Book Proposal – Part Five “Competing or Reference Books”

5 Jan
A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

In trying to write a proposal for a traditional publisher, I gave this section it’s fair consideration too. It is a reference for the publisher to see a) that you understand that publishing is a business; and b) what part of the market that you are targeting.

I used and as my primary research resources. As for the books, I had read the non-fiction bestsellers or books of interest that would serve as either competition or references. In terms of references, I took this to mean both the type of book, the market segment that I would be writing to, and the sales potential.

Remember: I was (and am!) hunting big game in terms of non-fiction best sellers. Here’s what I wrote:

* * * * *

Competing or Reference Books

The author suggests the following three examples as competing books. He believes the success of these books is an indicator of sales potential for ONE as much as it is an indicator of adversarial potential; i.e. readers who bought these books would be interested in ONE:

OUTLIERS: The Story of Success. (Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown & Company ). # 8 on non-fiction best sellers’ list (518 days) as of 23 February 2010.

THE TIPPING POINT (Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown & Company ) # 26 on non-fiction best sellers’ list (1,291 days) as of 23 February 2010.

SUPERFREAKONOMICS: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, William Morrow). # 34 on non-fiction best sellers’ list (133 days) as of 23 February 2010. The previous FREAKONOMICS book sold over 4 million copies.

ONE will exploit the same reader base that these three books appealed to, and will rival them in terms of intriguing ideas presented in an easy-to-read, engaging style. ONE will also provide answers raised by the following type of books, but not in an academic or an ideological fashion:

WHO STOLE FEMINISM? How Women Have Betrayed Women (Christina Hoff-Sommers, Simon & Schuster) From review by Rocco R.: โ€œThe American people are tired of disingenuous, narrow special interests, lies, and deceptions—which is precisely the reason why Christina Hoff-Sommer’s book is so enormously popular.โ€

SPREADING MISANDRY: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture (Paul Nathanson and Katherine K Young, McGill-Queen’s University Press). At “What makes Spreading Misandry a useful book is that it puts a small spoke in the works of the large and noisy machinery of moral indignation that feminism has succeeded in constructing in academe and the media over the last 20 years.” The Sunday Independent

* * * * *

Okay, nobody laugh. I am now about to leave for my first ever hot yoga class.

“Apology, Madam. I thought the instructor said ‘downward dirty dog.’ Won’t happen again, I assure you. Besides, my eyes were closed. Is it hot in here, or is it just me?”

37 Responses to “Book Proposal – Part Five “Competing or Reference Books””

  1. LindaGHill January 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    I want pictures!!! Please tell me you’ll be wearing spandex. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I think defining the market is probably the hardest thing for me, and yet I suppose it should be the easiest. Did you have an age range in mind?

    • navigator1965 January 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

      I’ll append my yoga adventures to the next post. No spandex, sadly.

      My target audience age is from 18 to 80.

      • LindaGHill January 5, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

        That narrows it down. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I want yoga details. And diagrams.

  2. Carol Balawyder January 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Hot yoga is hot! I don’t know how you can stand it.

    • navigator1965 January 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      The heat wasn’t too bad, but I was sweating like a pig.

  3. Dalo 2013 January 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    The “One” cover art is good…hard not to buy a book based on the cover at times.
    Enjoy your yoga class! Happy New Year.

    • navigator1965 January 5, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

      Hi Dalo,

      Appreciate the visit. Thanks for the compliment on the cover design. ONE was a concept that I couldn’t quite make work. It morphed in to the soon-to-be published The Mirror, Book One: Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood. Stay tuned for that cover reveal.

      Much better than One. Much.

      • Dalo 2013 January 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

        Very good, look forward to seeing it!

      • Dotta Raphels January 6, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

        Can’t wait to see it, any chance you used my suggestion? ๐Ÿ™‚

        • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

          I can’t find your email on this and can’t remember! It’s the hundreds of WordPress email alerts I am getting morning and evening. I’m shell shocked.

  4. KG January 5, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    After writing all those serious stuff, you go and end it with ‘that’ ? *holds head with both hands and sighs heavily*

    • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 6:07 am #

      I’m an eclectic guy, I suppose.

      • KG January 6, 2014 at 6:10 am #

        Seems like you are ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Susan Lattwein January 6, 2014 at 4:41 am #

    I keep deleting what I write. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 6:08 am #

      However did you write a book?

      • Susan Lattwein January 6, 2014 at 6:10 am #

        Deleting my replies to your post. Tongue kept getting stuck in cheek.

        • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 6:22 am #

          Happens to the best of us,

  6. yakinamac January 6, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    You’re not wrong about hunting big game – I applaud your ambition! I loved both Tipping Point and Freakonomics (though I have to admit to having fallen off the “economics explains the world” bandwagon before its sequel came along). Strangely, though, I found myself remembering a lot of the former and applying its thinking in a whole range of contexts, whilst I remember very little of the latter except a (knowingly) inflammatory argument that improving access to abortion was the key driver in reducing crime rates 20 years on, and absorbing the general point that there’s lots of data out there and it suggests lots of interesting things if only anyone would take the time to look at it. (I can’t think why they didn’t ask me to write a review.)

    Anyway, all that burbling is just to say that the comparators make me even more enthusiastic about seeing your finished product!

    • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 6:11 am #

      Thank you, Yak. Yes, I’m gunning for the big authors. Test reader feedback suggests that the book itself is worthy. Speaking of which, you haven’t seen the manuscript yet, have you? Fire me an email at if you’re interested.

      No worries if you’re not or are too busy. Cheers.

      • yakinamac January 13, 2014 at 4:39 am #

        Definitely interested! Problem is, though, that I’m reading a ms for another friend at the moment, who wants comments by end Jan; and I only have 7 weeks before I have to go back to the day job in which to complete my planning for novel no. 2 and attempt to get the first 3 chapters down on paper. Feeling like time is against me at the moment and wouldn’t want to commit to this and then end up just sitting on it unhelpfully.

        • navigator1965 January 13, 2014 at 6:01 am #

          No worries. Whenever you’re interested and have the free time, feel free to send me an email.

  7. idiotwriter January 6, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    This is one instance where I am afraid I can not meet your request dear Sir – as I had to LMAO at the end ๐Ÿ˜€ – What the heck is ‘hot’ yoga – and you and yoga is a combination made in – neh – I dunno where ๐Ÿ˜‰
    But an informative post mind you.

    • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

      More to follow in this evening’s instalment, my dear IW.

      • idiotwriter January 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

        I believe I shall be tucked up drifting into morning – during your evening session ๐Ÿ˜‰ but I will awake to peruse…well after a few errands ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Jami January 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Yoga, great!!! Good for you, man. ๐Ÿ˜€ And I shall be reading two of the titles you mention..

    • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Good Heavens! You’ve stolen Evolution’s avatar! };-)>

      Thank you. I hope to blog a bit about it later this evening. Those were interesting books, especially finding out what aspects to them resonated with readers.

  9. Dotta Raphels January 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    OMG ๐Ÿ™‚ all I can think of is HOT YOGA; does that make me a weirdo?

    This is one event I would seriously do anything for photo’s Micheal. BTW Downward dog is just that, downward *winks*

    • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      Ah, you know me too well, Dotta. More to follow this evening.

  10. Aussa Lorens January 6, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    I can’t do yoga but I can lay flat on my back in a sauna and breathe in the hot air. Is it like that?

    • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

      Close enough. I did an additional post to fully capture the horror of the experience.

  11. Holistic Wayfarer January 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    You do realize whatever thoughtful comment we were holding in our head evaporated in the heat of the yoga room you voiped us into?

    I am SO pleased you’re downward dogging, by the way. LOL LOL LOL LOL
    Inspired to get on with it myself, as I’d promised to, this year.

    • navigator1965 January 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      Thank you, Diana. Yes, I rather suppose the mischievous Irish humour facet of my personality is now a genie that has been let out of the bottle. There is another Yogateria Chronicles post forthcoming on the weekend.

      It’s good for me, though. I thus encourage you to share in my suffering and do yoga too.

      • Holistic Wayfarer January 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

        *LOL* Share in your suffering.

        The men in my yoga class last year soaked their shirt 10 min into class. Was an awesome regimen. It really IS motivation for me…to have this to talk about with you. Got my dvd in last month.

        • navigator1965 January 9, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

          I sweated so much that my tee shirt was still wet in the laundry hamper 48 hours later, and this in the ultra dry Canadian winter air.

          Yoga is a great workout, though, and easy on my always-getting-older knees. Works the entire body and burns calories galore.

          To arms, Madam Wayfarer! Cry havoc, and let loose the dogs of yoga! Besides, you couldn’t allow an older, partially decrepit navigator to surpass you in the yogic arts now, could you? };-))>

        • Holistic Wayfarer January 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

          I see a poem suggesting itself in your impassioned cry. Thanks. Yoga it is in 30 minutes, before bed.

          So glad to hear how you’re benefiting.

        • navigator1965 January 9, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

          I used to do Tai Chi some years ago, and loved it. I don’t quite have the same profound spiritual connection with yoga, but I think it’s a better all around body exercise.

          Have to run. Be well, and best wishes.


  1. Book Proposal – Part Nine “Sample Chapter” | The Mirror - January 19, 2014

    […] Part Five – Competing or Reference Books […]

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