From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Book Publishers Need Copy Too

Dear Pat,

I’ve been working on the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting for about two years now. Recently, I’ve been thinking about niches, and decided that I would like to write for book publishers. So, I have a few questions.

First, do publishers like Daw, Tor, and Baen use copywriters? I read mostly fantasy novels and would like to do promotions for this type of book.

Second, I was thinking of offering to do a package on a “pay me if it does well” basis. Would this be a good idea?

Any tips and suggestions would be really appreciated. This is my first attempt at getting a client, and I’m not sure of the right way to go about things.

Cynthia W.

Hello Cynthia,

I’m not familiar with the publishers you mentioned. But, in general, yes, book publishers need copy just like all businesses who sell a product or service do. Do these particular publishers have a website? A catalog? Jacket copy? All of those are written by copywriters.

To answer your second question … offering to work on spec is a great way to get your foot in the door if you don’t have a lot of experience or samples in your portfolio. In fact, AWAI has a very extensive spec program – “The 10K Challenge” – to help members get started … and it works great.

But it may not be necessary to offer to work on spec if you have a strong self-promotion letter. There are tons of companies out there that need your services – and if your letter persuades them to give you a try, they would be happy to hire you outright. If you need help writing your self-promotion letter, I suggest you get Bob Bly’s Selling Yourself Program. Order today and you can take advantage of the Holiday Savings.

Hey Pat,

How long does it take for the average person to actually generate income after they start your writing program?

How long does it take the average person to complete the program?

Stephen G.

Hello Stephen,

It’s great that you’re so eager to get started. That’s a good indication that you will succeed.

Unfortunately, the best answer I can give you is that it depends. The best way to look at it is in terms of building a new skill.

It takes somewhere between 600 – 1,000 hours of practice to achieve “competency” in just about any worthwhile skill. Michael Masterson has written about this several times – and in great detail – in Early to Rise.

Michael’s also pointed out that the time can be greatly reduced – by as much as 30 percent – if you have the help of a good teacher or mentor. And you have an excellent teacher in the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

So stick with it! If you make copywriting your #1 priority and work on it a little every day, you’ll be generating income from it before you know it.

That’s it for this week. Thanks to one and all – and keep those emails coming!


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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: December 26, 2006

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