2014 Get Started Write Challenge: Day 30

For today’s task, assemble your book proposal. This will require getting everything together from earlier.

Here’s the order of most proposals:

  • Cover (or query) letter. This better include the proposed title, unique selling point(s), and very brief bio.
  • Book overview. This breaks down the important parts of the book.
  • Book outline. Outlines are often done in paragraph form and provide all the major elements of the book.
  • Author bio. Unlike the bio in a query/cover letter, provide everything that might help your publisher help you sell books.
  • Sample chapters. Some publishers may request 2-3 chapters, others may want 40-50 pages. Make these sample pages exceptional.
  • Marketing info. This is where you define your target audience and ways to reach them.
  • Competitive title analysis. This is where you identify successful books that are comparable and competitive with yours. Remember to identify how your title differs from each.

Of course, it’s always best to follow specific guidelines before submitting. Some publishers may not want all these parts, or they may request an additional piece of information. Or they may want the parts in a different order.

Always follow specific guidelines as well as you can. Even if it means more work for you. Because if you don’t, it means more work for the decision makers, which means they’ll be less inclined to accept your project.

After all, your ability to follow directions on submission guidelines can be projected out to how well you’ll follow directions throughout the long publication process. If someone can’t follow submission guidelines, maybe they can’t meet deadlines either.


why_agents_say_noWhy Agents Say No!

Learn why agents say no to book submissions and how to overcome those objections. The course is taught by an agent, and attendees receive a critique on the first 500 words of their novels.

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Here are other recent tasks: