Book Proposal I

Don’t Forget a Book Proposal – Part I

By on June 08, 2013 . Category Column

If you are truly thinking about writing a book and feel a sincere wish of publishing it, consider elaborating a book proposal. It isn’t just a description and a recently work sample. But, of course, both are indispensable portions of a good one.

Remember, you’ll write it for an editor, a publisher or an agent: they must be your target. The steps for a good proposal are straightforward, you can google it and find specifics formulations for your specific field. But in general it should contain a few sections: overview, competition, market, author, table of contents and, of course, a sample chapter or portion of the work. All inside 30 or 40 pages is enough.

I was reading about this subject, a book proposal, and I came across an interview on Fine Print Literary Management, with Brendan Cahill when he was an editor at Grove Atlantic Press. It might clarify what a book proposal is about: “Generally it’s got to be about a topic that’s broad enough for a general readership. The writer needs to be, if not expert, then well informed about the given topic and to have done the initial thought work, legwork, that it takes to be able to render that experience in a thoughtful and intelligent way. And also to have the narrative techniques, skills, and be able to express the story in a way that will appeal to readers. There are books out there on how to write a book proposal that hone in on the specifics, but generally, once you have some sort of journalistic bylines under your belt, use the people who you know: agents, friends, friends of friends; and try to get your proposal into the hands of the right people who will be interested in it. Look at the books of the writers you admire, see who publishes them, find out who their editors and agents are. Find them and try to pitch them.”

When you’re writing a proposal, your text must seduce and invite the editor to come close to your literature, to a brand new world that your creating. You might be able to answer questions like these: what’s the main topic? Who will care about this subject? Why are you the right person to write it? (This last question requests a parenthesis, because brings us a brand new issue: do you know who are your contemporaries? Do you read them? Specifically in your field, what’s the difference between your style, your book, and the other authors who are writing something similar at the moment? Think about it.) And, the last one, but truly important: why are you sending your proposal exactly to this agent, editor or publisher? If you can answer these questions, you already have your book proposal in potency inside your brain. You only need turn it into phrases.

Stay tuned! The next part of the article is coming soon.

By Jr. Bellé

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