Book Proposals…

Writing Wednesday On Wednesdays I like to share bits of information that I picked up on my journey to publication and preparing to be published again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me.

Book Proposals

I like to write from an outline and once I’m a few thousand words into my manuscript I start thinking about the proposal. Your proposal is actually a business plan for your book.

I was always more a sit down and write kind of writer until I started writing books and taking on freelance work. I found myself procrastinating and easily distracted by new and shinier things that came across my laptop screen.

If I wanted to do this book writing thing full time I needed to get organized and get writing.

I now start with an outline for whatever I may be writing. Blog posts, articles, books and ghostwriting projects all start with an outline.

Once I have a simple outline, I start working on the proposal.

I do NOT like writing proposals. That is, until they are done. Once they are done I feel like my book could write itself. Trust me you will thank me later!

If you are writing or planning to write nonfiction you will need a very, very good proposal to send to agents and or publishers. If you are writing fiction you should at least have an okay proposal, for yourself. It will help you stay focused.

The first rule of proposal writing is to take your time and get it right. The second rule is it should be written before you write the book. I know bad news but again you will thank once it’s done.

It used to be if you wrote nonfiction and an agent wanted more information after you queried them they would ask for a proposal. More and more they are asking for proposals no matter what genre you write. It’s a good idea to have one prepared before you start the query process.

I find that writing the proposal before or while I am writing the book gives me an organizational advantage. You can always add to it or change as you go along.

A few questions you may want to ask yourself before getting down to the business of writing your proposal:

  • What is my goal or goals in writing this book?
  • Who am I writing the book for? Who are my readers, my target audience?
  • What published books are similar and why will mine be different?
  • Why am I the best person to write this book?
  • What will make my book stand out from the rest?
  • What is my schedule for getting it done? How much time each day can I commit to writing?
  • What is my budget for editing, publishing and marketing?

A literary proposal contains a cover page that lists your word count, genre, title, short description of the book, your contact information and then:

The Cover Letter-

This should be a brief introduction, your contact information, genre, word count and your query.

The Table of Contents-

(List the contents of your proposal,) not the book.

The Synopsis-

The synopsis is a short, preferably a one- page description of the main theme of a book. The synopsis deals with the books central characters, their conflicts and their relationships. The synopsis does not have to go into subplots but should include a brief description of the beginning, middle and end of the story including the main plot and a brief description of main characters.

The synopsis will be part of the query letter that you submit to agents or publishers. Its purpose is to give them the whole picture from beginning to end. It needs to convey the emotions of your main characters, conflict and resolution and yes, it must include the ending.

It should be written in third person even if your book is written in first.

This is the first example of your writing that a profession in the business of publishing will see. You want to make sure it is the best you can do. It’s a good idea to have a literary editor go over it for you. That may give you the edge you need to get an offer of representation.

Your synopsis should be 500-600 words and single spaced.

 

Target Audience

Who will buy this book and why? Do not say think or say everyone will love and want to read this book because they won’t. Pick a specific demographic and then two sub demographics.

The Competition

What titles are there already in print similar to yours? Remember that competition in the book world is a very good thing. If there are numerous titles that only means, there is consumer interest. Agents and Publishers love competition. List these books and explain why they are similar and why they are different. Why is your book better?

Author Platform

This explains how you will be able to reach your target audience (where you are on line, your church, groups or organizations you belong to, connections etc…) this is not how many ideas you have but how many connections you have and the action steps you are willing to take to improve your presence.

Detailed Author Bio

Who you are and why you are the best person to tell this story and the best person to promote the book. Include resume information.

Marketing Plan

I will discuss marketing plans more in depth in the marketing chapter.

Only list what you know you can do not what you hope to do. Example: Do not say I will appear on the Ellen Show and she will love my book unless you know for a fact you can make that happen and can prove it. Make your plan concrete and include believable numbers. The secret to creating this plan is not how many ideas you have but how many actual connections you have, your platform and the action steps you are willing to take to improve your presence.

Chapter Outline-

List a brief description (the beginning middle and end) of each chapter.

Sample chapters

Choose two or three of your absolute best complete chapters.

