If you are serious about wanting to get a nonfiction book contract in 30 days or less then you need to get busy and start your Market Research.
During the Market Research phase, you will spend some time at your local library and bookstore.
Let us begin with the bookstore research. Hopefully you live near a town that has a large bookstore, such as a Borders, or a Barnes and Noble, or one of a similar size. Plan to spend at least two hours or more when you arrive there. Take a notebook or a small tape recorder with you and go to the sections that are in your area of interest.
For example, last year when I did some Market Research at the local Borders Bookstore, I first went to the business section because I was interested in writing those types of books. As I carefully scanned each of the titles in the business section, I picked up those books that were written about business management, public relations and marketing. I spent a few minutes flipping through the books to get an idea of what the different publishing houses were interested in, and wrote down the name of the publisher and their Website address (virtually all publishing companies list the URL on the copyright page).
When I was finished in the business section I had compiled a list of 30 book publishers that I wanted to contact to see if they needed any freelance writers for any business book projects. Then I went over to the children’s book section and started the same process.
I was interested in writing nonfiction books for the middle school reading level, so I spent about an hour scanning a wide variety of titles in that section. One of the great things about writing nonfiction children’s books is the range of subject matter. There are science books, biographies, history titles, and dozens of more topics. If you are serious about wanting to write nonfiction children’s books, you need to realize that at this very moment there are dozens of editors desperately seeking new freelance writers to take on projects.
I spent time flipping through those children’s books, and just like with the business titles, I wrote down the name of the publisher and their Website address. Many of the children’s books will also list the name of the editor. Having that name is helpful, but you need to double-check their Website to make sure that editor is still working at that publishing company.
Using this method of Market Research, I was able to contact several publishing companies last year and the result from that trip to Borders Bookstore was two children’s books and two business books that are in bookstores and available at Amazon.com today: Consulting Business, Streetwise Guide to Business Management, Steve Wozniak and the Story of Apple Computer, and The Story of the Pony Express.