In this country, and now America, if you want to be a pop star you can enter the X Factor. You get a chance to show your talent, personality, appearance and background to a panel of judges who take everything into account and choose their favourites to win a recording contract and go on to work in the music business. If you’re a writer, there’s no big money competition like this, you take your chance with individual agents and publishing houses. But what if there was such a competition, what would it look like? ….
The Book Factor
Finding the next J.K Rowling!
1. The panel
Firstly, you need a panel of judges. The X Factor currently has four judges – three of which are singers themselves and one is a music manager. The Book Factor could also have four judges – a literary agent, an editor at a top publishing house, an author and a book critic from a newspaper. These people should know what a “good” book looks likes, what type of writer could have a successful career and what it takes to hit the bestseller charts.
2. The categories
X Factor has four categories – girls, boys, over 25’s and groups. You could split wannabe authors by age or perhaps by the type of writer there are so we could have a category for adult fiction, non-fiction, children’s / young adult fiction and poetry.
3. The competition
X Factor has open auditions followed by boot camp auditions then a final selection by the judges who are given one category to mentor. In the book factor, writers could give a pitch for their book as the open audition, then the first chapter then a final audition of the first three chapters and synopsis. The judges could then mentor their picks and help them craft the final novel with a chapter revealed each week for the live shows when in X Factor the contestants sing live on stage. The viewers would then vote for a winner.
4. The prize
The X Factor offers a recording contract so the Book Factor would have to offer a publishing contract. Instead of an album deal, a one or two book deal with a top UK publisher. A marketing campaign would follow as with the X Factor and likely the book would hit no.1 as the winners song does for the X Factor.
Would you enter the book Factor?