In this section:
In the event that you might be reading this before submitting a proposal, and perhaps have not got far with your manuscript yet, here are some general considerations to bear in mind.
Your book is aiming at a market that is already covered by many other books and it's not strong enough to get to the top of the pile.
This might be because you might not have found your unique voice, Some books sound bland and indistinct. Maybe the author is trying to be like someone else who is successful but just comes across as inauthentic. You need to convey your own “voice” through the text, so the reader feels they are listening to a real person, who is on the same wavelength as them. If they feel they know you and trust you, they’ll recommend other people to read your book.
Equally, your language may not be accessible. Don’t assume your reader knows as much as you do, or can follow your train of thought without you having to spell it out. If you find yourself using words you would never use in conversation, think again, unless you’re the kind of stylist who can carry it off.
Fill in the proposal properly and carefully, with good spelling and grammar.
The Proposal is your opportunity to supply a detailed and thorough marketing plan to show that you are committed to marketing your own book and understand how you will reach your intended readership. The more detailed your strategy, the more confident we will be that it can sell.
Too long manuscripts tend to put readers off and can be commercially unviable because length correlates to price. A very long manuscript might mean you are not economical in your expression and your book needs cutting down.
A book can also be too long because it meansders off topic. We have seen books as long as 90K words long and a good half of it wasn't on topic. Sometimes a book that is half as long can be twice as good. Lots of writers seem to think 'definitive' means long... it doesn't.
The target range for an average read, not too demanding, but substantial enough, is 40,000–60,000, 80,000 words max
A few writers can hold the structure and development of the book in their head while they’re writing, but this is rare. Many books do not work as well as they could because the structure isn’t properly thought through. 10-12 chapters is a good rule of thumb.
Many writers are too impatient and rush their writing. Is your book actually as polished and complete as it could be?
Really think about who your exact reader is. So instead of “older people” you could paint a picture - “A person above sixty who struggles with technology and is always asking their children for help”. The clearer the picture in your mind, the more focused your writing and language.
You might require complex design and lots of illustrations, which are expensive or need a different type of book design to the one we offer.