This week we're discussing book proposals. In my last post I shared the first half of what went into the recent proposal I wrote. Today let's move on the second half.
Sales: This section is for those who've published a previous book. Since I'm unpublished, I left this out altogether.
Author Marketing: This is different than The Market from last post (which tells who our readers are). Instead this section tells how we'll market our books (via websites, blogs, newsletter). The proposal will look much more professional if we already have them in place. I wished I'd been able to list a website in my proposal, but unfortunately, I could only talk about my future plans to implement one.
Sequels or Future Books: My agent asked me to list between 3 to 5 ideas for future books. Since I write historical fiction, I had to research several more book ideas. The ideas were already floating around in my mind, but I had to flesh each one out in a short paragraph.
Comparable Books: In this section we want to help the editor have a big-picture understanding of our books. In order to do that, I had to find 4 to 5 novels that were similar to mine in some way, whether in setting, plot elements, or theme. For example, one of the books I picked centered around a true historic event. I explained how mine did too, but then went on to tell how mine was unique.
Characters: The challenge of this section was figuring out how to condense a description of my major characters into one sentence. My sentences were very long and run-on!
Synopsis: WordServe recommends a one or two page, single spaced summary of our books. In fact, they say: Shorter is better! I already had a synopsis on file, so fortunately I didn't have to take the time to create this too.
Sample Chapters: I included the first four chapters of each of my books. Similar to the agent process, THIS is what will determine whether or not we get a request for more. It must be polished and perfect to catch their attention.
There you have it! Those are all of the aspects that went into my book proposal. Interestingly, I'm learning not all proposals are the same nor does everyone have to write their own. Tess Hilmo commented that her agent wrote one for her. I'm not sure how common that is, but I'd say better be prepared to write your own and count yourself lucky if you don't have to!
I'm happy to report, Rachelle called to let me know the editor wanted to see the full of one of my books. So now, apparently several people will read the book, they'll have a meeting to discuss it, then make a decision if they think they can sell it.
Since this is the first publishing house, I have to remind my trembling nerves, if they don't want it, we have plenty of other publishers to try. Lots of waiting, plus many rejections, plus enormous amounts of determination equal my writing process. Hopefully some day they will all add up to publication!
What are you adding together in your writing process right now?
Have a great weekend!
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