Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Proposal Creation: Retooling & Story Execution

I have a love/hate relationship with book proposal writing that may shock you. I love writing proposals. Authors pay me to upgrade or write their book proposal for them. But when it comes to my proposal. I love putting it together, but I hate realizing--particularly at marketing analysis stage-- that novel is not ready and needs to be retooled again. Another rewrite.

And this is the basis of today's post.

A literary agent requested my proposal. Usually I turn the proposal around within a few minutes, but I wanted to make sure that I presented the novel as I best as I knew I could. So I stopped working on my current WIP to take a look at the proposal. While reading through my sample chapters, I realized that my execution of my story was off pace. (I can hear my write-or-die-chicks throwing things, bBecause I am a revision-aholic.) Book reviewers and literary pr people a bigger view of the industry. I've witnessed new writers jumping the gun too soon or losing credibility in the industry because they keep pitching unready books. I don't want to be that person. However, I also don't want the writer who never got a deal because she didn't give herself a chance. I definitely fit the latter category. However, in this case I knew the novel needed to be fixed. So this week I had to retool the beginning of my novel.

Now it is ready to go. Halleljuah.

As I speed read through the final version, I thought of you guys. Two weeks ago during #writechat many authors shared how they despised book proposals. I understand their gripe. Here are three Dee-facts that may warm your hearts to your book proposals:
  1. Book Proposals help you determine which publishing houses will be a fit for your novel. As you write your market analysis, you should be comparing your book to other books in the publishing houses you think your book fit. If you don't know where you book fits, subscribe to Romantic Times Magazine, Black Issues Book Review, Book Pages, BookMarks(my fave!) NYT Book Review, Library Journal Book Reviews, visit christianbook.com or barnesandnoble.com, and contact publishing houses and request their quarterly catalogue. I know every book in my genre that will be coming out between now and early 2011.
  2. Book Proposals help you explain to your publishing house why you may need additional marketing dollars expensed. Publishing houses don't have a lot of marketing dollars to spread around to newbie or midlist authors. Many of them are only doing online marketing for our crew. What will leverage you with an agency and the PH is adding your proposal a conversation that not only do you know your genre, but you can sell to it. Stress which events, advertisers, product promo items(like church fans) are essential for you to get a good footing in the market place. It also helps you determine whether you want to choose a certain publishing house, because historically they have done a null job promoting their other authors.
  3. Book Proposals help you retool your story arc or flow. Know matter how a great salesperson or presenter you are, if your story sucks rocks, your'e done. The proposal--particulary the synopsis section-- will help you see how good a book you have.
If you need help with writing your proposal, I provide the service. Ask me for my rates. If you want to see my current proposal email me.

Now here's a question for 3 questions for you:
  1. Have you signed up for 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog
  2. How do you approach your book proposal?
  3. Which movie did this Brad Pitt Doll play in? lol

Brad Pitt Doll Photo Courtesy of Tennis and Conversation blog

3 comments:

Ty said...

Awesome post, Dee! I'm finally at the stage of doing a book proposal. When is your 30 day class starting? Definitely ready to put myself out there in 2010.

- Ty

Dee S. said...

cool. we'll talk.

PatriciaW said...

Fantastic, Dee. Can't wait to hear the outcome.

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