Have several people including your editor go over your proposal.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

Kindness is Sending a Bowl of Berries…

Kindness

 

Those that know me best know that I’ve been preaching kindness pretty much since I started talking. It is a new year and a good time for all of us to do a little soul searching and a lot of kindness generating. The ugliness I have seen over the past six-months has been overwhelming. We all need to take a good long look in the mirror and decide if we like who we see looking back at us. Are we telling little girls who to be or are we showing them by example?

Some psychologists believe that ‘being nice’ isn’t really so nice after all. They believe being nice actually comes from a fear. We ‘act’ nice towards someone because we want to be liked or we fear what others will think of us if we are not perceived of as a ‘nice’ person. As kids, especially little girls we were constantly told to ‘be nice’ and to ‘be good’ even to people we didn’t like. We were taught to keep the peace at all cost even if we were filled with hate. Some girls learned how to use niceness as a way to get what they wanted or as a way to gain power. Being nice is telling the cashier in the supermarket to have a nice day because it sounds good but actually you could care less what kind of day she has. Overly nice people usually have very low self- esteem and are only nice so they can feel better about themselves and so others will like them. Being overly nice can put you at risk of being used and mistreated. It can leave you feeling powerless and out of control. It can cause unhappiness and even illness.

 

Being nice can actually be selfish. Kindness on the other hand comes from real love, compassion and empathy towards fellow human beings and all living things. Compassion and empathy are real needs that some people have to help others or ourselves. It makes kindness the total opposite of being nice. Being kind is looking that cashier in the eye and saying, “It looks like you are very busy today. I hope you are done soon and can go home and relax,” and meaning every word.

Being kind is opening and holding the door for an elderly woman, looking her in the eye and then taking her bags to her car for her. It is easy for kind people to be assertive because they care as much about themselves as they do others. They earn and expect respect.

Kindness is not a feeling it is a choice. It is a character quality that we can work on until it comes naturally. It is choosing to do the right thing even when the right thing is the hardest to do. There is a direct correlation between being kind and being happy. When we are truly good to others out of love we feel real happiness. Being kind is being selfless. Have you seen the ‘Kindness Generator’ created by one of the sweetest companies I know? It is a great way to get ideas for random acts of kindness. I’m loving it! I am also looking forward to my next delivery:) http://www.berries.com/blog/53-random-acts-kindness-generator What have you done as far as random kindness? #KeepMovingForward Doreen Look whats **ON SALE**

Music Monday Meet Erin McAndrew/Skeleton of Life

MUSIC MONDAY

So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through them, holding them together. Most of my saddest memories have music attached too. I married a DJ so he has a story for every song he hears too!

Because music is so important to me, such a part of my life I’ve wanted to join in on Music Monday posts for the longest time.

My Music Monday posts will include interviews and music from new and veteran artists from all genres of music as well as the music that has meant the most to me throughout my life.

