5 Reasons Why You Write the Book Proposal First

Let’s get this out of the way right now. All non-fiction books are sold on proposal.

Now there’s the heavy aspect of this article all cleared up. What comes next is that supporting content that all writers should have after making their initial eye catching statement. (Okay all publishers expect to read after your first eye-catching statement of fact).

There are several reasons you want to write the book proposal first.

  • Reason 1: You learn whether or not a publisher is interested in your work. If you are a mainstream writer, with millions of book sales under your belt most publishers won’t baulk at publishing your work, no matter what subject you chose. But if you are a newbie or even a published but less known author; the proposal is your best friend, if it’s well thought out and written.
  • Reason 2: You may receive an advance for writing your book. This depends on who you are the book’s subject matter. The target audience it will be marketed to and the size of the publisher who takes it on. Again, for the mainstream million copies sold writer, this is not a problem; but your proposal is your lifeline when you are less known and can make or break this decision to advance you moneys based on a book that isn’t written yet.
  • Reason 3: A book proposal is much easier to sell than a complete book. It’s easier to read a 20 or 30 page proposal than a 400 page book. Let’s face it; editors don’t have the time to read every single manuscript that land on their desk.
  • Reason 4: It’s easier to make changes in the book’s concept at the proposal stage. You may be in the ballpark with your idea but perhaps the publisher or editor want to flesh it out and take it in a new direction. Depending on the subject its timeliness might mean the publisher wants to market to a different group; or whittle your idea down to market to a single niche that’s hot at the moment and expand it later.
  • Reason 5: With a proposal, the publisher, in the person of your editor, can take ownership of the book. It’s like bespoke tailoring: the editor feels that the book has been specifically written for the publishing house.

Even if you decide to write your book first, you’ll need to create a proposal once you’ve written it. No agent or publisher is interested in reading an entire book to assess its viability. That’s the proposal’s job: to ensure that your book has a niche in the marketplace. As you do your research for the proposal, you’ll work out whether or not your book is likely to sell. You can shape the book at the proposal stage, much more easily than you can when it’s a huge stack of print or a giant computer file.

Sometimes you may get an idea for a book, but the idea is amorphous, it doesn’t have a real shape. You may want to write several thousand words to see whether the book becomes clearer in your mind. But write the proposal before you write more than ten thousand words, because your book must target a specific group of buyers.

Again if you’ve never written a book proposal for, visit Writerstopia.com, the publication for self-publishing and independent authors, click on the “Writer’s Radio” tab and click on the free download link, and you’ll receive a courtesy copy of “Dr. Ande’s How to Write a Book Proposal in 7 Days.”

See you soon,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan

Teacher of: How to Write a Book in 30 Hours

Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

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The Perfect Partnership – You and Your Publisher

In the last post I told you about writing a proposal in order to accomplish two things. The first being, “whether you had a book worth writing” and the second thing was getting paid to write the book. Now let’s talk about the reason you really need your proposal and how it affects your relationship with your new business partner – your publisher.

When you work with a publisher, remember, the publisher’s business is selling books. The company acquires books which it hopes will sell, and sell well. Your publisher is putting up the money to publish your book, so you need to approach the project from his point of view as well as your own.

Publishers sell books on consignment. Publishers’ ship books to bookshops, and if a book isn’t sold within a certain time period, it’s destroyed. The bookseller strips the cover from the book and sends the cover to the publisher for a full credit. This is the “return“. If a title doesn’t sell, the publisher takes a beating. As you can imagine, publishers are no keener to lose money than you or I.

The reason I’m bringing this up now is that you must keep this “return” thing in the back of your mind when you create your book proposal. Why you may ask? The answer is simple; it means that your proposal needs to emphasize the ways in which you, as the writer, will take responsibility for the book’s success.

You will try to ensure the success of your book by gauging the marketplace. You will work out who the likely buyers of your book might be, and the reasons they will have for paying good money for your book. You’ll assess the competition for your book. You’ll work out ways in which you can promote your book, so that people hear about it. You’re in partnership with your publisher, and if you’re prepared to take responsibility for that role, the publisher will be much more likely to buy your proposal.

Until next time,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

Happy New Year from Dr. Ande!!!

May 2012 be filled with lots of creativity, interviews, book sales, and publishing for you all!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine