Take your book proposal above and beyond

In the past few weeks, we’ve talked about putting your proposal together:

What to include in a book proposal
How to write your author bio
How to write a synopsis of your novel
How to write a synopsis of your nonfiction book

That covers the minimum you can include in your proposal. But here are some extras that can take your proposal the extra mile. Continue reading

How to write a synopsis of your nonfiction book

The synopsis for a nonfiction book differs from that of a novel because it needs to be broken down into more detail. In nonfiction, even if you’re telling a story, as in a history book, you are building a case using facts that need to be aligned in logical order. The nonfiction synopsis will reflect that.

The main thing your nonfiction synopsis must include is a clear benefit to the readers, demonstrating what they will learn from reading your book. Because if you can’t articulate this, you’re not ready to pitch. Continue reading

How to write a synopsis of your novel

The synopsis is an important part of your book proposal. The first thing to understand is the difference between the query letter and the synopsis. The query or pitch letter gives just a teaser of the story. The setup, the primary conflict, and a little about yourself. It’s purpose is to entice the editor to ask for the proposal.

publish book agentThe synopsis is part of the proposal, and it details the whole storyline of the novel. A query letter should only be a few paragraphs. The synopsis can be up to a page. Some editors allow even longer.

Content

The synopsis encapsulates the story as succinctly as possible, while informing the editor about the following elements: Continue reading

How to write your author bio

Novelists like to tell stories about people who don’t exist, but they often hesitate to tell their own stories. The key to getting over this shyness is to understand that the author bio does not exist so we can tell everyone how great we are. Its purpose is to show others a little bit about ourselves so they’ll feel they could know and like us. This is true for nonfiction writers, and it’s true whether we’re approaching agents, editors, or readers. Continue reading

What to include in a book proposal

For the last several weeks, we’ve focused on getting ready for a conference. So you go to a conference, pitch your book, and the editor says, “That sounds like it has potential. Send me a proposal with your first 50 pages.”

And your stomach caves in, because you don’t have a proposal.

Agents and editors often say that many of the people they make this kind of offer to don’t respond. I believe that’s because writers are paralyzed by fear and therefore don’t move.

Hear me: It’s better to send a bad proposal than none. Continue reading