Jeff Davidson: 10 Tips for Becoming a Successful Mainstream Author

Guest Post by Jeff Davidson

1. The success of a book is 10% content and 90% marketing. Unless the publishing house is behind your book, forget it.

2. The book publishing industry is agent driven. Agents sell the best books for the most money, with some few exceptions. Authors representing themselves hardly ever match this.

3. The three most important elements in getting published: The proposal, the reputation and connections of the agent, and the platform of the author are the three most important elements in gaining early acceptance. If the acceptance isn’t early, the proposal probably wasn’t ready.

4. The size of the advance absolutely equals the commitment of the publisher. A large advance takes care of the author’s concern about whether the publisher will actively promote the book.

Jeff Davidson on Authors

5. Get on the A list. Only a handful of books per publisher per season are actively promoted. You must gain early indication of this — there is no gray area here.

6. Many editors are afraid to take a risk. Unique topics or unexplored areas must be approved by the higher ups.

7. The relationship between editorial and marketing departments is crucial. Marketers must comprehend your book immediately, be able to describe it in a sentence, and support it 100%. The most successful authors are invited to meet the marketing staff to convey the essence of the book.

8. Rights sales are important. Sub rights and serial rights are often sold in advance of publication.

9. Editors and publishers are still print oriented. You must convey to them on paper that your idea is a winner. Some celebrities or temporary media phenomena can wrangle contracts without developing a superior proposal. However, these are usually one shot deals.

10. If a book proposal is a winner, it will usually hit at least once within the first five to seven submissions. If not, you are probably not going to hit at all, or if so, for a low advance.

A parting observation – we live in a media driven society. Your connection to the media, as a member thereof, or as one who is frequently covered by it, is important and helps enable you to demonstrate an adequate platform among publishers.

About Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson, the internationally recognized expert on work-life balance, holds the registered trademark as the Work-Life Balance Expert®. He is the author of several popular books including Breathing Space, Simpler Living, and The 60-Second Organizer. He is an Advisory Board Member on The Organized Executive, a monthly publication of Columbia Books.

In 2013, Jeff had eight books published in Chinese, including Simpler Living, The 60-Second Innovator, The 60-Second Organizer, The 60-Second Self-Starter, Ten-Minute Guide to Time Management, and Ten-Minute Guide to Project Management.

Jeff Davidson is on the web at

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Jeff Davidson: 10 Tips for Becoming a Successful Mainstream Author

About John Kremer

John Kremer is author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, the Relationships Matter Marketing program, and many other books and reports on book marketing, Internet marketing, social media, and book publicity. -- .

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