Publishers Marketplace is one of the most popular platforms among publishers, literary agents, and authors. It is a vital resource, especially for authors looking to keep up with the market trends and find an agent to represent them. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about yet, Here is everything you need to know about Publishers Marketplace; what it is, how to use the platform, its pros and cons, and much more!
What is Publishers Marketplace?
The Publishers Marketplace (PM) is an online bulletin board that you can utilize to get updates on the publishing industry.
It is a vital resource for authors who want to keep up with the market trends. The platform is a database that stores, lists, and updates daily publishing deals. Here, you’ll receive daily reports of what’s selling and what’s not. You’ll also get to identify with agents and writers who deal with the same kind of books as you do.
As a writer, you can leverage this platform to perform research on agents, view job opportunities and network with other industry members.
PM is a members-only platform. To join, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $25. However, if you aren’t sure about being a full member but want to conduct some research, you can enjoy a 24hour access for only $10.
How Do You Use Publishers Marketplace?
You can use PM primarily in two ways;
- Keeping up with the market trends through daily reports via Lunch Deluxe, Lunch Weekly, Daily Deals, e.t.c.
- Conducting targeted research in the quest to query, that is, finding an ideal agent who can represent your book.
Here’s a step-by-step guide you can use in your quest to query.
Step: 1 Define Your Taste.
You need to start with a list of authors, agents, and editors you might have come across. Assuming you are an author from the United States. You need to create a list with the following details:
- Name of the author of the most famous novel similar to yours. You might have also read the book and loved it.
- Name of the author of what most people love on platforms such as goodreads.com. Their book must be similar to yours and has a lot of respect from readers.
- Name of an author who fits the above two categories but has published within the last five years.
- Name of an agent who publishes or is looking to publish novels from your region.
- Name of an agent from your region that you loved after interacting or watching their interview.
Log in to your Publishers Marketplace and find authors 1 to 3 and agents 4 and 5. Additionally, consider creating networks and connections with more authors and agents to create a longer list.
The announcements on the Publishers Marketplace are valuable. You can follow them to track which agents and editors collaborate with which authors.
Step 2: Conduct a Search.
Browse to the deal maker page and search the names you initially prepared. You will probably get more than one result. However, one of the results will have the necessary information, including the author’s and agent’s bio.
The results will also include other announcements based on the same author. You can click and browse them to view other projects by the same agent.
When you click the editor's name, you will see a listing of all the projects they have bought within 12 months. Therefore, you can get more agents from a single author or agent’s name.
Step 3: Populate The List and Narrow it Down.
Authors write books out of passion and depending on their personal preferences. Writing books is about personal tastes. Publishers Marketplace helps you create and populate a list with names of agents and editors who love your type of content.
Searching for books or authors whose writing style and content is similar to yours is grouping with your taste. If you write fiction stories, find a group of authors or books that are fictional. Identify your type of taste.
Once you have a list, use the publisher’s marketplace to identify editors and agents who have acquired books like yours. Therefore, you will generate more field-specific names and narrow them down to what you do. Otherwise, searching without paying critical attention to personal taste will generate more yet unhelpful leads.
Step 4: Search For The Top Agents in Your Genre.
Publishers Marketplace has a valuable feature that helps you search for “top dealmakers.” You can use the “if you are reading this” feature to browse for top talents in your writing category. In the following step, you will learn to get the correct names utilizing this feature.
Step 5: Personalized Search
New names that you didn’t find in step 2 will likely appear once you use the “if you’re reading this” feature. Note then down and individually research them by reading the bio and visiting their websites.
All the names in your list should be subject to personalized research. In the research, ensure that you read all probable agent’s guidelines. The names will probably narrow down as it's unlikely that all the agents meet your requirements.
Once you have a list of relevant agents, email them or send a query letter. Personalize the email so that it captures some attention. Some of the details to include are the author or editor they have worked with and the particular novel.
What is a Significant Deal on Publishers Marketplace?
A significant deal is a deal ranging between $251,000 and $499,000.
In the Publishers Marketplace, agents create announcements once they sign a new deal. Some of the details they share include mentioning the manuscript, author, publisher, acquiring editor's name, and the deal size.
Publishers Marketplace classifies deals into ranges that include:
Nice deal: $1- $49,000
Very nice deal $50,000 - $99,000
Good deal $100,000 - $250,000
Significant deal $251,000 - $499,000
Major deal $500,000 and up
However, the exact deal size isn’t always posted, but aspiring authors can find additional information. Details such as how many books were sold, the languages they were sold in, and the foreign rights representative can help estimate the deal level.
Signing a deal is classified under four categories; normal, auction, pre-empt, and exclusive. The demand of the book defines all the categories. Here is an overview.
A normal deal
In a normal deal, there isn’t much competition over the book. In such a circumstance, Out of all the publishers you have reached out to, only one has shown interest and is willing to sign a deal.
What happens when more than one punisher shows interest? When a book has more than one publisher showing interest, the agent arranges for an auction. Then, the publishers call in their bids, and the highest bidder wins.
Having publishers compete for your book is an event you can dream of. However, it happens once in a blue moon.
A pre-empt often occurs when a publisher wants the publishing rights too badly and wants to avoid an auction. Therefore, the publisher will offer a too sweet deal for an agent or the author to give up on bidding.
If you are a renowned author and have published for a while, you might be aware of the exclusive deal. A publisher may request an exclusive when signing a contract for one book, meaning that you must give them the first shot before trying other publishers. You can only try out other publishers if they decline to make an offer.
How Do You Get Published by the Big 5 Publishers?
Getting published by the big five publishers isn’t a walk in the park. By saying big 5, I refer to;
- Penguin Random House
- Hachette Book Group
- Simon & Schuster.
Unfortunately, none of these publishers accepts unsolicited manuscripts. Your submission must be through a literary agent.
Here are quick tips to help you get the attention of the big 5:
- Have a Platform.
Gone are the days when an author would bump into a significant publishing contract just because of a great manuscript. Most publishers nowadays require you to have an established history. Such a platform could be a Twitter feed, a blog, a website or several literal publications.
- Create Great Manuscript
Without a doubt, great content impresses the big five publishers more than anything else. Otherwise, writing poor content won’t get your foot in their doors, even if you have a platform. However, a mix of great content and an established platform will skyrocket you to success.
- Find a Kickass Agent
As aforementioned, none of the big five publishers accepts unsolicited manuscripts. The reasoning is that an agent will never want to be associated with a poor manuscript. He is literary a gatekeeper who turns away poorly written content. Besides, having a good agent will go a long way in signing a great deal.
With a combination of these three factors, your journey towards getting published by the big five will be easier. However, be sure to check the individual brand specifications since they vary.
What are the Pros and Cons of Publishers Marketplace?
Here are the pros and cons of this online community:
- Some Big five publishers like Penguin Random House use the platform to find talent.
- Its job posting and advertisements reach an audience of at least 40,000 experts.
- Publishers Marketplace offers a free platform that is perfect for agent research.
- The vast community is field-qualified in skills such as editing and publishing.
- The platform is a members-only community.
- Publishers' Marketplace website is outdated and less user-friendly.
- It is costly compared to other competitors such as Mediabistro and JournalismJobs.com.
Joining Publishers Marketplace is one of the best decisions as an author. It is a perfect opportunity to get thousands of contacts and sign the best deals for your books. So why not get that one-month subscription?