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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Ten Most Common Reasons Book Proposals are Rejected and What These Reasons Really Mean by Marcia Yudkin

My fellow self published authors who have tried the traditional publishing toute will probably recognise some of these, that´s of course you if you were even given a reason for rejection.

1. The Market is too small.
Translation: We don’t know how to make money publishing your book.
Add market numbers to your proposal.
Add specific marketing suggestions.
Try a smaller, niche publisher.

2. It doesn’t fit our list.
Translation: We haven’t published a book in your category, of your format, or for your audience, and aren’t about to try.
Remedy: Try elsewhere.

3. This type of book doesn’t sell.
Translation: Books like this haven’t sold in the past.
Research this assertion through Publisher’s Weekly.
Compare your book to something that has sold.
Try a more specialized publisher.
4. It’s not right for us.

Translation: We didn’t like it.
Get your proposal reviewed professionally — it may be sloppy or unpersuasive in ways not obvious to you.
Keep trying. Tastes differ.

5. It’s too narrowly focused.
Translation: We sell more general books to the general public.
Remedy: Try a more specialized publisher.

6. It’s already been done.
Translation You didn’t convince us your book differs enough from what’s out there.
Re-research your competition.
Differentiate your book better in the proposal.
More carefully define your readers.
Change the angle, audience, approach of the book.

7. It’s an article, not a book.
Translation: You didn’t persuade us that you can fill 150-250 printed pages with meaningful material.
Lengthen the book to at least 60,000 words.
Write it as an article.
Approach publishers specializing in short books.

8. There’s too much competition.
Translation: You didn’t convince us there’s an unfilled niche out there waiting for your book.  
Do/cite market research on the need for your book.
Rewrite your proposal’s analysis of competition.
Try a publisher without any titles on the topic.

9. It’s too costly to produce.
Translation: We can’t make a profit publishing your book.
Reduce requirements for photos, unusual format.
Cite evidence that your market will pay more.

10. You’re not an expert in your field.
Translation: We can’t book you credibly on talk shows.
Find a co-author with the credentials you lack.
Get more credentials.

Copyright 2001 Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.

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