Most of you have probably heard the adage, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” Well, sometimes someone gives you a second chance, but in the world of publishing, when you send a query letter of book proposal to an agent or an acquisitions editor–especially one who doesn’t know you–you really do only get one chance. So, you better make a good impression.
That means your query letter or book proposal better:
- meet industry standards
- be polished and professional
- have no grammatical errors or typos
- catch their attention
You can make sure you meet industry standards by reading some of the great books out there on how to write a book proposal. Some of those I recommend are:
You can use my products as well:
How to Evaluate Your Book For Success (included in The Author Training Manual – the “book proposal process” that will give you all the information to not only evaluate the marketability of your product but to fill your proposal)
Or you can try:
Susan Harrow’s 6-Figure Book Proposal (an affiliate product I support heartily)
Or join Writers, Agents & Editors Network and use the free BP (Book Proposal) Wizard offered there by Deborah and Jeff Herman
But once you have your book proposal written–once all the blanks have been filled in using whatever book, template or plug ‘n’ play model you choose–spend the money on a great proposal editor. Why? Because this ensure that you will, indeed, make a good impression.
It’s possible that despite your best efforts you may not have:
- formatted your document well
- written clearly
- have included all the necessary information or sections
- provided an enticing lead
- detailed the benefits to the reader
- given all the details of the complementary or competing books
- offered a thorough enough promotion plan
- done enough to attract a publisher
The last point is the stickler.
Along these lines, you may not have spent the time prior to writing your proposal to build a platform; thus, you may need to wait 3-6 months (or longer) while you build one.
A good proposal editor will not only edit your book proposal for grammar and punctuation, he or she will make sure it has everything an acquisitions editor is looking for–and that you are everything a publisher wants in a business partner. After all, you are asking a publisher to back your book project financially, and your book proposal serves as your business plan for that business venture. So, it must show you and your book off in the best light.
Be ready. Don’t skimp. After you finish writing your book proposal, hire an editor. Then send your proposal out with the confidence that you will be making the best first impression possible.
Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic