Sunday, March 06, 2011

Free Book Proposal Help

The word is full of attraction to readers: FREE. Some publishing experts have estimated there are six million manuscripts or book proposals are in circulation on editor’s desks or in the in boxes of literary agents. For everyone in this business, time is limited and you can only read so many ideas. Many years ago I learned to be sensitive to the person pitching their idea. Are they proposing the type of material that you handle or something in a completely different area? Are they focused? If rambling or strange, it is instantly rejected. You don’t want to be in that category as an author. You want your ideas to be heard and considered.

Last week I held a free 70-minute teleseminar and people asked their questions. Over 200 people registered for this event. Many people asked the same questions but it showed me again that many would-be authors are confused about book proposal. It had been a few years since I saw the array of raw questions from writers trying to get their ideas heard by an editor or agent (the gatekeepers for the publishing business). Often the questions are basic. A number of writers wanted to know the length of a typical book proposal. Is it a single page pitch? No, that single page pitch is called a query. Some editors or agents use that single-page letter to quickly handle the ideas in a shorter format. If you are new to the world of publishing, the terms can be confusing and you need someone to help you learn the lingo.

Other writers asked what they can do to hook the attention of the editor or agent since they know such attention is fleeting. Others asked if they need to have competitive titles in their proposal or how they can build a platform if they have no platform and no one knows who they are. Each of these questions are good questions in my view and need someone to answer them. I’ve been reading proposals and pitches from writers for over 20 years plus I’ve been writing my own pitches for these years. I poured such experience into my answers during the free teleseminar.

Here’s my good news about this free event: I recorded it. You can get the replay immediately and download it to your computer or Ipod. Then you can listen to it once or multiple times at: askaboutproposals.com Also you can download my Ebook: Acceptance or Rejection? 5 Strategies That Make a Difference. When you get this 19-page Ebook, download it and read it. Follow the links in my articles and learn even more information. Education and on-going learning is the key to making that right pitch to the right editor at the right time. You can do it. Persist but the first step is to take action. Too many writers go to conferences or read blogs and fail to apply the material to their writing life. If you take action, you will put yourself in a different category.

Throughout this event, I also tell about my course to help writers craft excellent book proposals. You can learn about this 12-week course at: WriteABookProposal.com. Read the words on this page and take action. The first lesson comes immediately. The course is on autoresponders and on schedule it will come right to your email box.

Over seven years ago, I wrote Book Proposals That Sell as a frustrated acquisitions editors. Each day I searched my in basket and email box for the best pitches. Repeatedly I did not find what I needed. I hoped as writers read my book, they would produce something closer to what I needed. Yet in the last seven years, I’ve learned much more about proposals and publishing. While I’ve received great feedback about Book Proposals That Sell (and over 95 Five Star reviews on Amazon), the book is not without its critics. Some writers are disappointed that I emphasize nonfiction and have little help for novelists. Others feel like the book is too slanted toward the Christian marketplace (where it isn’t in my view because the principles are universal across publishing). While many people continue to purchase this book and treat it like it is brand new, It is seven years out of synch with my information about the publishing world.

As an author, you have seconds to catch the attention of an editor or agent. Yes, seconds. You want to give yourself the best opportunity to make a good first impression. In my Write A Book Proposal training course, I have made it universally appealing whether you want to write nonfiction or fiction, whether you write for adults or children or young adults. In my years within publishing, I’ve handled the full range of books and materials. I’ve kept the broadest possible target in mind as I’ve written these lessons.

Each lesson includes a specific focus and an assignment. If you follow the steps and complete each assignment, at the end of the course, you will have a complete proposal and sample chapter. As a writer, you will have positioned yourself in the best possible place to have your idea considered and hopefully championed. Yes, each writer is searching for the champion—someone who will love your idea and want to carry it forward it the publishing process until it appears in print.

I’m excited about potential. These skills are ones that you can learn and apply to your writing so you will be able to find that champion. Every agent and editor that I know is actively listening to writers and looking for the next great idea. If you want to be heard, consider Write A Book Proposal as your next action step.

One of my bestselling fiction writer friends looked at the course and told me, “It looks like a bold fresh idea for writers.” I look forward to hearing about your success in the days to come. With the right guidance, you can do it.

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