I know that many new authors would prefer to land a publishing deal than self-publish.

So, I’ve been writing a series for you about how to outplay the publishers and win the deal you are looking for.

Tip #5: Have a message that appeals to millions of people.

OK, seems obvious, but I can help you with this one. First, some examples.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanse

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Of course, publishers want books that appeal to millions of people because they become bestsellers and make them squillions of dollars. Even you might make some money.

Now, this tip has an inbuilt fault: your bestseller is unlikely to be your first book.

But you never know.

And you can improve your chances if you write about the big human themes (and perhaps apply some of my other tips).

Some universal themes are:

  • Parenting

  • Loneliness (and other human miseries)

  • Wealth (shortcuts)

  • Revenge (and other human failings)

  • Beating the odds

If you an expert in one of these universal themes, you are in luck.

Perhaps you grew up in a lighthouse (loneliness). Maybe you played the stock market and won (wealth). Perhaps you have perfect children (or not).

You cannot write a bestseller on a niche theme, such as Veganism for Young Veterinary Surgeons.

Search your soul for the universal themes that you have developed expertise in. How have you survived loneliness? How did you get so wealthy? Why are your kids perfect (or are you delusional)?

If you have the answer, you have the key to a great publishing deal. Make sure you drive a hard bargain, so they do not get to keep all the squillions.

Stick to it.