Flattening the Book Proposal Learning Curve
Yes, writing book proposals is challenging, but I'm here to help.
Hi everyone! Jess here with this week’s post and a present for you!
I spent today recording a week and a half’s worth of daily video content before I leave for another week of speaking events and my voice is shot, so you get a written post from me this week. The good news is that I’m here to provide a resource that can seriously flatten your book proposal learning curve.
I had no idea what to include in a nonfiction book proposal before I worked on The Gift of Failure with my agent, Laurie Abkemeier. She told me what to include, how to format all of it, and why each piece of the proposal is essential to an editor who will have to present to a committee at a publishing house before she gets permission to purchase the book, let alone know how much she’s authorized to pay for it.
After Laurie sent the proposal for The Gift of Failure out to a carefully curated list of editors, the project went to a three-day round robin auction with something like 12? 13? editors, so I’m pretty sure we did something right. When it came time to write the proposal for The Addiction Inoculation, I did a “save as” on the The Gift of Failure proposal as my starting point. There were some differences between a proposal for my first book and a proposal for my second book, including sections like “Praise for The Gift of Failure,” but the rest is the same.
It took me an entire year from the day I got my idea for The Addiction Inoculation to the day we finally submitted the proposal to my editor at Harper, and I really needed that entire year for research and drafting what became many iterations of a proposal. My understanding of the book changed so much from the first proposal draft to the (checks files) eighteenth, and each helped me get closer to the focus, format, and scope of the book.
At the time, I hated it, but I’ve come to love the proposal research and drafting process because it helps me see the book clearly.
Laurie has taught me so much about selling your work and I’m so grateful she’s my agent, however, I know many of you are either going this alone or have less than helpful agents. So for this holiday season, I wanted to give you, dear listeners, access to an edited version of The Addiction Inoculation book proposal via the button below so you may have a starting place to shape your own work of nonfiction.
What are you waiting for? Go! Research! Plan! Write! Go forth and sell those books!
It's that time again! Every year Jennie Nash and the Author Accelerator team put together a holiday bundle worth hundreds of dollars for folks who enroll in the Book Coach Certification Program ahead of the new year. Enroll this month to receive a $150 gift card to Better World Books, access to their $99 course the One-Page Book Coaching Business Plan Challenge, a copy of Jennie’s Blueprint book in your genre, and MORE.
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