This is part 3 in a 6-part series, "Your Best Book Now." Or "Everything You Need to Know to Create a Bestseller." Or "Breaking
Into the Publishing Sweatshop, er, Industry". This week's episode: "How to Write a
So, dear authors, you’ve got your 3 wheels, or 3 legs well
on their way and you’re becoming a Perfect-3 Author. Next stop, the
The creativity, craftsmanship, and care reflected in your
proposal reflects on your book, and ultimately on you.
Go ahead and write that down, but keep reading—there are 10
essentials to cover here as well….
There are a variety of proposal approaches that can work,
but job #1, your proposal should convey the uniqueness of the author and your
message. Show them both your understanding of that message and your heart
commitment to it, and like Psalm 15:2 says, they’ll know you are a writer “who
speaks the truth from his heart.”
So with that, here are your 10 steps to a winning book
1. Summarize in 30 words or less, the
unique, compelling appeal of your message.
(Why would anyone care to read it?)
the realistic and specific audience for your book.
(What is the profile of the reader
who will likely buy it?)
When you’ve written your manuscript—and if you’re a
first-time author, you need to finish it before proposal stage—describe the
profile of the reader you wrote the book to (a writer without a royalty book
contract is a first-time writer).
3. Describe felt need—what’s the reader’s
(Why does the reader need this
book, and not to simply explore the topic?)
4. Describe how your message will meet
(What’s your solution to the
reader’s problem? Be specific.)
Ask, Where is this reader mentally, emotionally, spiritually
when he or she picks up my book? Where will she be after she’s read it? What
exactly will my book do for her? Why should she bother to read your book rather than someone
5. Provide much support as possible to
prove your market exists.
(What stats, research, trend
reports, etc. can you point out?)
6. Survey the competition.
(What other books are like this
currently in print from competing publishers? How are they different? How does
yours differ or improve on theirs?)
7. Outline your writing experience.
Embellish as needed.
8. Outline your educational and career
9. Explain your qualifications to write on
this topic and your natural platform.
(speaking ministry, affiliations
with ministries, churches, other groups, endorsers, influencers you have
access to, etc. And how will you promote the book?)
* Find an influencer to write an
endo or foreword to vouch for the importance of your ms, and put it with your
proposal. This can really help sway the room when your proposal reaches the
Include a short writing sample of the work. (30 pages max)
Put all ingredients in a blender and whip until frothy.
Submit your shiny new proposal to your favorite editor at the next writers
You can do this. Yes, you can. And now you have no excuses.