

Susan Shapiro

So this truly became a highly productive and informative networking event.

This was so very exciting!

Susan Shapiro signed book

As my friend later told me, “That is so fabulous, Kaju! Either you were born under a lucky star, or all your positive energy is attracting all these wonderful experiences and opportunities your way. I tend to think it's the latter of the two! Congrats!"

That is so exciting to have Susan Shapiro interested in and working with you on your project!”

Let’s see where this will go.

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I will definitely keep you posted Ladies and Gents.

I hope you learned from this article the different ways of how to get a book publishing deal

Please feel free to leave your comments below, and keep writing!

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!

  • Ingrid says:

    It’s a very inspiring article. It makes you want to get started because writing is the best way to communicate with people.
    How lucky you have been to have such direct contact with Miss Shapiro, that does not happen to everyone. She must have seen in you the open and talented person that you are Kaju!
    Thank you for sharing with us Miss Shapiro’s advice and for demistifying the world of the writer.

    • Kaju says:

      Thanks Ingrid, I really appreciate that sentiment here. Susan Shapiro gave us some great tips, and she was super friendly and down to earth after the seminar when I approached her.
      Whatever she did see in me, I am very grateful for. She is a great contact and an Amazing Best-Selling writer!