No, Really. How The F*ck Do I Get a Book Deal? Everyone Else Is Getting One!

A No BS Guide On How To Sell Your Non Fiction Book

The Angry Therapist
7 min readMar 18, 2022


First, who are we to write this article?

Hilary Swanson worked at a major publisher for almost a decade, signing up authors, editing manuscripts, and overseeing hundreds of books from concept to publication.

John Kim took his unconventional approach as a therapist and channeled it into a blog/brand called The Angry Therapist, through which he’s now published several bestselling books, including I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck and Single. On Purpose, as well as the upcoming It’s Not Me, It’s You.

After working together on several books as editor and author, we now work together to help aspiring authors navigate the clusterfuck that is book publishing, with John spilling his secrets to a bestselling book career and Hilary pulling back the curtain on what publishers are actually looking for (and what they run away from).

With that out of the way, let’s get into it. If you’ve always wanted to write and publish a book, particularly in the nonfiction space, there are four crucial things you’ll need to do.


Many make the mistake of writing their book first. I get it. It’s been brewing inside you for years and you need to get it out. Sure but unless you want to self publish your book, you are wasting your time. Publishers don’t buy books. They buy book proposals. Once they buy your book proposal, then you write your book. Now you have an advance and an editor to help you through the entire journey.

This does a few things.

  • Makes it easier to believe in yourself. Writing a book is a terrifying and vulnerable process. There is constant self doubt, especially if you’re a new writer. But if you have a publishing company and team who believes in you, willing to invest and take a risk on you, it’s so much easier to believe in yourself. When I sold my first book, I trusted they knew what they were doing. I trusted that they wouldn’t have bought it unless they thought they could make money off me. Them trusting me made me trust me. Selling your book makes you legit. You are not just a writer. You are now on…



The Angry Therapist

Author of “I Used To Be A Miserable F*CK” and “Single. on Purpose.” IG: theangrytherapist