My Book Proposal

Book proposals. Just the thought of writing one is enough to make me shudder! It ranks right up there with crafting a query or synopsis. They're all difficult to write but things most of us will have to put our hand to at one point.

I recently finished writing a book proposal with the help of my agent, Rachelle Gardner. Thankfully, Word Serve Literary has a template, and so Rachelle emailed me the form I needed to use, which took some of the pain out of the process!

Once I downloaded the template, I spent several days writing and filling in the various aspects. Then I sent it back to Rachelle for her to tweak. She did an excellent job of polishing everything to a beautiful shine and effortlessly blending both of my completed books into one proposal.

She sent the finished proposal back to me so that I could check it over and make any further changes. Fortunately, I'd just had a photo shoot and could switch my old author picture for a fresh, new one. (Yes, that's it in the sidebar!)

Finally, when we both felt the proposal was the best it could be, she sent it to the publishing house and editor she wanted to target first. Rachelle had networked an editor at the Write to Publish Conference and perked his interest in my project. And so for the time being, she has given him a one month exclusive.

Now I'm discovering a new kind of waiting--waiting for an editor to read my proposal and decide if he would like to see the fulls of both books! As we've always heard, the best antidote for waiting is to send off the project and forget about it. So, I'm trying to do that by plunging into the research for my next book which I'm really excited about.

I'm also starting on my website with a little help from blogging friend, Jill Kemerer, who wrote an excellent article about setting up websites. (Click here to read it.) I'm delighted that this week I have the privilege of finally meeting Jill over coffee!

So, that's my update! How do you feel when you think about having to write a book proposal?! Do you shudder too? Join me on Wednesday for a closer look at the nitty gritty of writing a proposal.


  1. BIG shudders! :)
    I get the same feeling when I think about writing the synopsis, too. LOL!

  2. Ha! Funny, I also just put one together for an agent (still waiting on mine though, with hope.)

    It took me awhile (days) and God works in mysterious ways (I got help from a very unexpected person.)

    By the way--your picture is so pretty, or should I say YOU are so pretty. The photo thing still scares the hibbiejibbies out of me.
    ~ Wendy

  3. I put my proposal together last year, used Terry Whalin's wonderful "book proposals that sell" as a guideline which REALLY helped, as well as some templates I'd found on other website. I know it isn't perfect and wow, every agent probably as a different format, but once I made it "logical" it took some of the scariness out of it. Instead of making it seem like a trying to condense my "baby" onto paper, I looked at it a business proposal, which, it is! *grin*

    LOVE the new picture by the way!

    And, I am praying and keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you! My stomach seriously has excited butterflies for you, *grin*

  4. Love the post! How EXCITING!!! I bet the wait is going to be tough. Okay, I can't wait for your post on Wednesday. I really don't understand all the things that go into a book proposal. A market analysis? Are you kidding? I read lots and lots, but I usually don't come across a book and think, this is like mine. So that's going to be rough. Anyway - can't wait to read Wednesdays!

  5. I'm so excited for you. I love where I am as a writer, the flash and short story markets, but it's so interesting to keep in touch with someone who's achieving the tremendous task of publishing novels.

    Onward and upward! Lovely picture.

  6. Love the new picture. It looks great.

    Book proposals. Ugh. Writing that is so different from crafting and creating fiction.

    I look forward to reading your journey through the proposal form.

  7. Your picture is GORGEOUS!!!! I love everything about it! Yay!! I can't even comment on the proposal issue because I'm still hung up on how great your picture looks--ha!

    Thanks for the shout out, too!
    I can't wait for our coffee time!

  8. Jody: Love the photo; bee you tea full!!!
    Let's see: sick feeling in stomach, overwhelmed, near tears, and any other negative emotion you can think of when it comes to the P word. But...
    You just put your bottom on the chair and do it anyway, like going to the dentist or chaging a diaper. It's a nasty job, but someone has to do it!
    Thank the Lord for helpers like the Holy Spirit and good friends!
    Love, Jen

  9. Hey Jody!! LOVE your picture - how beautiful! :) I've never gotten far enough in the process to do an official book proposal, but yes...the idea does make me shudder. I'm so glad you have found great guidance in this part of your journey. I'm excited to hear the outcome of this next part!

