Think Like a Writer Before you sit down and type a single word, it will pay off if you take some time to address a few attitude questions and adopt the right mindset. This is one of the most frequently overlooked steps in becoming a published authorwhich is a big reason why so many people fail to finish their book. They will make the rest of your book-writing experience much, much easier and more satisfying. Why do you want to write a book?
Literary agent Sarah Such looks at the crucial factors needed in a successful book proposal. Even seasoned authors and experienced journalists may not have written a book proposal previously. In any book submission process the competition will be immense and the turndown rate high, so it is worth taking the time to get a proposal right.
But what does that mean? People assume that there is a set format for a proposal but, in fact, they all differ in shape and form — there is no boilerplate.
So proposals, or outlines as they are also known, can vary hugely, but all share the same objective. They need to convince an editor and sales and marketing teams on many levels for a publisher to offer an advance and invest in a writer when a book is not yet written.
Most writers are not inclined or financially able to complete a whole book without knowing they have secured a publisher — so writing a book proposal and sample chapters can be an effective way of clinching an advance. It is important to take the time to do your book proposal well.
It needs honing and editing — but over-polish and it can become too dry. One particularly good example of a fiction proposal that was successful in its aims is the Eighty Days Trilogy by Vina Jackson.
Two authors writing under a pseudonym submitted a very convincing proposal and well-written sample chapters at exactly the right moment, at the beginning of the Fifty Shades phenomenon.
We read and sold it within a week to Orion for six figures, sparking further six-figure pre-empts for translation deals. My authors proposed a trilogy that would appeal to the same demonstrably huge readership, but one that provided a stronger reading experience in the genre — so we pitched it as Fifty Shades with knobs on.
A proposal will be judged on the following factors: For this reason, literary agents increasingly spend a lot of time with their writers getting proposals in the best possible shape before submission. If you are not already working with a literary agent, ask a trusted friend to read the proposal and sample chapters with a critical eye before you submit to a literary agent.
Going through several drafts takes time, but it will increase its chances. Once a proposal is submitted to a publisher an editor will read it first. If they are convinced, it will go to an acquisition meeting.
Excitement can quickly dwindle to ennui.
Proposals should open with a strong introduction, establishing the credentials of the writer and giving some background, as well as outlining very clearly who the readership is.
This is where it is useful to cite comparable books in the marketplace as examples of a similar title that has sold well. If there is no recent book on the subject you propose it may mean it is ripe for revisiting. If there is a recent bestseller, there may be little new to say. Make it very clear within your proposal what is distinct about your book.
Originality will serve you best. It also needs to outline the structure of the book and give a chapter-by-chapter breakdown.
It should include at least three or four complete sample chapters. Be sure to polish the sample chapters so they read as well as possible. They will be vital in convincing publishers that a book demands to be acquired. Focus on making it an inspiring read rather than an exhaustive document. Many will have seen hundreds of good ideas come through the door.
They will also have seen excellent books not find a readership. With serious biography publishers are increasingly demanding more succinct structures than birth to death trajectories, for example.
It demonstrated the strength of his writing, his authenticity and knowledge but it also served as a fascinating read in itself. The chapters were structured like a camping trip, which gave it a unique and contemporary structure that enabled him to move back and forth in time, but also fitted perfectly with the subject.
Research in bookshops or online so you are prepared and aware of any direct competition and can demonstrate how your book differs from existing titles. Find strong comparable titles that have been successful and help show that your book has a viable readership.So you want to write a book.
Becoming an author can change your life—not to mention give you the ability to impact thousands, even millions, of people. How to Write a Book Proposal: A Guide for Nonfiction Writers.
by Mark Gottlieb.
Want to write your own nonfiction book proposal? Use these guidelines as your template. Title page. Chapter outlines. This is a very sparse outline, breaking down each chapter, by name and number, into a one or two-sentence description, followed by bulleted.
You want to use non-fiction book sales as the basis of your income, so you want to write multiple books in a niche and dominate that market. Some authors do make a full-time living writing these kinds of books.
Writing a nonfiction book proposal can feel overwhelming. You have a great idea for a book, you’ve written a chapter or two and are excited about shopping it to an agent or publisher, and now it’s time to create your proposal.
From idea to contract to execution, this is the first all-in-one guide for prospective nonfiction writers.
How to Sell, Then Write Your Nonfiction Book is uniquely structured to help you sell your ideas or yourself before you invest time and effort in a lengthy book project.
This comprehensive reference guide provides specific tips for pitching and writing various nonfiction categories, with. A brief description of what goes into the Chapter Summaries section of a nonfiction book proposal, which is a synopsis of each and every chapter.
Write Nonfiction NOW! Inspiring You to Make a Positive and Meaningful Difference--and a Career--with Your Words.