6 thoughts on “Going Public – Specs List Review”

  1. Gerry: looks good. A few questions pop up: what kind of illustrations? Are these necessary to the story or merely for design element? For the purpose of pitching, if these are necessary, then go ahead and number them or be more specific (16 illustrations, or 8-page color insert, for example). If for design purposes, that may not be your call ($-wise), unless you can make the case for their necessity.

    Trim size seems small to me, especially if you envision this as going from hard to soft cover. You’ll have a chance to take a look (later, during our research stage) at the trim sizes of hard cover and soft cover crime stories by the same author, see how they vary, and determine which one looks most like yours.

    1. Thanks Monique,
      I envision only one, possibly two B&W illustrations that I think are necessary to illustrate both terrorist activity and police command situation. They would be like plot maps to give the reader more story context. I know that illustrations are more expensive to produce, but it would be something I could or would do in addition to submitting/providing the manuscript.
      I agree trim size is small and I’m open to change.

  2. Deborah, you’ve hit all the important details. Some information that you have here won’t be necessary as part of a specs list, (but are important for other descriptive/marketing purposes, so not to be thrown out entirely). Such as: no need for detail on location/history of specific place; strong female character; family saga. In some ways you have listed three different genres here (historical fiction, family saga, feminist literature). In your case, historical fiction is probably the strongest choice. Or, you might combine it as historical women’s fiction. Also, what kind of illustrations do you have in mind? Are they specific to the story, or for aesthetic purposes only? If the former, be clear here on how many illustrations or if it should be an insert. Finally, print run isn’t something you will need to include in a specs list unless you are self-publishing, or you already have an understanding with a publisher what it should be. Or, for example, if you have an event/guaranteed pre-order number you could state a minimum amount.

  3. Bill: Nice choice for author name. The 50K word count here may suggest that this YA title will also overlap with readers of middle grade titles, commonly in the 30-40K word range. YA overlaps with adult fiction in the 70K+ word range. In reality word count isn’t as important for tilting toward one end of the readership spectrum or the other, but that may provide some context.

  4. I have finally figured out where to place my work. Our most recent research assignment has led me to placing it in the Mysteries & Thrillers genre, Fiction category.
    My point is I’ve been struggling with this since and including Fulton Street Plaza. Now I know where to focus my research AND focus my writing. Thanks Monique, Bill and Jeff.

  5. Jeff: This looks good. I would also suggest adding a proposed trim size if it’s not other than a standard trade paperback size, and how many photographs (or pages/inserts), to reflect whether it is “oversized” to help give a picture of what the market is. “Gift” and “coffee table” books are their own market.

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