Should I write a book proposal?

In these times, when self-publishing is the “clarion call” even for an increasing number of very successful traditionally published authors, thoughts of carefully and creatively writing a book proposal may seem quite out of order. In fact, many today say that their plan is to publish e-book versions of their work, develop a sales record with the electronic platform, then send the book and the sales figures to agents who might represent them with traditional print publishers. Good idea, of course, but . . .

. . . whether or not you intend to submit your book to an agent or a publisher, it’s worth looking at the possibility that a book proposal — written even before you write your book (for nonfiction) or as soon as you’ve finished your fiction manuscript — can provide you with a plan for the entire process of creating, fine-tuning, producing and marketing your book.

We are adept at working as consultants to authors whose bright ideas about expressing their creative work need the support of a “plan” for taking that expressiveness from mind to manuscript and beyond.

Truth is, agents and publishers generally don’t read manuscripts these days until they’ve seen a well-crafted, contextually complete book proposal that captures their imagination and lays out “the big picture” in a way that convinces them that an investment of a number of months and many of their company’s valuable dollars is worthwhile (after all, publishing is just another business).

First and always, a publisher is concerned with the bottom line. So your ‘big picture’ proposal has to align with an agent’s or publisher’s ‘bottom line’ mentality before they will even start to read that masterpiece.

We generally don’t write book proposals, so this isn’t a sale pitch. But we’ve had all the experience it takes to know that the time and effort required to develop a book proposal can have tremendous payoffs, both in agent/publisher contacts later and in idea organization now. We’ll be happy to review one you’ve already written (at no charge) — or work with you on the development of a new one. Yeah, the development part isn’t free, but we are very objective, reasonably priced as consultants go, and we’re great people to help you formulate and express your creativity. Think about it.

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