Most authors prefer to be picked up by a publisher than to self-publish. Both have their advantages. I’m writing this series of 10 tips to help to demystify the publishing process for those who want to go the traditional route.

To read Top Tip # 1: Make an outrageous promise, click here.

Top Tip #2: Have a pre-qualified audience

This is possibly the most powerful advice I can give anyone who wants a publisher to love them. If you can build a big audience of fans for your ideas, you put yourself at a significant advantage.

For example, if you speak or train or coach, you have already touched dozens if not hundreds or thousands of people.

And, if you have built up a large following on the right social media platform, this is another big tick for publishers.

Some spectacular examples of both face-to-face and social audience builders include speaker Christina Guidotti, who is a master of filling the room and building followers, as is strategic communications expert, Jane Anderson.

Why do publishers care? It’s because you can prove you have people ready to pay for your ideas. You serve up an enormous pool of warm and hot leads who are likely to buy your book. This matters to publishers because they recoup their costs on the profits from book sales (although more are charging authors upfront fees).

That sounds obvious, but the self-publishing model does not require you to recoup your costs from the profits of book sales. It is all about selling your coaching, training or speaking programs to a niche audience — a different model indeed.

Two program sales are enough for most experts to recoup the costs of self-publishing a book. With royalties, it may take years to break even. But I digress.

If you want to impress publishers, start blogging from your website, posting on the right social media channel, and building an audience of followers who you can convert to fans and then buyers and readers of your book. How many followers do you need? As many as you can get. But make sure they are authentic.

Buying lists is for bottom feeders, not thought leaders.

Next week: Top Tip #3 Give the opposite advice to everyone else

Click here to see the full list.

Stick to it.