05 Jan Five questions a publisher will ask you
So, you’re dreaming of getting published. But what on earth do publishers want to know these days?
1. Why are you the best person to write this book? Publishers want ‘alignment’ between the content of the work and the author; they’re looking for authenticity.
2. How does your book compare to similar titles in the market? You need to do your research to answer this one. Don’t compare yourself to Hemingway; be realistic, but don’t downplay your talents.
3. What sort of book is it? This is about the genre and where the publisher will position it. If it’s fiction, don’t say ‘it is literary fiction’ – that is for the publisher to decide.
4. Do you have a following or a network? If you don’t, can you build one? A writer who I’ve been mentoring recently had a 90-minute initial meeting with a publisher and almost all of it was spent on who would buy her book rather than the book itself. Depressing? Well, this is the reality of commercial publishing.
5. What will you do to promote your book? Be as inventive and lateral-thinking as possible; can you do workshops or meet-ups; do you have a database; can you bolster your virtual community.