If you find the questions hard to answer, that suggests you and your book are not yet ready for publication.
How ready are you for publication?
Your genre and your readers – knowing your book
1. How well do you know your readers? What books do they read? Name three books. (You should be able to do this immediately, without struggling.)
2. Do you read and love the books your readers like? Are you an expert in your genre?
3. Why do they read? (Eg: Pure pleasure/escapism? To be challenged? To have their thoughts provoked? To learn? To identify?)
4. What do they want in a book? (Eg: Happy ending? To be scared? Action? Reflection?)
5. What would be your dream review comment?
6. On a scale of 1-10, how closely does your book match that expectation? Are you good enough yet?
7. Is your book more commercial or literary? How realistically can you place your book on that continuum? Are you comfortable with its position? (This is about how well you understand your market and how committed you are to this writing.)
Ingredients - fiction
8. In a sentence, what is your MC’s main problem/goal and what will happen if he fails?
9. Do you think that is enough? Are the stakes high enough? (Different genres have different requirements in this respect.)
10. If your MC is asleep right now, what will be his first thought on waking? (This indicates how well you know him/her and how deeply in your head he is.)
11. Have you thought about and worked at voice, pace and pov? Are they appropriate for genre? (If you haven't thought about these or feel uncertain, Write to be Published has much to help you.)
Ingredients – non-fiction
12. What are the competing books?
13. How is yours different?
14. Who needs your book? (Define your readers.)
15. Have you matched the voice/tone to that need? Have you written what those readers need and want?
Research and submission
16. Have you started to research publishers and agents?
17. Are you reading blogs/books about how to become published?
18. Are you networking or at least prepared to? (You may need to buy Tweet Right! £2.74 on Kindle or the free Kindle app for laptops etc.)
19. If it became obvious that this book won’t be published, what would you do? (If you would give up, then you don't have the right mindset for a published writer. You should be writing your next book while submitting the first - no agent or publisher wants or will take a one-book-wonder.)
Do those questions make sense? Have they challenged you or provoked you to aim higher or work harder, or to be patient? Do they daunt you or inspire you?
I'd love to know!