Posts Tagged ‘Proposals’

Ugh Writing Proposals…

Writer Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share what I have learned along my writing, publishing and marketing journey. If you like the info please share it forward!

Proposal Writing

Before submitting your work to an agent you should have a proposal ready. Chances are if they like your query, they will request a proposal.

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.

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Writing Wednesday/ Preparing for Publishing

 

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up on my path to being published, marketing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

 

 

Preparing for publication?

No matter which type of publishing route you choose, