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Encouragement for proposal


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#1 Michael Blakeslee

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:44 PM

I know I’m a newbie here, so please correct me if I am overstepping my boundaries; and by all means, please feel free to jump in. This is more so for my encouragement than for anyone else’s. I am truly looking for much more advice than I am giving; as I don’t know diddly, and I know squat! Having said that; here we go:
Someone and I wish I knew who, encouraged me to look into the book ‘The literary Agent’s Guide to Getting Published and Making Money from Your Writing’ by Bill Adler Jr.; whoever it was, thank you and God bless you! This is an outstanding book; especially, if you’re like me, and in need of assistance in writing a proposal. Mr. Adler lays it all out in layman straight talk terms: showing you precisely what works – what draws attention; in negative and positive ways – what will get you quickly thrown in the waste basket – and what can encourage a publisher to take a chance on your work – and much, much more.
I honestly had mixed emotions while reading it; sometimes I said “(insert any naughty word you prefer!!!) This is so overwhelming; I’ll never be able to do all this! I might as well pay someone to self-publish!” Yet, by the time I reached the middle; I started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe if you take Mr. Adler’s advice on starting an outline, just as you would your own book, it will help you break it into smaller tasks. This is exactly what I plan to do!
In regards to proposals, there are a lot of sections required by the publisher for the writer to furnish material on, including: an outline (I believe my query letter will fit perfectly here) - researched documentation on book sales which might be in competition to what you’re pitching – and among several other topics, a biography. It could very easily end up a 60 page document. Yeah, I told you; I was quite overwhelmed! However, I plan to simply type up each sections heading in bold letters within a word doc; then fill in whatever I can, whenever I can, and when I feel inspired. In fact I will allow my inspiration to dictate whichever subject I decide to chip away at on any particular day.
One day I may feel like ‘researching book competition’, another day I may ‘research the kind of market I am trying to reach’. I am certain I will not finish a section in one sitting, and I may do a little to one and then jump to another; but little by little, I will do this! I have to say I gave it my best shot before I resort to self publishing. And no matter what, it will be good practice; not to mention educational. We all love to write; so once the topic headlines are in place, pick a section and just start whacking at it - see what comes out. You can always hit the delete key, shuffle things around, or rearrange it latter. That’s the beauty of writing on a computer.
Thank you… Michael

#2 mwsinclair

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:03 AM

Yes, indeed, Michael! It can be daunting, and you can understand why most agents don't expect the nonfiction book to be written beforehand. The proposal itself is quite an undertaking, and if they believe it's more likely to get published if proposed chapters E-G are removed and replaced by expanding on things you'd included in chapters H-J... well, you get the picture.

Always remember that this is a business proposal. The difference these days is if you meet rejection after rejection for your proposal, you have a more viable option of doing it yourself, but the information you get from professionals in the field should not be easily dismissed.

#3 Jean Oram

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:44 PM

It could very easily end up a 60 page document. Yeah, I told you; I was quite overwhelmed! However, I plan to simply type up each sections heading in bold letters within a word doc; then fill in whatever I can, whenever I can, and when I feel inspired. In fact I will allow my inspiration to dictate whichever subject I decide to chip away at on any particular day.


That's a good approach. If you feel inspired when you approach a bit to write it will show. If you try to do it all in one sitting, it can get sort of bogged down. Enjoy! It's a fun journey! (One I've been on and actually kind of enjoyed--should I admit to that!?)

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

*The Helpful Writer *Twitter

If you are a parent, you might be interested in my ideas on growing happy, healthy kids who'll thrive in this ever changing world (includes crafts, activities, games, articles, and fun!):
*Twitter *Blog *Pinterest *Facebook

 

I write stuff (www.jeanoram.com)

 


#4 Michael Blakeslee

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

Thank you MW I agree with obtaining valuable info from professionals.... Jean, I see no reason why you shouldn't admit to it; shout it from the rooftops. I was feeling overwhelmed but now I feel very excited about the challange. I'm just looking at it like a book - shall we say. thank you for your comment.

#5 Jean Oram

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

Might I suggest when you get to the marketing part of your proposal that you get specific. As in, think of ways you can really get to your audience. For example, I know our local library system's folks and that they are always in dire need of a writer in residence. (Who visits all 50 of their libraries and gives talks.) So, I mentioned that connection as a possibility for reaching out to my audience. Also things like connections to the local teachers convention--I know the organizer and could get a speaking gig there. You know, your networks. Sure, they are 'maybes' but they are worth mentioning. One of the biggest concerns in nonfiction is platform and that the author isn't going to get themselves and their work out there and sell, sell, sell.

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

*The Helpful Writer *Twitter

If you are a parent, you might be interested in my ideas on growing happy, healthy kids who'll thrive in this ever changing world (includes crafts, activities, games, articles, and fun!):
*Twitter *Blog *Pinterest *Facebook

 

I write stuff (www.jeanoram.com)

 


#6 mwsinclair

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:23 AM

I absolutely agree, Jean. The nearby networks and, if appropriate, the larger networks of trade groups.




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