Our Thoughts


September 21, 2015

Packaging Your Proposal

When I first started writing proposals for non fiction titles I knew what needed to be in them, but I didn't fully understand their purpose.

I thought, just get the overview in there, the marketing information, similar titles, and the annotated table of contents, then churn out a sample chapter and call it done.

But let me tell you ... you can write the best book proposal without it ever helping you land an agent or a book deal if you don't understand the purpose of the proposal itself.

The purpose of the proposal is to sell the book.

What that means is that if after you read your proposal you don't want to buy your book, or you're not excited about the value your book can bring, well, then the likelihood that someone else will is slim.

The missing ingredient to many book proposals is the outcome.

What will the reader leave feeling? Knowing? How is this book going to make your reader's life better? How will it help them? How are you going to make sure you live up to this outcome? What are the steps you are taking within the book to make it so?

If the answers to these questions aren't easy to see in the book proposal then the proposal will be a hard sell.

I hate to say it, but as writers we need to start seeing our work as a product for sale. And what sells product is a guaranteed outcome. What outcome are you promising to your readers?

Before, during or after you've written your proposal go back in and make sure you're highlighting the guaranteed outcome - the transformation of your reader.

Information only works for you if there's a purpose attached.


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