Your Ultimate ReSource Guide
11 Key Tips For Writing A Successful
from Author & Editor Christine Miller MA FRSA
As a published author, an editor and publisher with over 8 years experience, and more than 25 years in business as a consultant and business owner, I am often asked about the best way to approach getting published.
Of course, the publishing world is changing rapidly, and many writers are choosing to self-publish. However, whether your book is launched into the world via a publisher, or you decide to publish independently, it is still a very valuable exercise to set out your aims and intentions and do the research on the marketplace for your book. That’s where my expertise will help you.
Whatever method you choose, there’s going to be marketing and publicity involved in reaching your readers, and in order to create and present your book in the most effective way possible, you will need to be clear about its content, niche in the market, and what makes it special and worth the attention of your readers. A little time spent upfront can ease the path, and gives you a vision and structure to keep you on track through the writing process.
Following this simple guide will help you identify where your work fits in, then whatever you decide about your method of publishing, you’ve got a framework to work to get your words out into the world in front of your audience.
A nice optional extra. It can look like a book cover, or just contain the book’s title, your name and contact information, and the bookstore category under which the book will be shelved (e.g. Health/Self-Help)
Write this last. It’s the executive overview. Short, no more than two pages double spaced.
Purpose: if the editor reads nothing else, she’ll at least know what you have in mind. Ideally, it will be sufficiently compelling to make the editor read the rest.
This section shows that you have thought through the question of who will buy the book and why.
How many people would be interested in this book? Give demographics if possible, citing your sources. Show that you’ve done your homework.
The competition: how many books are out there on the same subject and how your book will be different.
Take as much space as you need to give the editor a clear picture of what you have in mind. You might write this with an eye to using some or all as the book’s introduction. Set the stage for what you’re going to tell the reader, provide a bit of factual material (with references if appropriate.) Describe any features that will make the book unique.
Chapter by chapter, describe the contents of the book, one or two paragraphs per chapter. Give samples: e.g. if you’re going to use personal case histories, make up a couple and put them with the
appropriate chapters. If you’re going to use quizzes, make up a few sample questions. Indicate whether there will be appendices and what they will contain. Mention that the book will be indexed (if it’s a non-fiction book, an index is a must.)
Book Length, Illustrations, and Delivery
For example: “A manuscript of about 95,000 words will be delivered within one year after the signing of a contract. Illustrations will consist of line art. Colour will not be required.”
Marketing and Promotion
The publisher wants to know that you will be vigorous in promoting your own book. Here you tell what activities you intend to undertake. Spend time researching and writing this section. It, and the one on the market, are the most important parts of the proposal, from the publisher’s point of view. Show that you have the savvy, energy, and enthusiasm to make your book a success (even if you don’t always feel that way.)
Who are you, what have you written, and what motivates you to write this book? This is not the time to be self-effacing. Exaggeration is not useful, but an honest statement of your qualifications is essential.
Appendices and Supporting Material
May not be necessary. Depends on the nature of the book.
Download as a PDF here: YUR Book Proposal Guidelines
Provided courtesy of Christine Miller, Porto Publishing & Your Ultimate ReSource © Feb 2011
For details of Christine’s consulting services for authors who want to get published:
Comments or questions are welcome.
Comments or questions are welcome.