Every week authors say to me, “My friend says my book is perfect for Oprah.” Duh. Right. Everyone I know thinks that they are perfect for Oprah. The truth is you probably are not getting on Oprah. So concentrate on what you can get on. Radio. There are thousands of radio stations in America and they book over 10,000 guests every day. They need content. And the great thing is you can do radio shows from your home — in your bed. You don’t have to fly to Chicago. Start by practicing with stations in your home town. Then go to other cities. Radio is the gold in America and you should be doing at least 3 a day.
At most publishing houses, the final purchasing decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief, the Chief Operating Officer, or an executive committee.
The names of these executive committees differ for each publishing house and include Editorial, Acquisition, Purchase, and Publishing Committees or Boards. For our purposes, let's just refer to them as Publishing Boards.
A Publishing Board usually meets at the same time each week. It consists of the publisher, editors, and marketing people. It also can include design and promotion personnel. These boards can range in size from ten to thirty people.
In some companies, the Chief Operating Officer makes the final purchasing decision. Usually, he or she wants everyone on the committee or board to agree, but he or she will often proceed without unanimous approval. Publishing Boards set the price that they will be willing to pay for the book, and then the publisher sends a contract to the author's agent or directly to the author if he or she is not represented.
In publishing houses, financial thresholds exist that limit what editors or groups of editors can offer writers for books. To exceed that threshold, they usually have to get approval from the Chief Financial Officer or someone high on the corporate ladder. If you expect top money, your proposal will get a rigorous reading from the higher-ups, who function as investment managers.
You, your agent, and the publisher then negotiate the terms of the contract and sign the deal. If you sold the book on the basis of a proposal, you must now write the manuscript. An editor is assigned to your project, and you should contact the editor to map out the direction of the book and make sure that you're both on the same page.
Upon completion of the manuscript and submission of it to the publisher, your editor edits the book. The editor then contacts you with his or her suggestions, to which you respond. In our experience, editors' suggestions have been greatly beneficial and have enhanced our books. At times, certain editors' opinions may be hard to swallow, but they're usually on target. Most editors are extremely professional and will improve your book.
Occasionally, an editor's suggestions will be off the wall or will move the manuscript in a direction unacceptable to the author. If this occurs and you can't work it out with the editor, summon your agent to duke it out. It's part of the service you are paying for.
When you finish making the agreed-upon revisions, your editor will accept your manuscript. At this point, a substantial portion of the advance against royalties is usually payable, frequently half.
If the book is produced in-house, the edited manuscript is sent to the production department. Frequently, production--which includes copyediting, design, and indexing--is outsourced. When these functions are subcontracted, someone in-house reviews them.
After the book is copyedited, the manuscript is sent back to you with the editor's query marks. When copyeditors' queries are transmitted via a computer file, they must be answered by using an electronic editing feature, which is available in most word-processing programs. Otherwise, copyedits are sent by hardcopy and must be attended to by hand. You must address each of the copyeditor's queries and then send the manuscript back.