Doreen McGettigan

Writing Wednesday The Proposal

Proposal Writing

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. A blog post, article, a book or a ghostwriting project 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 couldwrite itself. Trust me you will thank me later.

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.

Think of your proposal as the business plan for your book. Like most everything in life our chance of success increases if we start with a good plan.

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.

  • You will first need a one page cover letter. Think business, resume etc…
  • Next you will need an overview. It should answer these questions: What is your book about (think about what will be on the back cover of the book), who will care about this book, who are you and what credentials do you have that make you the best person to tell this story? No more than two pages.
  • Table of contents. You may have to finish this once the proposal is finished but this is the place for it.
  • Target Market: Who will buy this book and why. Do not say everyone. Pick one demographic and then one or two sub-demographics. Do not use statistics that are not specific.
  • Chapter Outline: The title of each chapter and a paragraph on what each chapter is about. Take your time and try to come up with paragraphs that tell a condensed version of your book. This includes a beginning; middle and an end. It also includes an introduction of you antagonist and protagonist. If you are worried someone will steal your idea, don’t.
  • Competition: Pick three or four books that will be direct competition. Competition in the book business is a good thing. It means people are reading what you are writing. (think vampires) Do careful research here and explain why your book is different and will stand out from the competition.
  • Author bio and platform: Your bio should only pertain to what you are writing and your experience. Leave personal information out. It should be short and sweet. More on platform’s next week. It basically means who you know, organizations you belong to and your online reach.
  • Marketing Plan: You must convince an agent and or a publisher that you can bring the audience for this book not the other way around. Do not write what you hope to do but specifically what you can and will do. Be confident, realistic and firm. Use real numbers. Cleary define your market. List your accurate online stats for all of your sites. Do not just list followers, list your Google analytics. List your offline following, organizations or groups you belong to and any media contacts you have. Don’t get depressed you can do this. Get out and meet people in real life. Read and leave comments on many other blogs to increase your own comments and stats.
  • Last but not least, in fact extremely important, add two of your meatiest chapters.

Now sit down and write that memoir, novel, instructional, health or whatever the story is you were born to tell!

Happy writing,

Doreen

 

 

Friday Foodie Fragments…

What a week! My husband and I have both been hit pretty hard with bronchitis. I think (hope and pray) we are on the road to recovery, finally.

Last Friday I didn’t post because I was at the hospital with my granddaughter Allyson. She’s an Education/Special Ed major student at a University close to where I live. A mass was found under her ribcage. Hopefully its nothing but it does have to come out. It was decided it can wait until her semester is over because all the markers point to it being benign.

Allyson

I am enjoying putting together a six-week seminar series for my church, based on Matthew Kelly’s book, Resisting Happiness. When I was asked to work on this, I had no idea how much I needed to read that book and to work on this project. I really do resist happiness but I am on the road to recovery! The series is going to be fun.

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Imagine That…#MondayMotivation

Imagine That…

Imagine that we American women united so no person or organization could control us by dividing us. Imagine that we actually did something other than persist. Imagine us coming together to solve problems. Imagine we built a bridge on what we have in common and our differences washed away under that bridge. Imagine that…

Imagine that on the topic of:

Schools- We agree we want the very best educational system for our children. We agree that every child has the right to an education regardless of race, religion, sex or disabilities. Imagine that we got together in our small towns and our cities and created a plan, we could make our school boards, administrators and educators accountable for every cent

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Writing Wednesday-Social Media Manners…

Writing Wednesday

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Social Media Manners

What in the world did we do with our time before social media? I for one was definitely more productive writing wise and my house was much cleaner than it is now. I have a feeling that social media killed most of the daytime soap operas. Why watch scripted on T.V. when we can scroll through non-stop reality.

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Friday Fragments and the Funniest Thing…

FRIDAY FRAGMENTS

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

~~~

We haven’t had a good binge watch in awhile so last Sunday we started The Americans. We finished watching season 1 on Sunday and season 2 on Monday. John and I are enjoying the 80’s cars, clothes and music. I go back and forth between wanting to scrutinize my neighbors more and completely ignoring them. I am grateful I am not an FBI or a CIA agent and especially grateful I’m not a spy. Too much stress! There are 4 seasons available now and season 5 starts in March. It’s a good series and if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it.

The Americans FX

 

My new Facebook business page resulted in some new clients. I would love it if you could give the page a look, a like and maybe a share.

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Its Wednesday and I am Insecure…

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 display the badge and the link in your post!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

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Music Monday featuring Blue Nation

MUSIC MONDAY

So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through each memory, connecting them. My saddest memories have music attached to them too and without warning a song will come on the radio and I am instantly tearing up thinking of a lost loved one. I married a music man who also has songs attached to most memories, a basement full of 45’s and albums and he is now my personal DJ.

My #MusicMonday posts will include interviews and music from new and veteran artists from all genres of music as well as the people that bring that music to us. I will also share music that has meant the most to me throughout my life.

Recently I came across a post on Twitter about a rock band from England. I followed the link and had a listen. I instantly liked the bluesy rock sound and was thrilled when they agreed to an interview! So all the way from the UK, I hope you enjoy meeting the lads from Blue Nation as much I did.

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Research #WritingWednesday

Writing Wednesday

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Research

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Music Monday featuring Marilyn Russell…

MUSIC MONDAY

So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through each memory, connecting them. My saddest memories have music attached to them too and without warning a song will come on the radio and I am instantly tearing up thinking of a lost loved one. I married a music man who also has songs attached to most memories, a basement full of 45’s and albums and he is now my personal DJ.

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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.

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