Friday, August 28

Writers Only: Book Proposals

After 8 months of working on a book about Free Love, REiD Mihalko and I've decided to distill our best book ideas into a DVD which we just finished shooting today!! (Thank you to all the fun, beautiful and articulate volunteers who agreed to do interviews in the last couple weeks.)

Like any good poly partnership we processed this transition and with mutual love and respect, we agreed to put our collaborative efforts on the shelf. In time we may even decide to scrap the book idea all together. Of course we will proudly co-parent the forthcoming DVD: "Ethics for Non-monogomous Ninjas," but will otherwise encourage each other's creative autonomy.

So what's next? As a poly-creative person, I think I'm going to take a break from co-authoring.
Instead of committing to one primary writing partner, I am interested in consulting with other experts like secondaries. My new plan is to go solo to pitch a new book to mainstream trade publishers. So, gentle reader, I'll be posting more details from my forthcoming proposal, and you're an author/writer type, I'll be blogging the juicy details on how to pitch a new book to New York publishers.

According to the Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Book Proposals, here's the basic skeleton for a standard non-fiction book proposal for trade publishers:

Please include the following information:
• Description of the Book. Include background information on the subject, details on the particular approach you intend to take toward the subject, approximate estimated length of the book (in words), and anticipated special features such as photos, illustrations, sidebars, tables, charts, checklists or other elements. Let us know how much time you will require to complete a full manuscript.

• Market Overview. Describe who will buy this book and why. Try to quantify the size of the market and the extent to which it is growing. Include any available demographic information on your target reader. Keep in mind that it is a rare book indeed whose audience is "every American."

• Competition for Your Book. List other available books that the reader for your book might purchase as an alternative. Describe how your book will offer the more appealing alternative. Do not include competitive books that are widely different in scope or format from your proposed book.

• Your Author Credentials. Provide a brief bio or CV, including education or experience in the subject, writing experience, and previous publications. Let us know of your availability and/or willingness to participate in promotion and publicity efforts, and any special media contacts or promotion opportunities you bring to the project. Be sure to include your contact information.

• Outline of Content. At a minimum, include chapter titles and a brief description of each chapter. Include major subheads if you have them. Make sure the subheads are clearly descriptive of the content, and not merely clever.

• Sample Material. Include a sample chapter or chapter segment from the proposed book. The sample should be at least five pages long, but no more than 20 pages. If you will be supplying photos or illustrations with your manuscript, include a sample of such. If you do not have any sample material available for the proposed book, include another sample of your writing that has not been heavily edited by a publisher.

Writers, Please stay tuned for my NEW Pilot writing class: "How to RE-WRITE a book in 90 days." Here's the skinny:

Congratulations! You've written a rough draft! This fall we we will be launching a new 90 course for serious writers and soon to be authors who want to learn all the skills and tools and gain the motivation to FINISH their book projects and see their books in print! Join me for this FREE tele-class to see if you have what it takes to finish your book before the Holidays!" This Course is offered by phone to anywhere in the world! NEW How to FINISH your book in 90 days (REWRITING) Tele-course Tuesdays: 1pm on Sept. 8,15, 22, 29 Oct. 6,13,20 Nov. 3, 10, 24! Just imagine having your book totally complete by Thanksgiving!
If you want to start a brand new book and finish it in just 90 days...make it your NEW Year's Resolution. My NEXT How to Write your book in 90 days Tele-course runs Thursdays: 1pm on Jan. 7,14,21,28 Feb. 4,11,18 March 4,11,18 with optional check-ins on Tuesdays at 1pm. To reserve your spot, write:


Diane said...

You know I am in. Just keep me updated. (Diane)

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