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How to Write a Book Proposal: The Insider's Step-by-Step Guide to Proposals that Get You Published

How to Write a Book Proposal: The Insider's Step-by-Step Guide to Proposals that Get You Published

by Jody Rein, Michael Larsen

Paperback(Fifth Edition)

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If you want to publish a book, you must present it to agents and publishers with a knock-your-socks-off proposal. Whether you're seeking a traditional press to publish your self-published book or trying to win over an agent for your graphic novel, memoir, or nonfiction title, you need an irresistible proposal. The better your proposal, the better the editor, publisher, and deal you will get.

Nailing your proposal requires an understanding of how publishers work and how to brand yourself, build a platform, and structure your book. You'll learn it all in this breezy top-to-bottom revision of the classic 100,000-copy best-seller. Inside How to Write a Book Proposal 5th Edition, you will find:

   • Examples of successful proposals that earned six-figure deals
   • Guidance from agents, publishers, and writers
   • Ways to customize your proposal
   • Strategies for proposals in the Digital Age
   • Effective structures for narrative writers
   • A list of the "Top Ten Proposal Killers"
 This sassy, thorough guide from industry professionals Jody Rein and Michael Larsen will become your go-to for advice about publishing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440348174
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Edition description: Fifth Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 259,465
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jody Rein, former executive editor with divisions of HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House, is the founder of boutique literary agency Jody Rein Books, Inc., and respected publishing consulting and coaching firm Author Planet Consulting. Jody has represented, published and coached hundreds of authors through successful publication in every form, from e-books to international bestsellers to major motion pictures.

Michael Larsen, co-director of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference, is the author or co-author of eleven books. He is an author coach and a former agent, having co-founded the Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, which sold books to more than 100 publishers and imprints.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the 5th Edition 1

Part 1 The Basics

1 Why Book Proposals Matter 7

2 The Parts of a Proposal 12

3 Is Your Idea Bookworthy? 15

4 Clearing Up Some Questions 20

Part 2 Organize for Success

5 The Practically Painless Proposal-Writing System 26

6 Set Up Your Shop 29

7 Build Your Folder Buckets 35

8 The Proposal-Writing Order 40

Part 3 Proposal Breakdown

9 Pizzazz 43

10 Comps 56

11 Book Table of Contents 72

12 Book Specs 76

13 Author Bio 87

14 Author Platform 94

15 Audience 107

16 Personal Promotion 116

17 Detailed Outline 130

18 Overview 141

19 Sample Writing 151

20 Supplemental Material 159

Part 4 The Specialized Proposal

21 Proposing More than One Book 163

22 Self-Published Books 166

23 The Graphic Novel 172

24 Cookbooks 175

25 Business Books 180

26 Novels 182

27 Memoirs 183

28 The Narrative Letter of Passion 189

29 Strategies for Six More Kinds of Books 193

30 Proposals for Ghostwritten and Co-Authored Books 198

Part 5 Pull it Together and Perfect It

31 Titles 201

32 Structure 208

33 Voice 213

34 Format for All Devices 218

35 Use Feedback and Pings to Rejection-Proof Your Proposal 224

36 Top Ten Proposal Killers 229

Part 6 Find a Happy Home for Your Book

37 Traditional Publishing Options 234

38 The Literary Agent 240

39 Your Query Letter 245

40 Sell Your Book Without an Agent 251

41 Convert Your Proposal into a Self-Publishing Plan 254

Part 7 Inspiration and the Future

42 From Author to Contentpreneur 261

43 Spring Is Coming 268


Appendix A The Publishing Process 270

Appendix B The Virtual Media Kit 275

Appendix C Four Sample Proposals 277

Appendix D Sample Proposal Index 316

Additional Resources 320

Acknowledgments 321

About the Authors 323

Index 324

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