One of the top commercial writers in the business (80 published nonfiction books) is Bob Bly. Recently he sent me an email that pointed out some very interesting trends. In the past, many books written and sold were simply regurgitations of the same old content. He cites the Dummy Series and the Idiot Series as examples. Now however, editors are insisting on fresh, new never seen before content.. Fresh, new packaging is not enough. I suppose the many blogs and emails are forcing this issue. It’s getting harder to find unique content, which is why the trend has grown.
I’ve written before about the importance of websites germane to your subject area. Bob says that not only must you have them, but the editors expect to see your site’s statistics of unique visits and hits to prove that you have become a known entity in your field.
Bob also says your blog’s analytics are just as important. He recently got a $20,000 contract based on his blog postings. Not having a good blog and its analytics can doom a book deal.
The editors also want to know how many followers, friends, and contacts you have. They also want to know how many people subscribe to your email newsletters. It’s all about your platform or fan base and the publisher’s marketing to them. They also want to know how well your past books have sold.
If you want to sell a nonfiction book about a topic, you better be well-known in that field. It’s getting harder and harder to sell a new book to the mainstream publishers. You need a good reputation in your niche, a large platform, and a cost effective way to reach them. Bob has a new book out on how to get your book published, which you may find helpful. I have bought a number of his ebooks in the past and have always found them helpful.