Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Book Proposal Hot Seat

It is always a good opportunity with the tables turn and you are interviewed instead of always being the one to ask the questions. Last night Rosey Dow from Experts in Focus interviewed me about a topic that I'm passionate about--book proposals. During this hour-long teleseminar, I answered questions which listeners had submitted to her about book proposals.

Why do I continue to go out and encourage people about these proposals?

First, I'm passionate for writers to achieve their dreams and be more successful in their submissions to editors and agents. During the teleseminar, I quoted a statistic from Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual that there are an estimated two million manuscripts in circulation around at different publishing houses and agencies. That is no typographical error but two million. Will you be able to catch that editor or agent's attention in the few seconds they will consider your idea? Can you make it rejection-proof? I gave some ideas in the teleseminar.

As I exposed last night, I'm constantly learning new things about book publishing and in particular the submission process. My experience comes from my own work as a literary agent and my years in this business as an editor and writer. Just as the business is constantly changing and evolving, I continue to grow in my experience and perspective.

My perspective about book proposals takes a "snapshot" in my Book Proposals That Sell yet constantly improves and I gave some of this information during the teleseminar.

Second, as people improve their proposals, I hope my editor and agent colleagues start to receive better targeted and better crafted book proposals. From the feedback that I get from readers, I know to a small degree several of my efforts are making a difference and I'm grateful.

Finally in a selfish way, I'm looking for better book proposals that will come into my literary agency. If they are the right project for my agency, then I can work with the author and push it to a new level of excellence then turn and get it into the marketplace for them.

At several different points in the teleseminar, Rosey Dow told the listeners about Proposal Secrets as a resource to learn more about book proposal creation. If you haven't been to the page in a while, check it out. I've added a couple of additional bonus gifts but the change that happened yesterday was an additional order button. Now you can choose to make three payments for the course. I hope this flexibility will help more people take advantage of this resource.

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4 Comment:

At 5:46 AM, Blogger Kristi Holl Left a note...

Thank you for making the link available to those of us who consistently miss Wednesday night online events because of other commitments. The amount of mss. in circulation was a bit staggering!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


My reason for highlighting that two million number is not to discourage authors but to become a clarion call for excellence in their submissions--whether it's a one-page query or a lengthy book proposal.


At 7:15 AM, Blogger Krista Phillips Left a note...

I love your blog and the many tips you give! They are greatly appreciated! I do have a question. I have seen your book "Book Proposals that Sell" referenced several places on the internet, and seen great reviews posted for it. Most of the reviews note that it is a great reference for non-fiction proposals, however I am primarily a fiction novelist. Is the book still a good reference for us fiction writers out there? If not, do you have any suggestions? I have read numerous books on the matter but most talk in very generic terms regarding proposals.

Again, thank you for the wealth of information and may God bless!

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


Thank you for this question which I answered in this post. I've been asked this question numerous times over the past few years and have never attempted to write definitive answer--until today. I hope it helps you and others.

Thank you for the kind words about these blog entries which are approaching 800 posts.



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