An abundance of information is available on how to write good proposals. Blogging friend, Krista Phillips mentioned that she used Terry Whalin's Book Proposal's that Sell to write hers. Rachelle Gardner has an informative post about how to write proposals, along with other book recommendations. (Click here to read it.)
Since so much help is available, I won't bore you with how to write a book proposal. Instead I'll share my experience writing one.
As I mentioned in my last post, WordServe Literary has a fill-in-the-blank template. Each section came with specific instructions or suggestions for what to write, which was incredibly helpful!
Title Page: Of course this was the easiest page to write! Rachelle listed the titles of all three of my books in a column in big bold print. At the bottom I listed my personal info. (address, phone, email, etc.); then she listed hers as well.
Content: This next section contained three distinct areas:
- What's the Hook? This is a tagline, one sentence that creates interest in the book. I included several options. Then Rachelle picked the one she liked best and perfected it. I was utterly amazed at how well she was able to hone in on the important phrases.
- Brief Overview: This is similar to the back-cover copy of a book. It's a way to create enough interest that a reader will want to buy the book and read it. WordServe suggests about seven sentences. Mine was three very short paragraphs. I tried to set up the conflict in such a way that it would generate a desire to know the rest of the story.
- Manuscript Details: Another easy section with things like: Format (trade paper), Price (I had no idea!), Manuscript Status (Complete, four chapters attached), Word Count (100,000).
The Market: This section is fairly short and is a bulleted list of the types of audiences that might be interested in the book. It demonstrates that we know exactly who will buy our books and why, i.e. female fiction readers from their 20's to 40's, etc. (This is not Author Marketing or Comparable Books. Both have their respective sections!)
Author Bio: Half to full page that lists our qualifications for writing the book, any previously published books or short stories, awards, degrees, certificates, anything related to writing. Since I don't have a huge list of qualifications, I looked at the back of books of first time authors to help give me an idea of how to write something interesting and yet informative.
Come back on Friday for the second half of what my proposal contained. For now, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Which section would you find the easiest to write and which one the most difficult? (And you can't say Title Page for easiest!)
For Part 2, click here: Book Proposals (Part 2)