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Can You Still Get a Book Deal as a New Author?

I’m often asked, “Can you still get a book deal as a new author?”

Yes. You can.

The proof?

One of my clients just signed a book contract on Friday, a first time author, and will be getting a high five figure advance with her dream publisher. She’s one of several new authors who signed traditional book contracts this year (which come with an advance payment).

Was it easy?


Will you need to do some work? Yes, likely.

If you’re writing a prescriptive book—self-help, how-to, business—rather than a narrative book, then platform is especially important. That is, publishers and agents want to see from your book proposal that you reach a good sized part of your target market already.

If you don't have much of a platform, part of the work of developing a book proposal is growing your platform. Click To Tweet

Did I say book proposal? Yes. You may already know that to get a book deal, you’ll need a compelling book proposal, including a list of chapters,  one or two sample chapters, outlines or summaries of all the chapters and what is essentially a business plan for your book. This business plan aspect includes an analysis of your market or audience, an analysis of where your book fits in the market as compared to other books currently on the market and information about your current platform and a plan for how you will leverage that platform to promote the book. You’ll also need a rousing query letter.

Invitation to learn what agents and publishers are looking for today, get some hot tips and hear what my clients are doing to get book deals

Carla Naumburg’s How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids has just been published by Workman Publishing and came out this week!

If you are just about ready to write a book proposal, I have exciting news for you. On September 18, I’m offering a free training on writing a successful book proposal. In it, we’ll cover:

  • How You Can Increase Your Chances to Get a Book Deal as a New Author

  • Ways to Start Your Book Proposal for Maximum Impact.

  • Avoid the Dreaded Slush Pile!

  • 3 Must-Haves Every Publisher Wants to See.

  • Tips that recently helped one of my clients sign a high 5-figure book deal.

    PLUS: Learn 2 top platform-building tips!


How to Get My Guidance and My Detailed Editing and Feedback on Your Book Proposal Click To Tweet

book cover become your childs sleep coach
Become Your Child’s Sleep Coach is available for pre-order on Amazon. When I helped Dr. Schneeberg with her book proposal I got to learn her system and we successfully employed it with my younger son!

In addition, starting October 2, I’m teaching a 4 week course to “Fast Track Your Book Proposal” where I will give away my biggest secrets and strategies that helped these authors interest agents and publishers and get their book deals. I’ll also help each author with brainstorming the platform building and promotion plan, as well as other aspects that can make the difference between the slush pile and the publishing route.

You don’t need to wait until October. In fact, those who sign up now will get an early bird discount and can immediately have access to the course website, with all the guiding materials, bonus items and more. Plus you can get started on your book concept and book your book concept consultation, so we can focus on some of the burning questions you may have, like:

  • “Which book do I write, x or y or z?”
  • “Is my target audience doctors or patients?”
  • “What tone should I take?”
  • “How do I organize the material into a structure that will resonate with my readers?”
  • “Where do I start?”
  • “How do I make the time and stick with it?”

Would you like to be part of this exciting course? I’m limiting the course to 12 participants, and because I can edit the work of a limited number of people at one time, I can only take three to work with me in the gold plan (so anyone after number four would work with my colleague) and another four in the silver plan, leaving five spots for bronze.

If you want to explore, feel free to schedule a time to chat with me here.

And before our call, please fill out this application. While the application does not imply any commitment on your part, it will help me prepare for our exploratory call and to evaluate whether the course is a good fit for you.

Already started your proposal? That’s okay. The course will still help you to punch up sections, polish and tweak.

Read more about the book proposal course here. Note: at times when the course isn’t offered, you can sign up for one-on-one book proposal coaching and editing plans. Email me for details. Need a ghostwriter for your book proposal? I can find you an excellent book proposal writer as well.

Benefits of Exploring and Signing Up Early

  1. After working together on his book proposal, I introduced Dr. Symington to his dream book publisher, an acquisitions editor at New Harbinger. The book is now out and making a difference in people’s lives!

    BONUS! One big benefit of signing up early is that the first two people to sign up for the gold program will receive a FREE seat in my Stevie-award winning 8-Week Bring Your Book to Life® Program, in February and March. That could be perfect timing for writing additional chapters of your book, perhaps even a full first draft. And should you sign a book contract before that, you’ll be especially happy to have the structure and support to write the remaining chapters in time for your manuscript due date and pub date. Did I mention that this free bonus normally costs $4497 – $5997?

  2. MORE TIME TO CLARIFY YOUR BOOK CONCEPT BEFORE CLASS BEGINS. You may not be sure of all the details of your book concept: vision, goals, audience, tone, features, structure, what goes in and what to leave out. By signing up early, you’ll get to work on that with me from the get go, so that by the time class starts you are more likely to be clear on the foundation of your book.
  3. GETTING THE SPOT YOU WANT: Sign up early to be sure to get in the program that fits your needs best. As mentioned, I am limiting my individual work to:
    1. 3 Gold Plan Spots
    2. 4 Silver Plan Spots
    3. 5 Bronze (or more if we have fewer in Gold and Silver)
  4. SURPRISE BONUS: I will be adding another special bonus for early birds as soon as I confirm (hint: with a literary agent)
  5. DID I MENTION THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT? Save $900 – $1500 when you register before September 22!

If this sounds of interest to you sign up here for an exploratory call or email me with suggested times if the times in the scheduler don’t work for you.

How to Get Published

What Makes a Book Proposal Compelling to Agents and Publishers?

Stay tuned for our author interview with Lynelle Schneeberg, PsyD, about writing and publishing Become Your Child’s Sleep Coach (published by Hachette). And the week after, in my next blog post. I’ll take you through some of the important steps  and strategies employed by my most recent client to sign a book deal, the one receiving a high 5-figure advance with her dream publisher.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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