Rachel Kramer Bussel reveals how Ten Speed Press’ Julie Bennett acquires “beautiful, inclusive, and meaningful” books that often “focus on the idea of connection”:
What makes a given book stand out for you, and, conversely, what makes you immediately reject a manuscript?
When I sit down to read a proposal, I try to be open to the topic, but my approach is to look for reasons to reject it. When the proposal is able to answer all or most of my objections, then I know I’m onto something. A good book proposal has a well-defined topic that fills a viable niche; it’s organized, well-written, and structured in a logical manner; the author has done market research and can tell me in a compelling way why he/she is the best person to write this book and how this book is different and/or better than what’s out there.
This fall we’re publishing Illuminations: Expressions of the Personal Spiritual Experience by Mark L. Tompkins and Jennifer McMahon. The book presents a collection of photographs, artwork, poems, and prose pieces that express personal spiritual experiences. The proposal was presented as a professionally designed, full-color dummy, which allowed me to immediately see its visual potential. The authors had gathered more than 180 contributors from 43 countries, which no one has done before in this way. It is a beautiful, inclusive, and meaningful project that fit perfectly with what I’m trying to put out into the world.
Read more here.