5 Reasons You Should Work on Your Book Proposal NOW (Yes, even if you haven’t written your book!)
by Jennifer Worick and Kerry Colburn of The Business of Books
One of the first things we debunk in our Business of Books classes and consultations is the idea that you need to write your book before getting a publishing deal.
What you do need to land that contract is a book proposal, in essence, a business plan for publishing your book.
In today’s market, it’s more important than ever that you put forth a compelling case for publication. And the best way to do this is with a thorough, savvy proposal that touches on the competition, marketing plan, and your ability as the author to promote and sell the book, as well as your book’s structure and a great writing sample.
Not finished with your manuscript? Still fleshing out your book idea? No matter. There are good reasons to get started on your proposal now, namely:
It helps you hone your book idea and informs your manuscript. Going through the proposal process causes you to examine your project from every angle, determining the right audience and differentiating it from or aligning it with the competition, for example. Even if you’re self-publishing, creating a proposal is not just an exercise but a necessary process.
It keeps your project moving forward. Who doesn’t like multitasking? Writing and submitting a proposal can happen alongside finishing your manuscript, so while you’re still struggling with the perfect ending to your novel, you can feel awesome that you’re still making progress on your path to publication.
It’s a confidence booster. Writing a proposal makes you feel professional, savvy, and in complete control of your topic. Writing an author bio is an instant ego booster. We promise.
It’s a feedback tool. When you submit a spot-on proposal, agents and publishers sit up and take note. Even if it’s not the right fit for them, a good proposal usually results in a thoughtful rejection with useful advice.
It’s a great antidote to writer’s block. Most writers get stuck at some point. Turning your attention to your proposal is fun and gets the creative juices flowing. Brainstorming marketing ideas with a friend, for instance, is a welcome change from sitting in your room and staring at the same scene for an hour.
Get all the tools you need to craft your winning book proposal at Jen & Kerry’s workshop on September 28 at 1p.m.