This evening I answered the following book publishing question on Quora. I figured I’d share my answer here as well.
Publishers: What tips you off that a book is well written or publishable? I’m asking this question because I’m about to send my manuscript to literary agents, as well to companies that accept slush. I’ve been doing this for the past two years and I’m finally feeling confident in my work. I really want my piece to have the best standing it can, right off the bat.
Most experienced editors can tell in the first two pages whether a book is well-written or not. So make sure that your first two pages are the best because most editors won’t go beyond those first two pages. That’s just the reality. Experienced editors can make judgments quickly. And they do make those judgments fast.
As for publishable, that has little to do with how well your book is written. It has more to do with whether or not you have an author platform (that means a ready-made audience of fans who know, love, and trust you).
Who reads your blog? How many social media followers do you have? How many people have watched your videos? Do you have a regular podcast? Do you speak regularly? Do you write an on-going column in a newspaper or magazine? Have you built up an audience? Do you have many fans, followers, readers, likers, commenters, sharers, repinners, retweeters, etc.?
If you want a book publisher to publish your book, write a good book AND build a tribe (an audience, an author platform, a fan club). Begin by creating relationships where people come to know, love, and trust you.