Terry Whalin and I discussed writing a book proposal and I told him that when I first decided to become an author, I was terrified of writing a book proposal and asked him his response to that. This was his answer:
I understand people’s hesitation because they are a lot of work to actually do it properly. I’ve written two proposals that have actually gotten me a six-figure advance. And to do that, you have to have a lot of information in those proposals. The reason I like proposals, and I feel it’s important for every author, even if they’re self-publishing their book, I still think they should write a book proposal because that proposal helps them crystallize their own business plan for how they’re going to sell their book. Because when you do that proposal, you lay down on the paper some information that never appears in your book manuscript, but it’s very important to have those business details together about how you’re going to sell your book.
So, you’ve got to describe your target audience. You’ve got to pick out who’s your competition. And don’t tell me your book isn’t going to compete because I’m just going to roll my eyes when I see that kind of thing, because every book competes in the marketplace. So, you just have to put a little thought into it. I always encourage authors to visualize where their book will be in the bookstore, and if they have to go physically walk in a bookstore to figure that out, they can do that. And what books are going to be on either side of those books. Those are your competition.
And so, you need to kind of detail that out and know where you’re going to be in the bookstore. It’s always interesting to me, Ellen, some of these people propose a book that is part fiction, part nonfiction. Well, that kind of book isn’t going to work because where’s it going to land in the bookstore? Where do they put it? So, you have to do some stuff that fits in a normal category in order to be able to make it go as well. Look at it, because if you propose something that’s a mixture of several different genres and several different kinds of books, it’s going to be very hard to sell that book into the market.
To listen to the entire interview or read the transcript, go to: www.booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast/30