This week I want to introduce you to another newcomer, Erin McAndrew. She has a beautiful voice, grew up a few towns over and with her college band she played CBGB’s, a place that held special memories of my brother for me. I was sad to see it go. David and his Plug Ugly band- mates played there shortly before he was murdered.

~~~~~~~

I hope you enjoy meeting Erin as much as I did. Her first album, Skeleton of Life debuted in 2016 and this alternative Pop-Rock Singer-Songwriter is crushing her goals heading into 2017!

About Erin

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Erin spent her early childhood in tiny Mountain Top, Pa. At 13-her family relocated to Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The move was difficult for the 13-year-old and it was there that Erin escaped into and discovered her passion for music and singing.

While attending Hofstra University, Erin was the lead singer of the Long Island-based rock band Tiny Giant, which played the legendary CBGBs (R.I.P.) and other local venues.

Though the band has been disbanded for a few years, Erin never put down the microphone and continued polishing her vocals by taking voice lessons at the Riverside School of Music in Seaford.

Erin has performed live in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. This past summer she performed in several wineries.

With Skeleton of Life Erin was able to immerse herself in the writing, recording, and performing of original music. The music has received regular airplay on Hofstra’s WRHU Radio Station.

The album is a novel based on the past decade of her life. A few of the songs on the album she wrote in her early 20s, while some of the others she wrote earlier this year right before recording.

She is influenced by many different performers, including Kelly Clarkson, Stevie Nicks, P!nk, Lifehouse, Sara Bareilles, Guns N Roses and Joan Jett.

Kelly Clarkson

In her spare time, Erin likes to go to Soul Cycle, hold yoga poses, write, and have a drink with some friends at a local karaoke bar.

The Interview

Where did you grow up? I spent my childhood in a teeny-tiny town called Mountain Top, PA – it is right around the Pocono Mountains in Northeastern, PA. When I was 13, my family moved to a suburb outside Philadelphia, which is where I went to high school until moving to New York for college.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading, writing or music?

My parents themselves are not musicians but there was always music playing growing up.

When did you first know you wanted to make music?

When my family moved when I was 13, it was huge adjustment for me to make the move at that age. After that experience, I realized then that I wanted to take this singing thing further and make it into a career eventually.

Do you write music and or lyrics? If so do you have any pre-writing rituals?

I do! I released my debut album last June. As far as pre-writing rituals, I write whenever inspiration sparks. However, when I sit down and decide I’m going to write a song, I usually find a comfortable spot in my apartment and light a few candles to get in the inspirational mood.

Who is on your dream ‘old school’ tour? Who is on your dream present day tour?

For old school, my dream tour would have to be Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, and Heart. My dream present day tour would be Kelly Clarkson and Pink. I actually have it written down in my goals that one of my more audacious goals is to be on tour with Kelly Clarkson or Pink by January 2018.

Joan Jett

Do you have a day job?

Yes! Right now I currently work for an athletic apparel company. It is a great company and I’m very passionate about fitness, so it helps meld my two passions together.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

I’ve really gotten into La Croix Seltzer Water recently. There are so many delicious flavors!

Do you have a favorite snack food?

Popcorn, hands down!

What is your favorite TV guilty pleasure?

Pretty Little Liars! Huge fan. I can’t get enough of that show.

What is your favorite thing about the winter?

This is a hard question for me to answer because I don’t like the winter, but I will have to say Christmas time.

Where do you hope to be in your career in January 2018?

Opening for Kelly Clarkson or P!nk! I want to be on my first National Tour by then.

P!NK: Photo by Vince Bucci

What instruments do you play? At what age did you start?

I play guitar and ukulele. I started dabbling in guitar about 10 years ago. I seriously started playing about 3 years ago – when I was 27. I started playing ukulele 2 years ago.

Like Erin McAndrew on Facebook at ; follow Erin McAndrew on Twitter at ; Follow Erin McAndrew on Instagram at ; Erin’s official website: www.erinmcmusic.com

(Please share) The music:

http://www.erinmcandrew.bandcamp.com/.

https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1115415086?ls=1&app=itunes

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What would you do if your husband brought home an 80-Year-Old homeless woman? Sophie lived with us for 2 1/2 years. Yes, it is a true story…

 Bristol boyz Stomp is the true story of the random, road rage murder of my brother, musician David Albert. It is on SALE!

 

What are you looking forward to this month? My January TV Schedule…

What are you looking forward to this month? My January TV Schedule…

Am I the only one that reads the last chapter of a good book slowly because I don’t want it to end? I also hesitate to watch the season ending episodes of my favorite shows. As fast as those shows end, the new seasons of other favorites start. My theme phrases for 2017 are to Always have Something to Look Forward to and Always Expect Something Wonderful to Happen.

For January I am looking forward to presenting my first seminar for SCORE: http://www.delcochamber.org/events/SCORE-Workshop-Components-of-Marketing-Your-Business-55877/details

I am also excited about putting the finishing touches on the final draft of Realize Your Writing Dreams.

My granddaughter Avery Paige will be turning 11 on January 11th (also my father-in-law, grandfather, niece Cassidy’s and several friends birthday too,) granddaughter Julia will be taking her driving test on January 12th and turning 17 on the 24th (please send good vibes.)

Julia and Avery Paige

