Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Authors Querying Agents and Independent Publishers Need to Sell Themselves

4 min read
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As important as it is to sell your book concept, you need to sell yourself as well

The publishing world is a tough place to crack.

As hard as it is to hear, one of the biggest components of the publishing world is how the numbers measure out.

Publishers and agents are looking for authors that not only have a good idea but a strong platform. If they can see that you have the possibility to sell books with your existing followers and marketing skills, you have a better chance.

This is why determining what sets you apart from other authors is going to strengthen your chances of success.

When you are trying to figure this out, let's consider some things a publisher or agent will be looking for.


Having a strong platform helps your chances immensely.

This is because it means you appear established and professional. And it also means that you already have a following. So in their eyes, each of those followers equates to sales.

So when you are talking about your platform, you want to tell them:

  • If you have a website

  • How many followers you have on social media

It also doesn’t hurt to have labeled links in your email signature so they can see for themselves. And by placing them in your email signature, you aren’t being pushy for them to check.

Here is mine

Publishing History

Since self-publishing is becoming stronger, more authors joining the indie author side, many publishers and agents want to know if you have other works.

They may ask if you have been published before and if so, was it by a publishing house. While others ask if you have been published before, how many copies have you sold in the first year?

This is how they gain some information in regards to your own marketing, the market, and your platform.

Bonus Information

Some publishers and agents will want to know if you have any accreditations or writing degrees.

Accreditations could be:

  • Won a writing contest

  • Were you a finalist in a writing competition

  • Worked on a famous project (TV show, Video Game writing, etc.)

This gives them information in regards to your skill set. Chances are if you have some kind of accreditation like these, you have some serious writing skills.

What else do you bring?

Now is the time to let your other skills shine. What can you do that is interesting to a publisher or agent?

  • If you are good at marketing, tell them about it. What is your experience?

  • Do you make your own promotional images for social media? How do they do?

  • What events have you participated in and how have they helped your platform?

  • Have you collected sales pledges from anyone for once the book is published? (This is good, especially for children’s books.)

This is just a little extra icing on the cake. It helps you shine and show what you bring to the team that will be bringing your book to life.

Here is an example of mine:

Authors querying agents and independent publishing houses need to sell their books and themselves in order to increase their chances of securing a book deal.

It is possible to find that special someone who sees the potential in your work.

But, in order to find them, you need to show what you bring to the table. To demonstrate that you have skills to help sell the book as well.