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Aspiring authors—do you have a concept for a new Mind Body Spirit title or card deck and are wondering how to get a publisher’s interest?

One of the biggest questions we’re asked at REDFeather is what our considerations are when acquiring new titles.  We can’t speak for every publisher of course, but if you’ve ever wondered how to make your title stand out, here are some of the factors your acquisition editor might have in mind when they check out your proposal:

  1. Overall Concept/Originality: What’s the concept? Does this title already exist? Ideally, we love fresh, unique ideas and perspectives that will stand out in the market—titles that do something that’s never quite been done before, and that represent a gap in the current marketplace offering. Take a look at what else is out there and think about how your title will differ.
  2. Value and Quality of the Content: Will people find this helpful and be interested in reading/using it? Is the content accurate? If this is a Tarot or oracle deck, does it function as an oracle?
  3. Quality of Writing and/or Art: Is the writing consistent, does the author have a “voice”? Is the art appealing, interesting, consistent? Does it look like AI was leaned-in on as part of the process? Publishers may differ in their approach to accepting AI-assisted content, but certainly nobody wants robotic writing or creepy “chicken hands”.
  4. Author Expertise: Is this author an “author-ity” on the topic? Are they the right voice? Will they bring quality information and insights?
  5. Author Platform and Engagement: Creators with the biggest platforms have an engaged audience to market to and will tend to sell more titles—whether through social media or other means. If social media isn’t your thing, we’re looking for signs that you’re hopefully engaged with would-be readers in some capacity, be it through speaking events, classes, professional or academic organizations, blogging, social media or otherwise.
  6. Market Interest: Is this topic relevant? Up-and-coming? An evergreen area of interest? Is this a trend topic that will come-and-go before the book even makes it to market, or a topic which will stay relevant for the long haul?
  7. Editing and Revision: Does the title need extensive editorial revisions that might take up extra time, or will its editorial process be swift and easy?
  8. Amount of material submitted: Sometimes creators will send just a table of contents, or images of just 2-3 cards from a deck they’re thinking of. Ideally, the more you can send the better, so we can best understand what the title’s about and so we can feel confident your artwork will be consistent. Full manuscripts and decks are even better when available.
  9. Title fit within the publisher’s imprint positioning / brand strategy: The publisher will consider whether the title fits within their brand, so take a look at their catalog and think on whether your content is a logical match for them.

We hope the points above help shed a little light on the publisher’s considerations and help you hit your goals of authorship! Even if your goal is to self-publish, consider your positioning on the points above as you assess your project’s positioning and determine how to set it up for success. 

Wishing all aspiring authors the best of luck in their publishing goals!

by Crystal Mannara

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