Your Big Book Deal: Sell Your Book Idea to a Major Publisher
What you'll learn
- Determine if an idea is good enough and big enough to sell to a major publisher
- Figure out whether to work alone or with a collaborator
- Understand how agents decide which books to represent
- Understand how publishers decide which books to buy
- Analyze your "author platform" and ways to improve it
- Write an amazing book proposal that is ready for the marketplace
- No prerequisites other than the desire to write a nonfiction book.
Do you have a great idea for a book, and want to make sure you get the best deal possible for it?
There are five major publishers in the United States, known as "The Big Five: Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan. They're the ones that offer the highest advances and have the best chance of landing your book on bestseller lists. I've written for all five of them, including several books that landed six-figure deals. Now I'm excited to teach you how to sell a nonfiction book to a major publisher.
Learn How to Sell Your Big Book Idea
Did you know that you don't have to write a book before you sell it to a publisher? In fact, publishers and agents don't even want you to write the whole thing. They want to be involved in the process, so what they want from you first is a document called a book proposal. We'll go over all the ins and outs of vetting your idea and then writing an amazing book proposal, including...
How to analyze your idea to make sure it's good enough and big enough to land with a major publisher
How to determine if you need a coauthor, ghostwriter, or other collaborator
Checking out your competition to make sure there's a market for it and see how you can differentiate your book
How to write an overview that grabs attention
The "author platform" and how you can build and improve yours before the book deal
How to write an effective book outline
Showing publishers you're ready to promote
Tips for your sample chapters
Why Take This Course?
This is a rare opportunity to take a course with an author who's really "done it all"-- I've had more than 30 books published, more on the way. They range from biographies and memoirs to true crime, reference, business and leadership, self-help, health, psychology, inspirational, and children's educational. I've written books with celebrities. I've written books with "regular people." Nonfiction books are my jam.
Along the way, I've worked with multiple top agents and publishers, so I have a wide-ranging knowledge base about what sells and what doesn't, and what works in a book proposal. Plus, I'm one of those weirdos who actually likes writing book proposals. With any luck, I'm going to teach you how to like the process, too. It's pretty exciting to watch an idea take shape!
You don't need anything to start this course except the desire to write a nonfiction book. If you have a strong idea for one, great. If not, you may find the inspiration for it here.
This course is taught by video lecture and handouts.
Who this course is for:
- This course is meant for people who have ideas for nonfiction books and want to sell them to major American publishers like Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Hachette. It is not meant for novelists.
Jenna is the author or ghostwriter of 30 books, including Celine Dion's authorized biography (Celine Dion: For Keeps) and a Marilyn Monroe biography authorized by her estate (The Marilyn Monroe Treasures). She has written for Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill, and others, in genres including memoir, true crime, business, self-help, reference, psychology, and children's educational. In addition, she has worked as a developmental editor for three publishers and numerous authors, including New York Times bestsellers.
One of her books was made into a TV movie, and her work has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Dr. Drew, Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil, The View, Inside Edition, and Access Hollywood, as well as in People, Time, and numerous other publications.
She has also been a contributing editor at Writer's Digest, a judge for professional writing competitions, and a writing instructor at the Omega Institute.
In short, she knows her stuff.