Book Proposals

What Caught My Eye

A couple weeks ago we talked about the hook, the sound bite, or the ability to “say it in a sentence.” Someone asked for examples so I thought I’d give you a few.

Below are a few short pitches found in proposals that caught my eye over the years from first-time authors. Please realize that the sound bite is only one of many factors that goes into a great proposal. Ultimately it is the execution of the concept that makes for a great book.

Your challenge will be to see if you can identify which books these are. Do you recognize them? Each one has been published by a major publisher. Three are nonfiction, the other two are novels. I might reveal the answers if no one is able to figure them out.

Also note that each has a clear idea, one of the keys to a successful pitch.

A hint for the two novels? They both won the Christy Award for best debut novel!

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This Bible study concept is uniquely designed to connect to women ages 20 to 40, drawing them closer to God and closer to each other. Our generation simply does not have time for hours of Bible study a week for several months. We don’t want to fill in the blanks. We want to go deep quickly and actually deal with sin, not just learn about it. And we want to do it on our terms, engaging in raw relational discussions about struggles and hopes, while deeply considering truth and how it applies to our lives.

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One woman’s battle against a corrupt government to save her son and their race for freedom.

A three-year-old boy struggles to survive in a Ukrainian orphanage. An American family senses God’s call to adopt a child from a foreign land. What unfolds is a spellbinding true-life story of commitment, sacrifice, and intrigue as a mother single-handedly takes on a corrupt foreign legal system and lives in hiding for nearly a year as she pieces together the plan that will hopefully free her from impending arrest and bring her son home to freedom.

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Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words? They can always heal me.
A child whose silence holds the truth captive…
An artist whose work speaks the agony of her past…
Will they let the truth set them free?

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In a world void of role models, where rebellion and arrogance are rewarded, it’s easy to wonder if raising respectful children is possible at all.

A real look at real problems with real answers from real parents. We can’t shield our children from every possible menace, but we can fortify their souls to minimize the damage. Our children can become champions rather than casualties.

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A simple baggage mix-up at the airport is more than an inconvenience: it forces three people to face the baggage they are unknowingly carrying around.

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Five ideas in short form. Can you name the titles and authors?

 

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Say It in a Sentence

Can you present your book idea in one sentence?

Can you present that idea in such a way that the reader is compelled to buy your book?

What motivates someone to spend money on a book? It is the promise that there is something of benefit to me, the reader.

Books are generally purchased for one of three reasons:

Entertainment Information Inspiration

If your book idea can make me want to read it, whether it is for entertainment, information, or inspiration, then you are well on your way to making a sale.

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