Great Idea! But is it a book?

editing1While browsing on the Storywell website,the title of this workshop caught my attention.

So, I decided to drive out to The Button Factory in Waterloo to hear freelance editor and publishing consultant Nicole Langlois discuss non-fiction publishing in Canada.

As former managing editor at Harper Collins, Nicole is very knowledgeable about how publishing decisions are made. She discussed different books in Quill and Quire and went through the Big Four questions that all publishers consider…

1. Does this project have a self-selecting book-buying audience and who makes up that audience? (Focus on measurable groups who are interested in your topic; use facts and figures wherever possible.)

2. What will this book say of significance to those within this audience? (It’s the Aquarius Factor—uniqueness—that separates you from an almost always crowded marketplace.)

3. Will this audience, once made aware of this book, go out and buy it? (An especially good question if women aren’t part of your target audience.)

4. Is this the right author and the right time to publish this book? (It’s all about platform.)

Nicole stressed the importance of building an author platform and the essential elements of all non-fiction proposals. She referred to Mike Nappa’s book, 77 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected, and Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction by Susan Rainer and Alfred Fortunato throughout the workshop.

Food for thought…

Publishing contracts are based on the number of books sold in the first year. Can you sell 5000 copies in that time?

Negative stories are hard to sell.

The best time to start promoting your book is three years before it comes out. (Seth Godin)

Blurbs are the life blood of the publishing industry.

Find the editor who is sympathetic to your voice.

Work hard… Hope for a lucky break…Enjoy the process!


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