Sunday, July 6, 2008

Writing Your Book Proposal - Part 2 (of 3)

Tips Before you Begin

  1. Know your topic inside and out. Know what you know and know what you don’t know. For example, with my environmental book there was a lot I didn’t know, but the reader didn’t know either and I knew which questions to ask and where I needed to do my research. Have three different versions, the 2 sentence version, the one paragraph version and the one page synopsis. And, structure your book. Write point by point every item you can think about that will go into your book. Write what you don’t know, write what you do. These are the bones for your proposal.

  2. Know who is going to read your book. Try to narrow it down. If it’s parenting then what type of parent are you targeting? Saying “anyone with children” isn’t enough. You are the only one responsible for convincing the agent or acquisitions editor that there ARE readers out there for this book.

  3. Get connected. If you are writing for any type of niche industry (which is one of the best ways to get published: writing in a niche) then how are you involved in that industry?

  4. Platform – the catch all word for “I know there are readers out there”. If there are readers out there for your book, what are you doing right now to talk to those readers before the book is written? If this book is for them then you need to know what they want by “living amongst the gorillas”. And know without a shadow of a doubt that YOU are the writer for THIS book. If you have doubts that you are the writer, examine what credentials you think you should have and either compensate or go out and get them.

  5. Read books you’ll compete against. Get as much data on them as you can, read Amazon reviews for other points of view or weak areas that the competition might be showing.


Write your book proposal idea down into two sentences.

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