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What Do Publishers Look For In A Book (And A Writer)?

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If you are considering publishing a book, you may be wondering what a publisher looks for in a book, and the writer. The answer to this question can be quite complicated, given that all publishing houses are different.

There are many aspects that are taken into consideration. While the writing must be great, and your pitch needs to be perfect, they will also consider the content of the book.

The publishing industry can be ruthless, especially if you have previously experienced rejections. It is important to remember that even the best writers have experienced setbacks, and this is okay. 

While going down the route of a publishing house is the most traditional way of getting a book published, it is not the only option. Self-publishing is becoming increasingly popular, especially for those who want to take control of their own journey. 

In this article, I will be talking you through some basic aspects publishers look for when deciding on the authors and books they accept. I will also be discussing how self-publishing can benefit you. 

What Do Publishers Look For In A Book?

There are a number of different aspects publishers look for in a book, and every publishing house has a slightly different set of requirements. 

Selling Potential

The first thing a publisher will look for in a book is its selling potential. After all, publishers rely on book sales in order to make profit. Publishers will take time out to assess the content, to determine whether they believe it will be successful. 

Strong Content

The content within the book needs to be strong, to draw the reader in. If it is a non-fiction book, the content needs to be interesting, and accurate. If it is fiction, the overarching plot needs to be immersive and keep the reader hooked. 


It is difficult for a book to be completely unique, especially given that there are so many published books. However, your book will need to have a certain level of je nais se quoi, to allow it to stand out from other submissions. 

What Do Publishers Look For In A Writer?

When it comes to the writers in particular, the main thing that the publisher will look for is likability. You will want to inject personality into your submissions and interactions with the publisher. This allows you to be memorable, and will encourage the publishers to be interested in your work. 

Spelling, Punctuation, And Grammar

When submitting your book, even though it may be a draft, you will want it to read well. If your submission has spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, this can affect whether your book gets accepted. 

Popularity and Promise

Publishers want to be able to see a future with the authors they choose, and they will favor authors that have a clear idea of what they want to do. 

For example, books with the potential of becoming a series are popular with publishers. In addition to this, authors that have other book ideas within the same genre will often get approved if their work is good enough too.

These are just a few examples of what publishers look for in an author, and a book. The specifications will vary depending on the individual publisher and the genre of the book.

It is useful to implement these specifications into your writing, even if you are planning to self-publish a book.

Why Self-Publishing Is Useful?

Traditional publishing is still something that most authors strive to achieve. However, with the rise of technology, self-publishing is becoming increasingly popular. 

What is great about self-publishing is that it gives you the freedom of having control over your own book, and how it is published. It takes away the pressure of needing to be accepted by a publisher, and prevents your book from being rejected. It is certainly useful, and has an important place within the publishing industry.

While self-publishing is great, it does leave you with the responsibility of carrying out everything that a publisher would traditionally do for an author. Self-publishing is no easy task, even though it is often deemed as such. You are responsible for the writing, editing, publishing, and promotional process — all of which take time, patience, and dedication. 

The outcome of self-publishing is certainly worth it, and through using the correct tools, you can make your book journey a successful one. I would recommend researching self-publishing in detail beforehand, so you have a better understanding of what this entails.

It is also useful to use services such as Author Community, which can help you to connect to your readers, and promote your book on a deeper level. This fantastic text messaging service enables you to encourage readers to leave a review of your book, and it will allow you to send updates, and really nurture the important relationship with your readers. 

While traditional publishing can be great, self-publishing offers you the freedom to publish your book without any setbacks, and it enables you to reach out to your readers in a more personal and interesting way. 


There are many different aspects that a publisher will look for, in both a book and a writer. As a result, it is difficult to pinpoint specifics. 

However, when writing a novel, you will want to ensure that the content is great and well thought out, the plot should be strong, and your spelling and grammar needs to be perfect.

In addition to this, you will want to show personality and character, and really make the story and submission your own. Taking these aspects into consideration will help you on your way to becoming published.

If you have received rejections, this is not something to be disheartened by. I would encourage you to keep trying, or potentially look into self-publishing instead. This is a fantastic way to publish your book, and by using tools such as Author Community, you can help your book reach new heights.