Find a Publisher for Your Nonfiction Book (Part 8)

Without the marketing director’s support, your book will likely be rejected. Here are five key areas the marketing director focuses on when your proposal goes before the publishing committee:


To build awareness of your book, the marketing director needs your concept to be:

● fresh, clear, and compelling

● distinctive from similar books

To satisfy this need, craft your title and book description to clearly communicate:

● the need your book addresses

● how it meets that need

● the promise it makes to the reader


The marketing director wants to know who you are. Share your:

● experience

● degrees

● titles

● awards

● anything else that makes you the right person to write this book


To get your book published, you must have built a significant relationship to your audience, the people already paying attention to you.

Your platform includes where you regularly speak and where you are being published: online and in print. When you write or speak, who reads and listens?

Platforms come in all sizes. Generally, the larger the publishing house, the larger the platform the marketing director wants to see.

Marketing Strategy

Aside from the marketing opportunities the publishing house will create, the marketing director wants to know what you plan to do to market your own book.

This is not about what you are willing to do if the publishing house creates the opportunity, but what you will initiate and accomplish, things like:

● writing magazine articles

● setting up speaking engagements

● seeking specific endorsements

● using existing networks to get out the word about your book


Finally, the marketing director wants not only a list of current books that most closely compete with yours, but also a description of what sets yours apart.

Kevin Scott is acquisitions editor at Wesleyan Publishing House, where he coaches first-time and experienced authors through the acquisitions and editorial process. Kevin also writes essays about sustainable Christianity at

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