  10. Great new photo, Jody. Congrats on your progress, and hope your wait is short!

    Like the bigger chunks of book proposal, it's daunting, but gotta be done. Looking forward to Wednesday's post.

  11. I recently completed a proposal for a non-fiction book, and what I did like about it is that it made me really think about the book, to know the nuts and bolts of it without any doubt. It was also a great way to give consideration to marketing, platform, a bio, and to see how important these things are in presenting our work. P.S. Great new photo! Best wishes on this exciting journey.

  12. I'm so excited for you, Jody!

    Actually I'm in the midst of the final tweaks on my nonfiction book proposal. It's an arduous process, but I've had gracious writing friends help me, for which I'm grateful beyond words. I'm attending She Speaks at the end of July and the rest is in God's hands.

    Oh, and beautiful new picture!

  13. It is interesting, because we are at the same point...but having slightly different experiences.

    My agent completed the book proposal for me. He also sent the entire mansucript, with his proposal, to four selected editors. I didn't have to do anything (other than get working on my WIP).

    No right or wrong to these things...just different methods, I guess. Honestly, I'm glad I didn't have to do sounds like a lot of work!! :D

  14. Thank you for sharing so much valuable info! By the way, love your new pic! Waiting to hear about your book being accepted for publication!

  15. Oooh, love the new picture! I'm so happy to see how well things are progressing for you. I hope your wait is not too long and the results continue to be postive!

  16. what a pretty picture, jody! just beautiful. :)

    i'm so not at the proposal stage i really appreciate reading about those authors who are doing/have done them. thanks for sharing your journey. best of luck with the editor!

  17. I used to be able to send my manuscript of a children's novel to a publisher with nothing more than a paid return envelope. Then, it got so I needed a biography, sample chapters, and a synopsis. I never did send one of those. Not, it's all done electronically. I'm lost. So I love your blog. It will encourage me to take the steps I need to take.
    Thanks for visiting me. I'd love to get to know you better, too.

  18. I'm sure your mind will be swirling with excitement and nervousness while waiting!

  19. What a gorgeous photo! You look so young in this one.

    Proposals, synopsis, query letters --yep, they scare me too. Congrats on getting your done, and getting to meet Jill, too. You are on the ball these days!!

  20. Yep, I shudder. I think a template would help tremendously. I love your new picture. You look lovely.

  21. How cool that you are meeting Jill! I'm getting to know her now as she is my critique partner so give me the scoop later. LOL
    LOVE your picture!

  22. Beautiful photo, Jody (but I'll admit I preferred the old one).

    Proposal writing would be fun. Less invested in the story at that point. But if the editor likes it? Then the pressure would be on to deliver and hope to meet their expectations.

    Keep sharing. I (and I suspect the whole lot of us) are learning so much.

  23. Awww, shucks! I'm ducking my head! You guys are too nice! Thanks for all of your compliments on my picture! (Patricia, I'll keep my old one around for a little while longer just for you!)

    Everyone, you'll have to forgive me for the group thank you today! But kids' summer activities started, and I'm one busy Momma!

    But thank you for all of your comments and your thoughts about proposals! I'm looking forward to chatting with you more about it on Wed.

    Have a wonderful week!

  24. Late post here...but my kid activities were this morning! What a busy summer :D I'm so excited for you. I hope the editor doesn't take the full month to tell you how much they love your books!

  25. Hey Jody! I just got back from my parents this weekend (didn't have internet on my computer!) and I just wanted to say I LOVE your photo! You look stunning! And how wonderful to get to WAIT!!! :) Enjoy the kiddos!!!!

  26. Yes, I sort of shudder. I remember following a check list of things to have in a book proposal, wrote several pages, and sent it in. The editor was kind enough to respond and told me, quite frankly, of all the things that were still wrong. I showed it to my co-worker who felt bad for me, but still couldn't stifle a huge laugh. It was a good learning experience, though, as the editor did explain several things he personally wanted to see if I ever sent a proposal to him again. WB

  27. I shudder and then shudder some more. It is an AWFUL process! :) LOL

  28. I have to say it too, love the picture. I cringe at the thought of doing a proposal, query and all of that stuff. But how exciting for you that you are at that point. Enjoy the wait:)

  29. Beautiful! Love the new pic!! And UGH on the proposal. I share your shudder. LOL. I don't think they ever get easier!


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