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View Full Version : Should I give up and flush it down the crapper?



TrixieBelden
09-28-2005, 10:13 PM
I spoke very informally to an editor at kennsington~ through a friend who is published there.

About my book on the women of death row her response was

I had the chance to read this over and do some research on the topic, and while I feel this is a fascinating subject area, I found several similar books on Amazon that had lackluster sales, at best.
As a result, I donít think I can go any farther with the idea at this time. I wish I had better news for you, and I welcome any more nonfiction book ideas you may have.
Should I now give up??

MacAllister
09-28-2005, 10:16 PM
Have you actually submitted it anywhere?

Do you have other nonfiction ideas you could pitch?

PattiTheWicked
09-28-2005, 10:23 PM
Can you find an angle that no one else has used?

What background, if any, do you have that makes you qualified to write about this subject?

While "women on death row" sounds like yet another Discovery Channel special that people only watch if Survivor isn't on, there are a number of perspectives you could use to make it more intriguing. What about examining the relationships of women on death row with their daughters who are growing up without them? Or perhaps looking at how women on death row are more likely to be there because they killed an abusive husband/boyfriend/father than because they harmed a stranger? Or you could focus on women on death row who are using their experiences to teach other young women how NOT to follow in their shoes. There are any number of angles you could use, the trick is to find the one that's not the same as all the other books.

Jamesaritchie
09-28-2005, 10:25 PM
I spoke very informally to an editor at kennsington~ through a friend who is published there.

About my book on the women of death row her response was

I had the chance to read this over and do some research on the topic, and while I feel this is a fascinating subject area, I found several similar books on Amazon that had lackluster sales, at best.
As a result, I donít think I can go any farther with the idea at this time. I wish I had better news for you, and I welcome any more nonfiction book ideas you may have.
Should I now give up??

No, of course not. Just because one editor doesn't like the idea doesn't mean all editors will feel the same. Whatever your idea is, give it a chance. If every writer gave up after one try, or after twenty tries, there would be many published books out there.

Pitch a new idea to this editor, and send the death row idea to a different editor.

TrixieBelden
09-28-2005, 11:15 PM
This is the begining of my pitch:

A female killer is a mystifying beast. She is a curious monster who both fascinates and infuriates--perfect for drawing in sensational media frenzy.
Perplexed readers are forced to glean knowledge from tabloid-like interviews or dry, clinical explanations of the troubled psyche of a woman murderer.

Until now.

The crimes that put each woman on death row are only half of the story.Based on meticulous case research and long-standing, uniquely personal relationships with the inmates themselves, Women Condemned: Conversations From Death Row presents the whole story from every angle, including intimate, revealing conversations with the convicts and in-depth interviews with witnesses, law enforcement and the families of victims.

Being the crime reporter for my city newspaper I have ridden along on many police runs and sat in on numerous closed court proceedings and investigations.
I have witnessed so many women well on their way down this same path and hear in their testimony the same death march as the women condemned.

I have hundreds of their letters, poems and photos, have accepted countless collect calls and enable them to circulate a newsletter across the country among themselves. After many visits to death row some of these women consider me their closest and sometimes only friend and yet others can be vicious and taunting.
Each letter, each phone call, each request for help and suggestion to go to hell has granted me a view inside the minds of these women that no one else is privy to.

I envision Woman Condemned: Conversations From Death Row as 65,000 words with approximately 25 to 30 photos. Each chapter is dedicated to a particular woman and consists of two sections; one focusing on case research and the other on the letters from that woman.

The true crime phenomenon dates back to the old west sensationalized accounts of gunslingers published as pamphlets. In the ensuing centuries there has been much change in the presentation of these accounts of mayhem, but they have never failed to enjoy wide popularity.
According to the University of Texas at Austin Legal Studies Forum, interest in the true crime genre has risen each year since 1993. Witness the recent proliferation of even more true crime television shows for the 2005 fall season.
A glance at the television programming on any given night will reveal hour upon hour of true crime drama. Shows like American Justice, Cold Case Files and Arrest and Trial showcase this genre to a voracious audience each week. Entire networks such as Court TV are dedicated to exploring real cases. Each year, increasing numbers of Americans are discovering the intrigue in real criminal cases.
A 2004 Gallup poll shows that 87% of the 23 million polled who read regularly read at least one true crime book a year.
Jennifer Furio's Letters From Prison: Voices of Women Murders , published in 2001 is still selling consistently and has branched into e-books this year.
Women Condemned will not only reflect the most current cases but reach the millions of true crime fans and those discovering the world of criminology.