How to get a book deal

Mummy went to Blog Summit at the weekend. Run by the the Tots 100, a UK parent bloggers network, Blog Summit sees the coming together of online social media users, to share and learn about their area of interest. Although, you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s where parents go to pretend they have no responsibilities:

"Blog Summit Birmingham 2013"

Seriously, I don’t know why Daddy ever lets her out alone!

Anyway, I’m told there were lots of reasons to be there beyond the social, and that even seasoned eventers came away with tons of new ideas. For example, there was the session about how to make the most of your Facebook page, with  Cathy from NurtureStore. Mummy has been tinkering ever since, with massive results, as you will see from this post – eek! She also met Nadine, from JuggleMum, with whom she will be speaking at BritMums Live. In the space of 45 minutes they had hatched a plan to go on holiday together, where they would drink wine and eat pasta. You will find them tweeting random stuff about sausages and valpolicella at ridiculous hours 🙄

There was a very intelligent bloke, who had figured out that the way to be happy in life, was to decide to be happy. Not rocket science, but the genius was in the fact that everyone in the room had also decided to be happy by the end of his talk! And there was an inspirational panel discussion about how to get a book deal. Mummy has recently decided she’s doing this, so she quizzed Rachel Lucas author of Sealed with a Kiss; and Becky Goddard-Hill, on how they did it. Here is what she managed to ascertain:

How to get a book deal:

  • Get a brilliant cover design – Rachel used @danthescribbler for hers and it has been instrumental in her book going to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts
  • Grab the reader’s attention straight away – people are busy and they give up quick. You have to compel them to read your story
  • Readers must identify with your character, empathise with them, or hate them – either is alright, but make them irresistible
  • Bring your characters to life – identify with them yourself and this will be easier
  • Every story needs a problem
  • Tear-jerkers are always handy – even I know the power of a good cry
  • That problem? It needs a satisfactory resolution, or no-one who gets to the end will recommend you
  • Don’t forget the blurb on the jacket. It’s what makes the book sell itself off the shelf!

Actually, most of the above are my own tips, gleaned from my writing lessons at school. In addition, the wonderful panel had this to say:

  • Pay for an editor – it’s a worthwhile investment. Who wants to be my editor? I’ve got £3.58 in my piggy bank
  • Be prepared for rejection – it can take 40 or more agents before one will say yes.
  • Self-publish – then you can show the world how wrong 39 agents were…

Right then, see ya – I have a book to write! xxx

For more info on what you missed, head over to the Blog Summit post on Tots 100.

28 thoughts on “How to get a book deal”

  1. Lovely to meet you at Blog Summit at the weekend!!…and you are right – it is where parents go to forget their responsibilities. Bring on BritMums!!!

  2. Lovely post! Apart from being your own publisher, publicist, promoter, oh yes and writer, self publishing looks fun! May give it a whirl.

  3. Really interesting, wish I could’ve been at the event. I think a really key part of self-publishing is to take your time, give it to plenty of people to read before you publish and take their feedback on board. This would naturally happen in traditional publishing and is part of the editing process. It can be quite tough to ask for feedback like this but it’s vital – without it lots of typos can slip through and the whole book can feel a bit half baked.

    • That’s a really good point. I once read a book by someone who had inspired me in blogging. It was full of typos. It really felt like a let-down. Thanks for your input, it’s really invaluable and I’ll be coming to you with my book! 😉

  4. I’m really looking forward to the book. Is it going to be more of a novel than a how to run a blog at 8 years old book?

  5. What a great post – you’d make a fantastic author. Good Slideshare skills too. Apparently you’re not supposed to kill off your main character, it upsets people 🙂

  6. I love how you presented the book in the slideshow, very professional. I believe your daughter is on her way to a book deal.

  7. GG-enius! Fab story. The proposal scene is almost as romantic as my Olds’! Hope all’s well. Quite quiet here, but hoping to find time to change that soon. CB x

  8. Very, very useful post indeed…. filing this one away under ‘writing’ on one of my blog pinner boards.

  9. Trolls!!!! They would sell it to anyone. This is great – I’m envious that I wasn’t able to go along. Next time, maybe….x


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