I am working on a book for nurses that I would like to get published. Should I finish the book before trying to find a publisher or can I start making inquiries now? Also, what is the best way to find a publisher?
Wants to Find a Publisher
Dear Wants to Find a Publisher,
How wonderful that you are writing a book. That’s an excellent way to share your expertise with a broader audience and leave a lasting legacy. Plus, it helps you grow professionally and enhances your professional package.
You do not need to finish the book before contacting publishers. They will want to see an outline, a few sample chapters and possibly a book proposal.
Now would be the time to start identifying potential publishers. Do that by looking at similar types of books and seeing who published it. You can make an initial inquiry by phone or email to the acquisitions editor of each company to see if they would be interested in the subject matter. Some companies may have just put out a similar or competing book and would not be interested. That just means that you move on to the next publisher.
Start working on a book proposal as well. This is a multi-page document that provides an overview of the book, including a chapter-by-chapter summary, information about the author, a target audience, plans to market the book and so on. Not only do many publishers request this when they consider acquiring a book, but also it is a good exercise for the author to help conceptualize the whole project. I compare it with writing a business plan before you open your business.
You can find instructions on how to write a proposal online and in many books. I recommend Cynthia Saver’s “Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses, 2nd edition.” The book covers many aspects or writing and publishing and should be on every nurse’s book shelf.