How to pitch a new book idea to a book publishers

Posted by Lydia Unwin on

 We have published a very entertaining book of short golf-focused letters penned by Mortimer Merriweather to hapless recipients.

Two Ruddy Ducks and A Partridge on a Par Three.

It was a book that we knew would entertain when we read the author's pitch to us, a suggestion that we should put our confidence in his book.... it has paid off and we can now offer a neat little book to our customers, a must-read for all golfing fans! 

Dear Merlin Unwin Books,

As a reward for passing ‘O’-level English, my parents gave me a signed copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Unfortunately, it was signed by them and not Mr Joyce. Never mind. This was in 1952 and I’m still only on chapter four. The point I’m making is that I’m not a voracious reader which, since you publish books, is probably not the sort of thing you want to hear.

Slightly more encouraging from your point of view is that, if I were to read more books, I would most probably read yours as you seem to specialise in stuff about the countryside, natural history and what I would call ‘fresh air pursuits’ like hunting, shooting and fishing. Well, hunting has been banned which, since I gather your offices are in Ludlow, is news that may not have reached you yet. Apologies for dropping that bombshell but I can offer what I trust is an acceptable alternative to chasing vermin and that is the Royal and Ancient game of golf.

Before you point out that you don’t have any gifted golf writers among your authors, permit me to offer my services. Although in 1968 I had a letter published in Golf Illustrated highlighting the difficulty procuring made-to-measure plus fours, it would be a slight exaggeration to describe me as a published author. However, and here’s the really good news, I have written what I honestly believe is certain to be a colossal best-seller.

Two Ruddy Ducks and a Partridge on a Par Three is a sparkling collection of fascinating letters written to various heads of state, showbiz celebrities, religious leaders, golf professionals, companies and organisations. They contain utterly original ideas and brilliantly imaginative suggestions to improve the game of golf.

There are nearly one million golfers in the UK: if only half of them buy the book I calculate that I would earn sufficient to pay my annual subscription to Dale Hill with enough left over for a three-bedroom detached house on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells. I don’t know what property prices are like in Ludlow but there’s surely every chance you could afford to expand your offices and open a dedicated golf section with, subject to acceptable terms and conditions, me at the head of it. 

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