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Finding a NEW

Gardening Book Angle


Garden writing is a world all its own--but
don't expect to sell the same old "same-old"

by D. J. Herda

Here's the deal.  There is nothing new under the sun.  And that is particularly true with garden writing.

What?  You question my veracity? 

Then tell me this.

What's new about tomatoes?  What's different about growing vegetables from seeds?  What's unique about soil, water, and light?  What's different about any gardening topic you can think of?

That is both the challenge--and the resolution to--selling a new gardening book..  It's tough to come up with some angle on gardening that hasn't been done before, granted.  But it's even tougher not to.  Try bouncing the usual "Why My Garden Grows" concept off an editor at Rodale Press and see just how far you get.  Try convincing an editor at Random House that yours is a revolutionary method for producing more fruits, vegetables, and flowers per square foot of garden space than ever before and see just how far you get.

Do you see where I'm coming from?

Now, I'm not saying that there's no hope for you to bring out a new gardening book.  Just the contrary.  What I am saying is that there's no hope for you to bring out a new gardening book that has been done to death before.  Even if yours is better.  Editors know all about Amazon.com too, you know.  And they always check out the competition before asking to see some proposal (or finished manuscript) from you.  If, God forbid, they find the topic you're proposing has been written about twenty times before, the results are etched in stone: Can you say "rejection slip"?

So what do you do?  How do you get a wink and a nod from a publisher for your next gardening book proposal?  Think outside the box.   For example:

How about a book on water gardening?  And not just any old water gardening, but water gardening from scratch?  Water gardening from scratch for edible plants?  You know, building your own pond, planting your own plants, harvesting the crops, and reaping the rewards?

Or how about a book on growing tomatoes--without soil?  Hydroponic gardening books are a dime a dozen, but perhaps yours tells how to do it organically.

Or how about a book on growing trees from seeds.  Everybody can buy a tree from a nursery, plant it, and nurture it to fruition.  But damned few gardeners know how to plant trees from seeds and get the same results!

I think you get my point.  If you're going to sell a gardening book, you're going to have to come up with a unique angle.  So, put your thinking ears on, do your research, and find an angle that hasn't been done to death before.  When you come up with it, I virtually guarantee that it will sell.

Growing corn in a shoebox?

Who knew???


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