Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
This week I would like to focus on the Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How) questions you should answer for each project before creating a book proposal.
Naturally, today I will start with Who.
The first Who question to ask is: Who is my audience?
Knowing your audience is one of the most important parts of writing a book. If you write a book that’s not focused on an audience, you write a book that will end up in “no man’s land.” To find your audience, I suggest you take a look at similar books either online or in your local bookstore.You should also test your book with the audience you suspect is the correct one.
The next Who question is: Who are you to write this book?
What do you uniquely bring to the market through your project? Is this topic something God has laid on your heart? The motivations behind writing the book need to be clear to you. If you are writing just to make money, I suggest you take a step back and reevaluate your motivations. Perhaps you aren’t the person to write this project. A good book comes out of a passion for a topic, and if the only thing you are passionate about is a big payoff, it’s unlikely that you will write a good book.
The third question you will want to ask is: Who might publish this book?
You may have an audience and a passion for your topic, but are publishing houses out there looking for a book like yours? Before you start in on developing an idea, be sure that you’re writing something that will appeal to many publishers. The more publishers looking for the type of story you are writing, the better. If you do a little research, online and with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide, and discover that there’s only one possible publisher for your book, you probably need to reevaluate your audience.
Can you answer these questions about the current book you’re working on? I know that the second and third questions might not be something you want to share with everyone, but can you share your audience with us?