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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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
Wednesday is the day I like to share information, tidbits I picked up on my journey from writer to published author. Information I wish someone would have shared with me back then.
I’ve missed the blogging and writing community. Everyone has been so embroiled in election negativity. I miss the positive, friendly, informative posts I got used to, expected and looked forward to from my writer friends. Hopefully we are close to the end of all the negativity and the spirit of the holidays will fill us all and inspire us to reach out and love and respect each other again.