Book proposals 1 – Writing in a Vacuum

The fact is, there is no shortage of talent out there. There are plenty of great, gifted writers, writing some great stuff. But we’ll say this now (and probably repeat ourselves later), publishing is a commercial business and often authors forget this. We wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from simply writing whatever they wanted as a creative exercise. But if you are serious about getting published, then you need to think like a publisher.

What do we mean by writing in a vacuum?

Some writers set about writing a book without considering whether the topic has already been addressed by someone else. Or worse, someone else who has tackled it better than you. Or worse still, a well-known, bestselling author (who will be very difficult to compete with) who has tackled it better than you.

Writing in a vacuum is writing without market awareness. Do your homework. Make sure you know who has written what on your chosen topic. Borrow quotes from the best in order to strengthen your work and list those books in your bibliography. Later we’ll get into crafting a top class proposal, but for now, note that when pitching your book you’ll need to be aware of competing titles and be able to demonstrate why your book is different and worthy of publication.