Tagalog Editors are experts at asking the right questions when acquiring manuscripts for publication. Writers must know what those editors usually ask.
You had a bright idea. You persevered in writing a book about that idea. After a long struggle to get it right you have finally gained more than enough courage to submit your manuscript to a publisher.
After six months of waiting, you got a response. Apparently,
your manuscript was given for review (kudos to publishing houses which do this)
and the reviewers are experts on that idea which you chose to explore. The
publisher is interested so to speak to publish your work, but now, the questions come in the margins or as a separate attachment, or as part of an evaluation form:
1. Aren’t there books dealing with the same topic? What is this book’s advantage over the competition?
2. Who is your target reader for this book? Is there a big enough audience?
3. Do you have a way of reaching your target readers, that is, would you have a suggested strategy of how to distribute this material?
4. Would you be willing to exert some effort to help explore other multi-media tools in the promotion of this book?
5. Are you willing to shoulder part of the cost, for example, artist honorarium?
6. Will you be available to do a book tour, at your own cost (initially). How much are you willing to invest to help promote this book?
7. Have you considered endorsements? Who are the people, connections, organizations who might be willing to endorse your book and to order copies initially?
8. Can you cite a distinctive for this book? Why would a publisher, a bookstore and eventually, a reader plunk down money to buy your book?
The questions are all marketing related, and this is the reality of publishing. It is profit-driven and the players aren’t mincing words when they ask you these questions. Realize that sometimes, answers to these questions are crucial in the publisher's decision to publish your book. But others ask these because they merely want help in promoting your book. Chances are, if the writing is excellent and the topic is timely, publishers won't be able to resist publishing your material. But chances are also that they are doing this as part of their acquisitions standard operating procedures so you better follow up with the Tagalog editor.
Look at the whole picture. If you face these questions head on, you will be on your way to getting published. Your books will have buyers and readers and possible reviews. Your idea will reach its audience. Since ultimately, this is the goal of writing, seriously consider the Tagalog Editors' questions.
Mabuhay! Pinoy, Pilipinas. Balikbayan. OFW. Fil-AM. Foreigner or a carefree travel bug -- have you been to the Philippine Islands lately? (including all 7101 of them low tide) We'd like to hear about your anecdotes: you can call it "My Pinoy Experience." Funny, irreverent, bland, cute, different, interesting, religious, smorgasboard - we welcome your stories here. Or if you have an interesting photograph, you may want to share the story behind it.