This morning, Jane Friedman (editorial director of Writer's Digest Books) asked me to pass along the following message that she also posted on her blog (http://www.writersdigest.com/norules). Please feel free to comment below if you have any feedback to share on this topic. Thanks!
Every week at F+W, we have a pub board meeting where sales, marketing, and editorial teams discuss new projects for publication. It's the editor's job to convince the sales team that we have a viable book idea (with the right author) that will sell.
This morning, we pitched a book on writing and critique groups. While anecdotal evidence tells us that most writers do participate in some form of critiquing (whether as part of a formal group or not), we don't have hard evidence. So the sales people tabled the project until we could return with information that substantiated our claims. They also disputed whether writers would spend their money on a book about writing groups and critiquing, even if they are an active writing group member.
So we're putting together a survey that will soon go out to Writer's Digest newsletter subscribers, to see what data we can collect. I'd love to hear from readers of this blog as well, if you know of any information/data that would be useful to us. (And if you have a blog, perhaps you can post on this topic and gather feedback too!) Ultimately, I'd love to create a groundswell of discussion that will convince our sales team that this idea deserves realization as a physical book.