What’s the deal with book proposals?
Recently on a coaching call with a potential author, they told us about how they’ve got a great book idea but the response they were getting was crickets. Have you ever experienced that in your writing journey? It's one of the top frustrations we hear about at Author Coaching.
But what if it’s not what you are saying but how you are saying it?
If you want to give your book idea the best possible chance at success, it needs to be in a proposal.
“If you want your book idea to be taken seriously, you need a book proposal.”
What’s a proposal?
It’s the key to securing a literary agent, a publishing partner, and a future for your book idea.
When a publishing professional gets your email, the difference in getting a response or silence comes down to making your book idea as accessible as possible. You know this because you’ve heard it before: literary agents and editors receive dozens, if not hundreds of...
More Reading = More Book Sales
A U.S. Department of Labor survey among Americans aged 15 years and older showed that reading time increased 21% during the second half of 2020. Turns out people were actually reading all those books they bought during the heart of the pandemic. Reading time increased from 28 minutes a day during July through December 2019 to 34 minutes a day for the same period last year. The biggest age-group increases came in the 20-34 and over-65 age brackets. The over-75 crowd won the event . . . which they do every year – clocking in a whopping 95 minutes per day (can you say “retirement,” anyone?).
The biggest surprise came from men, who ratcheted up their reading time by 30%! I wonder if that will stick.
Here We Go Again
We spent the first year of this blog telling you how pleasantly surprised we were to see the 2020 sales reports come in, month after month, ahead of what we all felt was a really decent 2019. Well, here we go again. The...
Have you signed up for our upcoming free training, The Secret Path to Getting Published?
The truth is many writers and potential authors are lost on the publishing trail. They know where they want to go, but they don’t know how to get there. That’s why we are excited about our upcoming webinar, The Secret Path to Getting Published.
In it, you’ll discover:
Here’s a sneak peek at pro tip #1.
Pro Tip #1: Understand that your book proposal is a marketing tool that agents and editors will use to evaluate your book and platform. Therefore the writing needs to be concise and compelling.
Your book proposal is NOT a manuscript. And your...
The hook of your book is a sentence or two that is meant to tease the reader to purchase your book.
“What’s the hook of the book?”
This is one of the most important questions your book has to answer. You cannot presume that a reader is going to pick up and buy your book just because you tell them to. If you ask your reader a compelling question, you captivate them, and they will sit up and take notice.
You might have heard this term before, but essentially a book hook is a sentence or two that is meant to tease the reader to purchase your book. The hook is the backbone of a good book idea.
Your book hook should be intriguing, pique curiosity, and make the reader want to learn more.
To build a great hook, your hook is going to answer two questions:
The media listens to press releases.
Creating a press release is easy if you know these 7 key parts that will help you garner media attention for your book. The best thing about these tips is that they build on each other, so if you walk through each step, you’ll have a strong press release when you are done. Let’s jump in on tip #1.
Tip #1 - Know Your Audience
The fastest way to get ignored by the media is to not know who your press release is aimed at. Knowing your audience means you’re paying attention to their felt need. Who is going to want to read this book? What about this book’s topic will appeal to them?
Here’s where you’ll feel the tug that makes you want to say, “But my book is for everyone.” While there might be some truth to that, a press release needs to be tailored to a specific audience. Your best chances for success will come with having a well-defined audience in mind when crafting your press release.
Tip #2 -...
Great book ideas start with the premise!!!
The very first step you should take when trying to figure out which book you should pursue first is to sit down and write out a premise of your book idea. The premise of your book is basically its thesis statement.
“What are the important factors I should consider
when I am developing my book idea?”
The premise doesn’t have to be long. Start with 2-3 sentences. A good way to think about the premise is to imagine if you were at a lunch date with someone, and you told them you were writing a book. And then they turned to you and said, “What’s your book about?” THAT is your premise.
A good premise lays a foundation for where your book is going to take readers. That central idea might answer a question, solve a mystery, or tell a story. The most important part is that it does something.
The reverse is also true about the premise: if you’re having...
Amazon will be broken up by federal regulators…if the House Judiciary Committee has its way.
The Antitrust Subcommittee has set its sights on Big Tech (companies worth over $600 billion), including, of course, Amazon. A handful of bills were introduced in efforts to corral the Facebooks, Googles, and Amazons of the world. Of those, the most notable for the fine readers of this report would be the breaking up of Amazon’s vertical publishing monopoly. The legislation is targeting giant platforms that “leverage their control across multiple business lines…in ways that undermine free and fair competition.” What that could mean for Amazon’s present vertical in the publishing industry is the breaking up or spinning off of Audible, Brilliance Audio, Kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing (self-publishing), and their “Amazon Publishing'' imprint.
Additional measures under discussion include curbs on these platforms’ practices of...
Every writer faces rejection. The difference between the writers you read about and the ones you don’t, comes down to who conquered that fear. It’s up to you to decide which path you choose.
But it’s not that simple, is it?
It’s easy to list how many times great books were rejected – J.K. Rowling was rejected numerous times before she finally found a home for Harry Potter – but we lose sight of the writer's choice. She chose to lean into The Resistance.
Let me explain.
Rejection is an outcome, but what if it was actually a positive outcome? To be rejected, you have to revise, submit, and query. You have to hone your craft. One of the biggest secrets writers don’t get to see, and sometimes ever know, is that they often have less control over rejection than they think because it’s a numbers game.
“The Resistance can’t win if you keep writing.”
A writer can’t control an...
Have you ever missed a big announcement from your favorite band? Maybe it was a chance to buy tickets for their upcoming show in your town? Maybe you didn’t even know they were coming to town?
It never feels good to miss out on something you care about.
That’s why collecting email addresses is so important for your platform. That mailing list is what saves your readers from missing out on the next big thing.
Too often, authors focus on growing other parts of their platform when their highest point of contribution is focusing on nurturing and growing their email list.
This blog post is about the importance of email and the one thing you can do to start building (or enhancing) your list.
But first, a story.
During a recent exploratory call with a potential client, when asked about their email list, they said, "Yes, I have one." Game changer. Now we know they are serious about their marketing strategy.
Too often potential clients will get really quiet when asked about their...
Comparable titles are a great way to start the conversation.
There’s a hurdle out there waiting to trip up your book proposal and derail your project. It’s lurking, waiting to come up in conversations. You might even think you’ve checked that box.
Oftentimes when we are in a conversation with a potential author, we’ll ask them about their comparable titles for their book proposal. It’s a test. We want to know if you know what you are doing. How you answer can determine where the next steps in your conversation go with an agent or editor.
Comparable titles show agents and publishers that you’ve done your homework. You understand that as an industry, comparable titles play a pivotal role in how your book proposal is viewed. From where it’ll go in a bookstore to how it is viewed by a publishing board, comparable titles set the tone for your book proposal.
“Comparable titles can make agents and publishers sit up and listen.”