Monday 20 January 2014

The final 20%

Decisions about whether to publish or not can be very difficult. A text can have everything going for it:
·         It tells a good story
·         It is well written
·         It suits what we’re currently aiming at
·         It’s written by someone we’ve published before and we know:
o   We can work with that person
o   They sell well
·         The text doesn’t need all that much editing.
And yet: this one isn’t quite right for us at this time. What is it that makes the final difference?
It might be some sort of “Wow!” factor but it’s not even quite that. In fact some texts can have a “Wow!” factor and still not quite be right.
It may sound like a bit of a cliché: but if we don’t love it we can’t take it. We have to be sure that we can market it. We need to be confident that we can edit it – makes what is very good really sparkle. It has to be something that we can totally own and get behind.
80% of it is easy to determine. 
Can this person write? Does the story have legs? Will our readers want to read this? Even, has this person formatted the text the way we’ve asked because that is a sure indication of whether they can do what we expect.  
If everything else is in place that final 20% becomes so important. It’s pretty indefinable and that is where the publisher’s intuition in, the heart working not without the head but rather beyond it.
Does your text have it?

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