A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
-- George R.R. Martin
et us begin with the good news: American publishers are releasing more titles than ever. (Over a million per year, by one account.) At the same time, consumers are buying the books in record numbers. By these measures, it would seem that now is the perfect time for aspiring authors to make their mark.
Yet even as reading becomes more popular and unit sales are up, the book biz continues to struggle. Prices are down on many products, as the balance of power shifts toward the online retailers. The rise of self-publishing has flooded the market with millions of new titles, making it harder for your book to stand out. Consumers expect steep discounts, forcing many stores to seek out other revenue streams such as food, toys, and music.
So what advantages do the publishers have left? They still get to choose their projects and authors. And make no mistake, they have no shortage of choices. According to one source, there are about six million manuscripts, proposals, and queries circulating among American publishers and agents at any one time. If you want to get noticed in this competitive marketplace you might as well sit around waiting to get struck by lightning, win the Powerball Lottery, or get drafted into the NFL.
At WordWise Media Services we represent award-winning authors in a wide range of genres for children and adults. We have personal relationships with hundreds of acquisitions editors, and we know exactly what type of material they're looking for. Fewer and fewer publishers will accept a manuscript or proposal directly from an unknown writer these days; instead, they rely on literary agents to separate wheat from chaff and send them only the best work that has been thoroughly vetted and edited.
But that's only half the story, and almost beside the point. For if all you want is to see your name on a book cover, you don't need us. With the right skills and connections, you can do it yourself quite
easily. No doubt, you have plenty of options. (You probably want to sell those books and write another one, right?) We take the long view, looking beyond your current project, to help you advance in your career. After all, what's good for you, is good for us.
Editors come and go, companies merge and get divested, and departments get rearranged. We keep up with these changes for you. Publishers whisper to us about opportunities that are never revealed to the general public. Do you really want to spend all your time with that research, or would you rather spend your time actually writing?
Strategy is important: Do you have an overworked theme, or is it truly fresh and original? If they offer a contract, should you accept it? Inexperienced writers won't have these insights, and you might be better off to keep walking. We can help you score a larger advance, negotiate better contract terms, and sell more books. With this advantage you'll be well-positioned to market your next book, and the one after that.
Our clients' works have been released by these publishers:
Bold Vision Books
David C. Cook
E.P. Dutton (Penguin)
Harlequin Worldwide (Harper)
Heart of Dakota
Lighthouse of the Carolinas
Pelican Book Group
Thomas Nelson (Harper)
Univ of Nebraska Press
Writer’s Digest Books (Penguin)