How to: Make Your Book More Marketable

Some ideas to consider for making your book more appealing to agents and editors: 


  • Expand your niche.  Sometimes agents and editors like a book but don’t think the primary audience for it is big enough.  You can expand your niche by adding secondary audiences.  A book for straight parents of gay teens can also be marketed to include school professionals  and other family members and friends.
  • Focus on one genre or another, not ten.  You may think that your erotic paranormal futuristic romantic suspense will appeal to readers in all the genres represented but that’s not always true.  It can seem muddled instead of inclusive.  Editors and agents need to know what shelf the book should go on in the bookstore.  Pick one to emphasize and don’t worry about the rest.
  • Emphasize the timeliness of your idea by tying it to current events (but don’t make it too timely – book publishing is a slow business).
  • Restructure your book.  When I originally conceived the idea for Dojo Wisdom, it was for the book to be narrative non-fiction.  At the time, narrative non-fiction wasn’t one-tenth as popular as it is now, so I capitalized on a trend and broke the book into lessons.  You can use a similar approach to break your magnum opus into two companion books or a trilogy, turn your general nonfiction book into a prescriptive self-help, and so on.
  • Work on your platform.  A writer with a lot of fans is irresistible to agents and editors.  Consider ways to connect online and offline with readers who’ll line up to buy your book
  • Make your book bigger.  This isn’t a word count issue but a vision issue.