Ways With Words
Complex Topics in Simple Language!

Target Selection

No matter what genre your book falls into, it's essential to target the right publisher.

This doesn't simply mean emailing your crime thriller typescript to a publisher of crime novels. You need to narrow down the field still further by targeting the type of crime novel which most closely matches your own book.

For example, P. D. James, Michael Connelly and Henning Mankell are all first-rate writers of crime fiction — but their books appeal to very different readerships (though many readers may enjoy all three authors).

If at first you don't succeed, don't give up! The first thing that happens after you submit your work to a publisher is usually . . . nothing.

If you're lucky, you'll receive a polite rejection. Occasional­ly, a publisher may comment favourably on your work, say­ing something like: 'This deserves to succeed but unfort­un­ately it's not for us.'

At this stage, a lot of wannabe novelists make a common mistake: in the hope of discovering what's 'wrong' with their novel, they ask a friend, colleague or family member to read it and to give an opinion.

Here's why that is not a good idea . . .

• Your family may believe you're the best writer since Shakespeare and that anything you pen must be brilliant. In other words, they are unlikely to be objective.

• Friends, while possibly more objective than immediate family, may be reluctant to embarrass you or to risk spoiling a friendship by pointing out the flaws in your masterpiece.

• Seeking the opinion of a colleague is also hazardous. Maybe they'll say your book is wonderful simply to curry favour. Conversely, a co-worker may be secretly jealous of you and tell you the book is rubbish when it isn't.

In any case, are any of the above people qualified to gauge the literary merits of your work?

In fact, there may be nothing at all wrong with your book. You may just be targetting the wrong publishers.

Whatever the reason for your lack of success, this is the time to hire a professional editor to read and critique your work.

A professional editor is invaluable for getting an unbiased and honest evaluation of your writing.

For more about getting published, click a relevant link below.

♦  Agent or Publisher?
♦  Making a Submission
♦  Choosing a Publisher
♦  Content Guidance
♦  Editing
♦  eBook Conversion
♦  Format Conversion
♦  Rewriting
♦  Plot Evaluation
♦  Proof-reading
♦  Self-publishing
♦  Translation
♦  Typescript Layout
♦  Your Unpublished Book Reviewed

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