How to attract a publisher for your novel
In a Daily Mail article about a new contest for first-time novelists, Selina Walker, Publisher of Century and Arrow at Penguin Random House UK, shared this advice:
"It should be a story that asks questions of the reader; that takes us from our known world and plunges us into another; it should be filled with believable characters who we care about; and it should have a narrative with a beginning, middle and an end that draws all the different strands together in a satisfying way."
What's the dramatic question of your novel?
As an example of a gripping story she cites Harlan Coben's new novel, Fool Me Once. She says, "This is a thriller that quite early on asks a single dramatic question: if you think your husband is dead (and you were with him when he was murdered), why can you now see him on the nanny cam in your daughter’s bedroom? Impossible to put down, you just have to find out what happens next."
That's a good example of a high-concept story--I'm working on an online course in how to come up with high-concept ideas for films and the same methods work for high-concept novels. I'll let you know on this blog when that course is ready.
The contest for first-time novelists
The contest has a first prize of £20,000 and guaranteed publication, and is free to enter. Details are here. Entries must be received by April 16, 2016, and if your novel isn't finished you must be able to complete it by October 30, 2016.