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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Book Proposals & Query Letters by Coleen O'Shea, Marilyn Allen

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Researching competing titles on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, Borders.com, and other sites is a good first step, but is no substitute for spending time in an actual bookstore. Taking a book off a shelf, flipping through it, and seeing the range of titles in the category makes it more real. It can help stimulate new direction in your own topic. Bring your book’s Table of Contents with you for comparison. Does your project cover new research? Does it take a unique view of a subject? Do you have new things to say? Does your bookstore research show you that you need to further refine your own work? Check where other books on your topic are being shelved. How are the published books packaged—with a gigantic, glossy photograph of a ...

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