You're an aspiring author. You've just finished your new book. You're ready to shop it to agents and publishers. What are three things you should consider before you begin the process? Here are three things you should know (as told by the CEO of 3L Publishing, www.3LPublishing.com).
Your chapter 1 better rock! If there is anything you should ensure as you go to move forward and publish your book; your first chapter better be "da-bomb". It better be THE best chapter in the book or certainly as good or better than the other chapters in the book. If you have any doubt about the quality of chapter 1, you are not ready to publish.
Don't worry about a cover. So many authors feel compelled to often put together ridiculous-looking, amateur covers. Don't bother. The only thing the publisher cares about is the content. An amateur cover (even if you think it's great, because unless you're a graphic artist it's most likely amateur) detracts from your book and leaves a weak first impression when your book might be fantastic. Put your best foot forward and just include a title page.
Do a focus group for feedback, but only from qualified readers. It's great and a fabulous idea to ask for feedback to improve your book before you shop it; but I recommend you find people who are qualified to provide feedback. You can even hire a book coach (we do book coaching at 3L Publishing; send an email to info@3LPublishing.com) to help you refine your book before it's finished. Never ask what I sarcastically refer to as your "peanut gallery" (friends and family) to provide that kind of feedback. They will not be as honest as is necessary. Remember, no one wants to hurt your feelings (that is, unless you have a critical mother LOL ... just kidding ... sorta). So hire a professional to provide feedback of your book.