Friday, June 30, 2006
Q & A 60 Premature Queries
After years of being a journalist and college newspaper adviser, I've decided to start writing a nonfiction book of essays about the lack of awareness among 18-25-year-olds in America today. Parts will be funny, parts will be very serious research, parts will be really interesting (hopefully all of it will be interesting, but I'm trying to be humble and self-deprecating). Question: The book will need to be published in a timely manner, as it will focus a lot on current trends and events. Is it OK to start sending out queries before the book is actually finished to get the ball rolling and to find out if anyone is interested? My students and I read you every day, and they appreciate me more and more because I'm not as evil as I could be.
Evil Editor commends you for realizing that finding a publisher could take a long time. He also commends you for forcing your students to visit his blog, and for spelling "adviser" with the preferred "e".
A timely book can present a problem. It may even require you to make periodic revisions with passing time if it hasn't sold. You wouldn't believe how many manuscripts I've received with titles like, Why the Berlin Wall Should Be Torn Down, or Surviving the Aftermath of the Spanish American War.
You'll be happy to know that while fictional works should be complete when querying (until you're a big shot, anyway), nonfiction books are often "proposed" before they've even been started. There should be no problem with sending off a description of the book, your qualifications to write it, and perhaps a couple sample essays. Hope your target audience isn't 18 -25-year-olds; they'll be unaware the book even exists.
Posted by Evil Editor at 10:28 AM