Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Appealing to both sexes? Is it possible?

Please will you help me. I have just had a non fiction book proposal rejected by a publisher and this is what they said:

"I think your pitch was really great and the stories luridly fascinating, but the bottom line is I don't think it has an audience. As a feature article both men and women would give it 5 mins and love it. But as a book it has to be primarily for either men or women and I think it falls down between the two. It is about the lives of the ultra rich but it is quite dark and misogynistic. We recently came a cropper with a similar book called Divorce Confidential which was a brilliant read, but was not finally for men or women."

Divorce Confidential - Amazon link

I would like to understand this better. If books are for men or women - what ingredients do I need to make the book appeal to both? Or is it simply not possible?

It would be great if you would be willing to read the book and then feedback, via the comments, why you think this book hasn't been a success. Apparently, it's a great read. I am going to get a copy too.

I would welcome your help in this matter. Of course, if you can't be arsed then that's fine too.

I have posted this on my blog too.


Marilyn said...

My dear friend...that is why I don't listen to the markets. Don't write for them. Write for you. Are trying to fit into a mold? What is your objective? Why do you write?

Bravo for your submission. Submit again and leave the rejections in the dust...or self publish. Take the letter and frame it and tell thing...I am not for everyone...and I don't have to be.

Good luck and keep writing!

Marilyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Clare-I think editors are all over the place with their suggestions and ideas. I have also received some feedback from editors at certain publishing houses on my non-fiction book proposal. Some of the feedback I have received was extremely useful and helped me in my editing process. You are the writer, so you get to decide what works for your story and what doesn't. If you are going the agent/publisher route..keep submitting until you find an editor that works for you and with you. I work with an excellent editor in Seattle. Her ideas and suggestions have been invaluable. Not everyone has time to read over a whole manuscript, but if you organize a writing group in your area and do an exchange, that can work. At any rate, I always find it useful to get feedback. It's my choice what I do with that feedback.

Glen Staples said...

I can't give any decent advice - never having tried to deal with publishers. I suspect you just need to disregard their opinion and move on to a different publisher.

Clearly there are distinctly male and female oriented genres, but there are still plenty of books that cross boundaries and do very well. Keep at it :-)

Mrs Macnaughty said...

Thanks Katherine. I don't suppose you know any US agents do you? I have a US project that I need representation for. Any guidance would be welcome. I have the thumbs up from publishers over here saying its a definitely player but it needs to done over the pond as it were.

Mrs Macnaughty said...

Whoops - thanks Glen and Marilyn too!! Onwards and upwards.