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QUESTION: Hi,

I am a Muslim and have quite a lot of research on Islam. I was born in a Muslim family, but really turned religious at around 2000. When 9/11 happened, and after that, I was going through questions regarding Islam, and was confused about it, but I kept researching, and finally figured out that any relation drawn between Islam as a religion and terrorism is not supported by fact. I have done research in terms of going through various polls around what Muslims support, spent humongous amount of time on Quran as primary source of Islam, and also around the actions of Muslims in western societies (e.g. supporting western democracies directly or indirectly.)

I have seen a lot of anti-Islam books as well (actually books that say Islam==terrorism, which I don't find any reality to based on my research which I believe is rather objective because I had to convince myself of truth before accepting it.)

Based on your experience, do you think someone like me can produce a good manuscript? I think there is a lot of 'best sellers' that find the 'root cause of terrorism', often say it is Islam, but I find it very hard to build a manuscript that would be a good read if it already gives away that Islam is not terrorism.

It seems like a book without any climax. I would like your advice on whether this can be addressed, and whether it is worth it.

Thanks in advance for your help.


ANSWER: Hi Omer

This sounds like an extremely worthwhile project and I do think it is worth pursuing. Have you started writing yet? You should try and get yourself an agent or advice from an editor who can sit down with you and tease out your argument and a structure. If you use an editor, you will most likely have to pay for their services.

So - I think you can produce a good manuscript but you'll need guidance. If you want to get back to me and let me know which country you live in I may be able to help you locate a suitable publisher or editor. The only problem is that the book market is flooded with books on Islamic culture and religion so it will be very difficult to find a mainstream publisher.

All best wishes
Paul

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Paul,

Thanks for a quick reply. I am currently in the US (near Seattle). I have not started writing yet. I think I might be able to pay for an editor's services to get a feel of whether it is worthwhile or not.

I think the fact that there're so many books on Islamic culture makes yet another book far less promising. That is why I thought I'd get some advice.

Thanks


Answer
Hi Omer

I don't know any editors in or near Seattle but I'm sure you can find one in your local yellow pages. Writing centres (for amateurs and hobbyists) often have people or organisations who can help writers discuss their ideas so it might be worth checking those out, too.

I wish you all the best!
Paul

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Paul Watt

Expertise

Advice on rewriting PhD dissertations into books; advice on sending manuscripts to scholarly publishers; how copyediting works; what to expect in the production process; explain what to do if a university press rejects your manuscript. I do NOT assess manuscripts

Experience

10 years publishing experience at Addison Wesley Longman, and Cambridge University Press Australia and the United Kingdom

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Music; Master of Arts; PhD is almost finished! I also teach in editing and publishing courses at university level, both undergraduate and graduate

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