by Sherrie Wilkolaski

Positioning your book to entice an international publisher is easier than you might think. There are several inexpensive tools that give an author an edge when going after an international market.  International publishers are on a constant quest for new titles coming out of the US, shouldn’t your book at least have a chance to compete.

international money

Why should you consider going global?

The grass is always greener on the other side, right.  Look to music. The publishing and music businesses have much in common, think about how many US musicians do better overseas than at home in the US.  David Hasslehoff is worshiped as a singer in German-speaking Europe, his skills as a singer are not so popular here in the states.  My point is this, get outside of your backyard and think about other opportunities.  The world is a big place.  Find out where in the world your book might shine the brightest.

How to position your book to be discovered by an international publisher?

  1. Global distribution.  Make sure your book has global distribution. Your US publisher should have your book listed and available in markets like Canada, Europe, Australia and the newest market (for indie titles) Brazil.  If you’ve independently published be sure your book has this exposure, don’t try to save a buck and list at Amazon only.  Global distribution will show you are serious.
  2. Pubmatch.  One of my favorite international book marketing tools is Pubmatch.com.  It provides an author the means to list and market their book to publishers world-wide.  You can target specific publishers and give out as much or as little information you like about your book.  Every author should invest the time a few bucks to get their titles listed.
  3. International book fairs. For a few hundred dollars your book can be promoted at any one of the international book fairs, like London, Frankfurt or Beijing. Yes, only a few hundred dollars and two copies of your book.  Let your book be represented on the shelves of the New Title Showcase and included in their printed and online show catalogs. This is where book buyers, agents, media and yes, publishers go to find out what books are up and coming. I recommend investing in the above listed shows, as well as Book Expo America, which is held in NYC annually and is attended by many international publishers. If you have written a children’s book, the Bologna book fair is specifically for children’s titles, so make sure your book is there.
  4. Target specific publishers in other countries.  Do your research and find publishers outside the US that make a good fit with your book.  Target one new publisher per month and submit a query letter.  The more feelers you have out the better your chance of getting picked up.  Just as in the US, follow their submission guidelines, many of which can be done online.  Make it a point to direct them to your author profile page on Pubmatch.com and let them know to go and see your book at various international book fairs.
  5. Be ready for an offer.  Have your ducks in a row.  Is your website up to date?  Is there a press and/or media section of your interviews on your site? Endorsements and reviews, do you have them on your website and enough on Amazon and Goodreads to show-off what readers really think about your work. There is nothing worse than creating an interest in your book with a publisher and then not being ready to show-off your US success.

When the time comes and a publisher does make you an offer, I recommend that you find an attorney who can help you with your international negotiations. Be sure you retain the copyright and find out what they are going to do to market the book in their native country.  The world really is your oyster; you just have to start digging.

Image courtesy of Darren Deans.

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Sherrie Wilkolaski

About Sherrie Wilkolaski

As the founder and president of Author’s Boutique and PubSmart Sherrie Wilkolaski is a Renaissance woman of the publishing industry. She brings to the writer’s table an effective fusion of marketing proficiency, best-selling accolades and a background in journalism. Her international public speaking credentials and social media savvy provide independent authors and traditional publishers a multifaceted strategy to achieving success. Sherrie’s specialized insight into the mechanics of the publishing process resulted in the formation of her distinctive boutique publishing house style, which bridges a client’s status from aspiring writer to published author. As a best-selling author, Sherrie has first-hand knowledge of the creative writing experience and the challenges involved in printing, packaging, marketing, and selling books. She has effectively harnessed the benefits of social media and site promotion to maximize an independent author’s circulation and public readership. In 2011, Sherrie co-founded traditional publishing house Pressque Publishing and is a consultant and publishing services broker for a number of small to mid-sized publishers and printers, including HP, and Infinity Publishing. She is columnist for Press Pass, Publisher and Editor of Luxe Beat Magazine and a featured blogger on a variety of industry publications. She is the former Director of Publishing Services at Lulu. Sherrie’s new radio program, PubSmart, is launching later this year. Sherrie sits on the board of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and was a featured speaker at the 2013 Annual Conference in Hawaii presenting, “The Power of a Book”: How to Use a Book to Enhance Your Career/Credibility as a Journalist”. A global conference speaker, she addressed members of the HP Dscoop Graphic Arts Asia Conference in Beijing, China in 2013. Sherrie is the author of best-selling book, “How to Start a Wedding Planning Business” and the popular coffee table book series, “Cookies and Cocktails”. Her much-anticipated book “How to Bulletproof Your Book” is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2013. Sherrie is a broadcast journalism alumnus of SUNY College at Buffalo and is a 2012 graduate of the Yale Publishing Course.