…that will actually improve the editorial quality of your book.
One, establish alliances with key influencers while developing the book. This can take many forms. It starts with identifying the influencers. Who is in a position to speak with authority about your topic and has an audience that listens to what they have to say? The influencers you are looking for are influential, but probably not celebrities who are unlikely to engage with you.
Identify the influencers, and then engage with them on the content of your book. Interview them for the book. Debate with them on their blogs on key points, and let them know how you helped them in developing their ideas (and credit them in the book). Invite them to contribute sidebars or chapters to the book (you will probably have to pay them for this of course). And so on. These folks are asked to review books all the time, but more rarely do they actually feel ownership in a book. You’ll get a lot more support and a stronger book.
Two, think carefully about the target market(s) for your book. What are they interested in, where do they hang out, and who do they respect? Are there subsets of your target market with special interests? This might lead to sidebars, extra chapters, etc. Books can be marketed to subgroups on the basis of one chapter aimed at them. Careful thought here will make marketing your book much easier.
Three, recruit a team of readers for your book. Find 25 readers, all from your target market(s). Have them read the book, and then ask them very specific questions. What was the best part of the book for them? What was missing? Can you mark every point at which you put the book down? Can you mark every point that you got excited, or sad? You don’t want folks who will tell you the book is “great.” You want real critics, but not literary critics, critics who represent the folks you are writing the book for. Show each of them how you changed the book to respond to their feedback. You will now have 25 evangelists for your book.