One of the most common questions I get asked is how can authors find the best people to help them get their book published and promoted.
I always tell people go to the bookstore (or their bookshelf) and look for titles that match the one you want to publish.
You can immediately see the publishers who released the books. You can get a good sense of their choices about packaging—whether typography, titling, or trim size. But the best source can be found inside the book.
In the world of book publishing, we also have a wonderful tradition of thanking people for the work they have done on books.
By looking through the Acknowledgments section, you can see everyone who contributed to a book: the agent, the editor, the publisher, the publicist. If someone helped write it, you see who (but sometimes you have to read between the lines). Authors will often thank earlier readers and inspirations for writing in the first place. They always thank family and friends.
From there, you can get your first set of answers to things like:
- Who might represent a book like mine?
- Who might buy a proposal for a book like the one I want to write?
- Who has experience promoting the kind of book I want to write?
- Are there other experts who might contribute to the overall success of my project?
And remember the Acknowledgments section when you write your book and pay it forward to the next author who needs the same help.