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Bring those publishers to heel like hound dogs: Tip #7

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You want a publishing deal? Good for you. This is tip #7 for how to get a publisher.

Tip #7: Do original research

Brené Brown’s TED talk — The Power of Vulnerability — is one of the five most-watched talks with over 40 million views. As a research professor at the University of Houston, Brown’s ideas are based on 12 years of research into the shame and human connection — research that has spawned nine books.

Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, is the youngest tenured professor at Wharton business school. He based his remarkable book on original research into generosity. To everyone’s astonishment, he found that “givers” topped “takers” in the corporate ranks, with some caveats.

Original research is not solely for university professors. Anyone can undertake a study to provide valuable new insights and helpful directions for readers. And while the formalities of peer review are restricted to academics, create your own ethics committees, supervisor and peers to review your work.

Of course, research can be boring. To support a book, your discoveries must be surprising, and you must turn your findings into stories that engage people’s emotions.

If you don’t want to get too academic, read widely, draw on your own experience, and then check out if the research is on your side or not.  That is what the author of the world’s best-selling business book did. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey, isn’t based on original research but on experience, observation and extensive reading. By the way, Covey had planned to call his book “Restoring the Character Ethic” an article in Entrepreneur suggests.  And if he’d done that, it would not have sold over 25 million copies. That means a ripsnorting title is super important too.

Stick to it.


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