Friend, Pat Nogar is having a Twelve Days of Christmas party this weekend and the theme is The Nutcracker. Pat has a beautiful soul and her home is lovely. I am looking forward to the party and seeing people I haven’t seen in months. That said I have NO idea what I am going to wear. Pat is appropriately the host of, Living Well with Pat Nogar. I enjoy the show and her talent for entertaining. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj0AEVyFbGIx8dIC7n9N3YA

Her husband David has an interesting blog: http://www.theamericanflaneur.com/blog

I finally joined and am really looking forward to Fem City. Do you have a chapter in your city? New friend, Jennifer Robinson is the President of the Philadelphia chapter. http://www.femcity.com #femfessionals

As far as TV goes, what would I do without The Young and the Restless? I’ve been watching for like 35-years, these characters are like family. I love that the story lines just go on and on and the season never ends. I dislike when the writers are lazy and repeat the same story lines over and over but I am loyal.

The new Celebrity Apprentice was on last night and I am crushed that Carnie Wilson was already terminated. I love her; her talent, spunk, beauty, inspiration and oh my goodness did you hear Love Bites by Carnie will debut in March? Check these sweet treats out and look for my review… http://www.lovebitesbycarnie.com

I love the cast and the show Nashville but the last season got too soap boxy and also unbelievable. I am hoping the switch from ABC to CMT will bring us back to the shows country roots and also hoping now being on cable will allow for more spice!

The second season of Tyler Perry’s, Too Close To Home will air on January 4th. I enjoyed the first season. If you like satire you will appreciate the mix of amazing and awful acting. It’s like a dramatic comedy.

The Young Pope (HBO) Not sure yet but I may break down and get HBO again for this one. (January 15th)

The Golden Globes airs January 8th. The first negative political comment and I’m shutting it off and that goes for the Grammy’s on February 12th and every award show this year.

This Is Us will be back on January 10th, YES!

Homeland returns to Showtime on January 15th. I am really looking forward to catching up with Carrie.

Lifetime debuts the remake of Beaches on January 21st.

The Secrets of Six Wives (PBS) looks interesting. It airs on January 22.

Watch What Happens Live and Andy will be debuting the new clubhouse this week. Guests include Kenya Moore, Erika Jayne, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hardwick and Stephen Colbert.

My TV guilty pleasures will continue to be the Housewives but I may be losing interest. I’m not watching Atlanta or London this season It’s all trips and parties and the lack of at least a tiny bit of substance is starting to annoy me. I am loving the Busby family and their show, Outdaughtered. Dear Lord please keep them grounded and in love because they are an awesome couple with the most precious children. Married by Mom & Dad is interesting but the rule breakers on the show get on my nerves.

February starts out with the Superbowl on the 5th and then 24 Legacy. I was a huge 24 fan so I am hesitant but still going to watch with an open mind and hoping Jack (Kieffer) stops by for a few cameos. Billions (Showtime) returns for season 2 on the 19th I liked the first season.

What are you watching this month? What are you looking forward to in 2017?

I was recently let down and deeply disappointed by some of the people I love and trust the most and am facing some frightening uncertainties in business this month but I intend to Keep Moving Forward and remaining hopeful and positive! I wish you a Happy New Year! May your heart be full of love, your mind open to new possibilities and your attitude positive!

Doreen

I am looking for musicians/bands etc… to interview for Music Monday. If you have any suggestions or contacts I would really appreciate it!

What would you do if your husband brought home an 80-year-old homeless woman?

 

 

 

 

 

The Monthly Meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group…

Insecure Writers support group

 Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

                                            Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! 

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Music Monday featuring John Rhey

MUSIC MONDAY

So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through them, holding them together. Most of my saddest memories have music attached too. I married a DJ so he has a story for every song he hears too!

Read the rest of this entry »

Feeling Insecure?

The first Wednesday of every month I participate in The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. #IWSG. This is one AMAZING group of talented beginning writers, established writers, and professional authors. One of the many things we all have in common is our moments of extreme insecurity about our craft. Another is our gratitude and strong -pay it forward attitudes when our confidence is soaring.

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Music Monday featuring Dylan Raymond…

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So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through them, holding them together. Most of my saddest memories have music attached too. I married a DJ so he has a story for every song he hears too!

Because music is so important to me, such a part of my life I’ve wanted to join in on Music Monday posts for the longest time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Public Relations/PR/ Press Releases

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WritingWednesday

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

Public Relations PR Part 2/ Writing Press Releases

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Music Monday featuring: Ty March…

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So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through them, holding them together. Most of my saddest memories have music attached too. I married a DJ so he has a story for every song he hears too!

Because music is so important to me, such a part of my life I’ve wanted to join in on Music Monday posts for the longest time.

Read the rest of this entry »

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