Book Proposals

How Do I Know It Is Ready to Submit?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series

__________

I’m a 78-year-old psychotherapist in a psychiatric practice and have been doing some writing for patients over the years. My question is, “How do you know when an article or book possibility is developed and written well enough to send to an agent?”

As an agency, we don’t represent articles, so I’ll confine my remarks to books. The best way to see if your book is ready to be submitted is to write the book proposal. I wrote a series about this on our blog. Here is the link:
https://stevelaube.com/category/book-proposal-basics.

As you can see from filling out each category, you’ll tease out problems and find holes that might keep the book from selling to a publisher.

Of course, the best proposal has to be backed up with a fantastic manuscript, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.

To develop the book, write it. The. Entire. Book. Authors who gain contracts based on a blurb or even the possibility that they may write a book have a proven track record earned over years of writing extensive proposals and complete manuscripts on speculation. Your goal is to become one of these writers. But until then, write the book.

Your turn:

How far along are you on your current WIP?

What is your favorite part of writing?

How many books have you written? Have you sold any yet?

What is your favorite part of writing a proposal? Your least favorite?

For the entire series, click here: “Your Questions Answered.”

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Diligence Is Rewarded

by Steve Laube

The ease of today’s social media communication brings a casual layer to the task of writing. Careful composition is trumped by the need for speed. For most “throw away” emails and posts that is the new normal. But it should never leak into the business of writing, either in craft or in delicate communication.

The other day I received an email query/proposal. There was a very large file attached and the body of the email read, “Here is my book. Please take a look.” No signature line, that was it. At least it rhymed. This was not a friend, a client, or someone I had ever met. But the casual, even flippant, nature of the note all but says, “I’m not serious about the craft or business of writing.”

The best writers are those who take their ideas and their words and run them through a gauntlet of critique and reformation. They pour their words into a garlic press and slice and dice them into bits that can flavor their entire book.

This takes time. This takes hard work. And it is a process that seems endless.

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12 Steps to Publication

It takes 12 strikes to achieve a perfect game in bowling. (See last Friday’s video.) It made me think there are 12 things that need to happen in the publication process. Each must knock down all the pins to achieve publishing success. With that simplistic idea in mind, I came …

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Writing a Timeless Author Bio

Hafwen Hostess surveys the conference classroom. She estimates about 100 conferees are there for Ava Agent’s class. At the stroke of one, Hafwen reads her introduction of Ava, which Hafwen pulled off the Internet just before leaving for the airport for the conference: A graduate of Liberty Baptist College, award-winning …

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The Best Ways to Submit Your Work

I started writing for publication back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The process was fairly simple then, if unpromising of success. I wrote a query, article, or book proposal, put it into an envelope along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for its return, sealed it, and mailed it. And …

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Finding Comparables for Nonfiction

Last week I discussed finding comparables for fiction, resulting in many requests that I address nonfiction proposals. I appreciate the input! Of course, look for current books addressing your topic. But what if you think a little further and look at the audience? There will be some overlap, but these are …

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