Crafting a Book Proposal

Your proposal is like a business plan for your book.

It needs to justify why your book is worth not just years of your time and effort, but the time and effort of dozens of professionals around the country (and maybe even around the world) who will be needed to get your book on shelves. Not to mention the time and money of the many thousands of readers you hope will buy it.

This is perhaps the hardest idea for writers new to publishing to wrap their head around: you write the proposal and sell your book before writing it.

This took me years to fully understand. It completely went against the vision in my mind of a writer toiling late into the night, for years on end, only to emerge victoriously with a completed manuscript in hand. In this vision, the writer doesn’t have to prove that the book will be worth reading. She already has it, so she can just show that it is worth reading.

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