HOW TO WRITE A BOOK PROPOSAL
The trick of getting the publisher to LOOK at your chapters is to write a QUERY letter that gives the agent or publisher confidence IN YOU, THE PLOT AND THE CONCEPT and your WRITING TALENT and ability to DO the P.R. TRAIL... so that he'll invest in you.
The same is true when you write a literary agent. If your novel has a plotty, cinematic tone, tell the agent as he will earn additional money selling you to Hollywood.
For these BUSINESSMEN, (either an agent or a publisher), having an editor or 'reader' look at your book costs him salary of a person, a day or two salary. So you want to motivate them via THIS LETTER!
Lay it on. POSSIBILITY A.) Indicate in text, that you wrote from the heart BUT you also realize it is "HIGH CONCEPT" and very unique and commercial.
You have a choice on the part B.) Do you want to say that you were forced to submit this simultaneously to 200 publishers, so they should look at it closely and quickly? Writers are always divided on that, feeling it rude and unduly pressuring and forceful.
PART C:) Tell them your unique life experience, why no other writer could have done this book
D.) enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Doesn't have to be big. You could even create a form letter FOR THEM TO MAIL BACK TO YOU, with your addie on top and a form letter with blanks with their name at the top as sender, saying, "DEAR Joe,: YES I am interested in reading four chapters and an outline, or the whole thing, let them check the box that is approriate. Send me the printed out hard copy. Or "Send me the book on a disc in Microsoft Word, or Send Book in Word Perfect for Windows. Some different choices. Create a BOX drawn by pen, for them to check next to each choice.
And at bottom, include a space for editor's name, phone number, address, name of book company, which you fill in for each one so they don't have to do that. If you're poor, neglect to stamp the envelope and maybe they'll kick in.....but it's kind of rude.
In your personal letter (a handsome, laser-printed 1 or two page document), persuade the publisher that he will receive a high-quality, marketable product that tells a complete story, which is new and important, which was written by an author with experience and credibility in that subject, which can be effectively promoted by the author once it is published, which is marketable to a well-defined audience that needs and wants your book, and which can be effectively and efficiently marked thru bookstores but hopefully through other venues as well. And last, a book that will produce profit for the author/publisher, i.e. might have a shake at being a best seller!
If he says yes, that he will look at your two or three chapters and an OUTLINE, you then will need to include the publisher fifteen to fifty pages that cover these following points. Give thought to how your book can be sold, marketed. And share those thoughts with the publisher, editors.
THE CONCEPT. Lead proposal with statements of concept. Do that in less than fifty words, including target market and why they’ll want book.
THE PLOT. Don't say what book will contain. It doesn't give a feel for how the book will read. Write an essay in lieu of the book in the manner of the book. It could start with an anecdote, a statement of core thesis, the main themes.
SUMMARY, special features, the table of contents, the author and your Media CV, listing appearances in the media. If none, why do you think you can handle media?
NEED for the book. What is the competition? You have to know! Why should there be another entry in its field? HOW does your book surpass that one? What social trends argue for doing the book now?
Give them the SALES AND MARKETING plan, your resources, ideas connections, PR leads. Can you give a lecture tour at colleges? Do some of your own P.R. and travel doing radio shows? Are you the kind of eminence gris Charlie Rose will put on? Have a way to get C-SPAN book channel to take you?
What will major media do, the news, feature stories on you? What's the angle or news hook. Reviews don't sell books. Media does. Special groups that would use your book as a premium? Will the book sell ten years from now? Foreign interest? Magazines that would carry an excerpt? Theatrical rights possible? If so, do you have connections in Hollywood or does your agent?
Remember, you can always just enclose a few chapters and an outline, with the initial query, just to show them how great you write and think. That's a fat letter, so ....maybe you'd better stamp the return envelope!
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FOR A PUBLISHER, Librarian will tell you where she keeps the REFERENCE BOOK, NATIONAL LITERARY MARKETPLACE. You can't take it out but you can read it there and make notes/ list
TO find AN AGENT, SEE THIS LIST OF AGENTS in the BOOK INDUSTRY WHO WILL REPRESENT YOU. PICK A NAME.. Get the book 'The Script is finished, Now what do I do by Callan, at abe books or the WRITER's MARKET, Deluxe Edition, K.Callan wrote many books listing phones, addies of New York book agents. All are available at ABE BOOKS used for a dollar or so. http://www.writersstore.com/article.php?articles_id=92
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