« Hey Dad, I finally made it to Harvard Business School | Main | Twitter use by reporters at Obama speech »

January 14, 2010


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 8 tips to get your business book published:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Keith Jennings

David, thanks for sharing this. And thanks to Tim Street for the video.

Regarding ebooks, you really pressed some buttons in me when you visited us in Atlanta last Fall. I am producing my first ebook as a result. I'd rather try and fail, than fail to try.

Thank you for being the catalyst for that.

David Meerman Scott

Keith - Please send me your ebook when it is done!!

Nick Morgan

Great advice, David. For anyone interested in working with a major publishing house, Nos. 6 and 8 are key. It's all about platform - publishers are wholesalers and expect you to do the retail selling of your book. If you can't demonstrate that you have a platform, and you aren't a celebrity, they won't be interested in you. We work with a number of second-time authors who have felt burned the first time around by big and small publishers because of the expectation that the publisher would actually do some marketing for them. Selling your book is entirely up to you, as bizarre as that sounds.
And one more thing: the current economics of the publishing industry are unsustainable. Change is on the way, but no one knows what exactly it will look like. Try to retain as much control of your book as you can, so that you can have some influence over its future.

David Meerman Scott

Well said Nick. Thanks for jumping in. As the book industry changes, it will be more important than ever to know your goals for publishing. Only then will the right publishing option for you emerge.


I read your 8 tips to get a business book published with interest and couldn't help noticing some typos and inconsistencies:
Tip 1 - change "form" to "from"
Tip 2 - you need a comma between "publish" and "including"
-4th bullet down, lowercase the "w" in "Work" to be consistent and omit the period at the end
-6th bullet down, to be consistent, omit the period at the end
Tip 5 - 2nd graph - italicize the name of your book and in the last line of that graph change "make" to "makes"
Tip 7 - insert a period at the end of "Hire an editor."
-insert the word "to" before the word "work" and insert a comma after "himself"
Tip 8 - put a comma after "Only you can market your book."

In my experience, seemingly harmless typos and errors can erode confidence in your message.
All the best.

David Meerman Scott


Thanks for helping me illustrate my point number 7: "No writer can edit himself."


JP Jones


Great post! As a designer and small author publisher, I have seen so MANY clients come to me with "books" they want to have printed that they have either designed or typeset themselves in Word or some other desktop publication. Often these books are nearly impossible to read from the perspective of eye flow, margins, etc.

So my added advice would be to take the step to hire a professional even when going the direction of self publishing. Beyond that, as I recently published my own book, "Market Yourself: A Beginners Guide to Social Media" as both a paid eBook ($5) and a trade size paper back edition on my site: www.marketyourselfthebook.com. I totally agree with you about reaching other audiences with the subsidary rights. It makes a HUGE difference as opposed to only offering one format. Not to mention the fact that actively USING social media (which is what the book is about anyway) to advertise and connect with your audience when promoting the books is crucial.

Thanks for the post! Keep them coming!

Cristina Mariani

Thanks for the advice, David. A couple of months ago I got my first business book published ("Marketing Low Cost", in Italy).
How did I get the publisher's attention? I simply sent a very specific book proposal through their website, and much to my surprise, a couple of weeks later I signed a contract.
So you never know!
Our market is much smaller but still very crowded.
By the way, thanks for your "New Rules..." , which I referenced to in my book.
Cristina Mariani


Christine Fife

Thanks for the tips! I have been noodling on a book idea for a while now and these tips are very helpful!

David Meerman Scott

JP - Yes, of course. I completely forgot. If you self-publish, you need a great designer.

Cristina - Congratulations!

Christine - Good luck getting a book out there.


Very rarely do you find someone who has done the entire gamut of publishing. Your experience is almost akin to the ascent of a musical band. There is no one path, but as a general rule you have to grind to build your platform. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE. Thanks for sharing and breaking it down in 8 tips.


Thanks for sharing the 8 tips!
I always wanted to have my book published. I find your article handy and helpful!

Tehillah Hessler

Congratulations on your big win at http://speaking.com/top5/ - one place my vote actually mattered!

Roselynn Lewis

Thanks for the tips. You have inspired me to also create an e-book. Any resources on where to find an editor shall be deeply appreciated. I would need one. Keep up the excellent work!!!

David Meerman Scott

@Roselynn - Try MediaBistro freelance job marketplace to find an editor.

Andrew Rogerson

Hi David,
Thank you for this article. I've written four books on business ownership. The first was "Successfully Sell Your Business: Expert Advice from a Business Broker" which is available from Amazon and my website at www.Andrew-Rogerson.com. Your article points out what I failed to understand - once I'd written the books it was up to me to market them. However, this is almost an impossible task as my core work of consulting with and helping clients was demanding enough. I see great value with each of your suggestions and if you bring them altogether the bottom line is to create a business plan that realistically breaks down what needs to be done, costs and timelines. Thanks for sharing.

John Spence

David – absolutely fantastic post – you are spot-on! I self-published a leadership book about 6 years ago, it has sold extremely well (@26,000 copies to date). Last year I sold a book to Jossey-Bass which was just named one of the top 10 small business books of 2009 – and you are 100% correct – it is almost solely the job of the author to sell the book. I spend at least two hours a day on “social media” and promotion – in addition to all of my client work and travel. A big-name publisher like Jossey-Bass mainly offers “credibility and distribution.” Now that the book is selling very well I have been getting more and more support from them – but in the early stages it was me at a computer trying to tell the world about my book. It takes a ton of work and networking – but it is also very rewarding to see your book climb the charts and to get wonderful notes from people all over the world who have read and enjoyed it. So, note to future authors – be prepared to market and promote your book like crazy – as you must be the main driver of your book’s success!

David Meerman Scott

Andrew and John -- Wow - you both have done really well. Congrats. Thanks for re-emphasizing that the author has to do the work. So few authors understand that.


Promotional Products


I was at a Borders the other day, looking through business books and I was thinking to myself, man these things are a dime a dozen. I enjoyed your post and think you brought up a few great points. I think it all starts with number 1, "why are you writing another business book?" When you can answer that, you are already way ahead of the game!

Denver SEO

Very useful - especially #8. All the great content in the world won't do anything for anyone unless prospective customers know about it.

As I hope to jump into this line of work this year, I am glad to have read this prior to beginning the effort.

Thanks again!

Buy Effexor

Those 8 tips are very helpful for who were publishing books.. Thanks for expressing your thoughts..

The comments to this entry are closed.


Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

follow me

David Meerman Scott books

I want to speak at your next event!


David Meerman Scott e-books

David's iPhone and iPad apps

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2004