Step By Step Guide To Writing A Proposal

By on June 18, 2018
Step By Step Guide To Writing A Proposal - Writer's

The ability to write a fantastic book proposal is an essential skill that every writer should have.

So many writers put all their time and energy into making their manuscript as perfect as possible, but when it comes to sending it off, panic when trying to put their proposal together, and this is where they can really let themselves down.

The ability to pull together a document explaining just why your book is worth that particular editor's attention, who it will appeal to and why it is unique, is so important.

For many writers, putting together a proposal doesn’t come naturally. However, having the ability to calmly and factually explain why their manuscript is worth reading is what will make an agent or editor initially sit up and take notice.

If your proposal is dreadful, they might not even bother getting to your manuscript at all. If you can’t write a decent proposal, they may assume that your book will be terrible without even giving it a chance.

So how do you write an excellent book proposal? Here is a step by step guide:

Present your idea

Make sure you can clearly and succinctly explain your story. You should be able to do this in a paragraph or two. Make sure you do this first and foremost and make the plot sounds as exciting and intriguing as possible.

Make it obvious you have done your research

You need to state your reasons why this particular editor or agent would be a good fit to take on your book. Make it personal and show that you have taken the time to write an individual proposal just for them.

Be clear about the genre and your readership

An editor will want to be sure your book will sell, and it’s your job to persuade them. A proposal gives you the opportunity to tell them who is going to buy it and why.

Give your USP

Every new book needs to bring something different to the market. What makes your book special? Why is it something different?

Be genuine and positive not boastful (and back up with facts where you can)

This is your chance to be positive about your book. It’s not the time to be self-deprecating. Learn how to write, so you come across as though you genuinely believe in your book but don’t make outlandish, unevidenced claims about it either.

Talk about your skills and give it some personality

An agent or editor will want to get an idea of what you are like too - so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through and include relevant details about your skills and achievements to show them you are what they are looking for.

Make sure your writing backs it up

Your proposal needs to be well-written as this will indicate how good a writer you really are. So take the time to make sure your proposal is clear and has no spelling or grammatical errors which will make you seem sloppy and unprofessional from the outset.

Your book proposal is not just a letter explaining why your book is excellent, it is your business plan, and it needs to prove to editors and agents that you have a marketable idea that will appeal to a mass audience. A publisher who takes on your work is investing in it and you, so make your proposal as smart, direct and appealing as possible to give your book the best chance of being taken seriously.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

About Ty Cohen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *