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Be A Published Writer, Outline A Plan

You’ve written a book on, oh let’s say, “How To Write A Romance” and now you’re looking to snag Picture7a publisher. Which one will you choose? The book publisher that only publishes scholarly tomes on ancient Egyptian history or one that publishes sci-fi cozy mysteries? No, you will want to find a publisher that specializes in romance publishing, right? It would seem obvious but there are many people I found in my career as an editor who will simply see the word “publisher” in a search and drop their manuscript in the mail.

When I published my magazine – which was for writers and discussed the craft of writing – I would receive manuscripts on how to grow a garden, the number one brake pad on the market or the best grooming tips for your poodle. What the heck? Did they not read our guidelines? Apparently not, right? But, the worst part was when the writer would argue with me about the greatness of their manuscript and that I should publish it. Word to the wise… don’t argue with the editor.


Okay, back to the topic at hand, how to put together a killer book proposal:

  • Keep your proposal to one page. Draft it up, summarize the book, who you are, why you wrote the book, and your skill
  • Include a two sentence biography
  • Include market research about your book, write a marketing plan
  • A brief description of the book, with a hook to drag the publisher in
  • Details about your manuscript, how long is the book, is it a good candidate for an ebook format
  • What makes your book stand out from the crowd
  • Include your chapter titles
  • A sales pitch for the book – your tagline, as it were
  • Who is the audience for you book? The “general public” is too general, you need to let the publisher know that “my book’s target audience is aspiring romance writers and that there are 1.2 million (I just made that up!) aspiring romance writers and they’re my potential audience”
  • Are you involved in the industry in which your book is targeted? For example, if your book is about the manufacturing of widgets and you’re a stay-at-home-mom who’s never seen a widget in her life, what makes you an authority on the subject?

All this information and more will be covered in my BlogPaws 2011 seminar session on Saturday morning! Have any questions you’d like me to answer? Send them along. 

 

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