I'm currently working on a popular science book. I'm already pretty intimidated by the process of preparing a proposal - I don't know much about the publishing industry and I have basically no platform to speak of at this point. But what's currently worrying me the most is that I just found another book that is quite similar to the one I'd like to write. It covers a lot of the same material, but not really in the same way; it's a bit drier and less narrative than what I had in mind. It was published in 2005 by a major publishing house, but it appears to only be available in eBook form at the moment. It was reviewed by several papers, so it was definitely on people's radar at the time, but I have no idea how well it did.
I've got some questions for what this might mean for me going forward. Specifically:
-Is there a resource I can use to determine how successful this book was?
-Should I hope that it was successful (thus proving that there is a market for my book) or that it bombed (if nobody read it, there's still room out there for mine)?
-How similar is too similar? Does this kill my proposal in the water? I feel like this subject could be really interesting if treated right, and i don't think this author really did that. But I feel like I'd be presenting the same facts, just in a hopefully more interesting and digestible format.
I can give more specifics if anybody is really interested in helping me pick this apart. :-)
Thanks in advance for your input!