How to Get a Book Deal: Part 1 – Printasauraus Rex Vs. The Blog: Publishing 2.0

This post, from Kelly Diels of Cleavage, originally appeared on Write to Done on 11/27/09.

Want a book deal? Think your magnetic, compelling, ninja talent for the written word is all it takes?

Think again.

Now, says author/blogger/truth-telling goddess Danielle LaPorte, “two-thirds of a publisher’s decision is based on your platform”.

In other words, your blog. How famous are you? How big does your audience and ‘platform’ need to be?

“Pretty effing huge, apparently…” continues LaPorte, who was in New York last month pimping her latest book proposal to agents and publishers, “because I just got told I’m not famous enough.”

Publishing. It is Ancient History so Study the Scrolls.

Danielle LaPorte knows a lil’ something about the publishing racket.

In a former life, LaPorte was freelance book publicist for publishing houses like Simon and Schuster and Harper Collins. Now she has a juju personal development site called White Hot Truth, a rockin’ inspirational speaking career, and a new TV gig. And thatís not all: four years ago, she and a co-author wrote Style Statement and sold it to the prestigious Little Brown and Company for a $150,000 advance.

Back then, she didn’t even have a blog. True story.

Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin didn’t have a blog, either, when she pitched her Happiness Project book proposal to publishers. An established, best-selling author of four books, her read on the blog/book deal relationship is a little less go-blog-go.

In publishing circles, says Rubin, “there is some skepticism about bloggers. Books and blogs are very different mediums. Can a blogger write a book that hangs together as a narrative?”

Still, Rubinís agent encouraged her to start a blog.

“She planted seeds,” says Rubin, “and I was resistant…” Eventually, though, she started her blog, The Happiness Project, to test her thesis that novelty (new medium, the blog) and consistency (maintaining the blog and writing new content daily) are essential components of happiness.

Now, Rubin has been told that “your blog is more important than your book. Never forget that.”

Those stories’n  legends of non-fiction book deals signed only three to four years ago and captured without carefully cultivated venus-blog-traps – might be ancient history.

Printasauras Rex? Meet Twitter. It Will Eat You Alive. Play Nice.


Read the rest of the post, and continue to follow the Publishing 2.0 series, on Write to Done.