In the most recent Bookhitch newsletter, several experts talked about book proposals. (Incidentally, if you don’t get the Bookhitch newsletter, you really should. Archives are available but sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox.) They gave advice on what catches an editor’s attention, and one of the pieces of advice really stood out to me. They said writers should have a few sample chapters complete (obviously) but also include a marketing plan. The marketing plan was crucial in this person’s opinion.
I think this shows how much the publishing world has changed. It’s not enough to show a publisher you have talent and a great story. You’ve got to show them how you plan to get your book sold.
While the quality of writing is still important, publishers know that readers enjoy a variety of voices and story lines. So it doesn’t matter if your writing style is like Edgar Allen Poe, Willa Cather, or Dan Brown. What matters is finding readers, and publishers will expect you to help them do that.
Personally, I don’t think this is a bad thing. But I know not all writers agree with me. Do you? What’s your opinion?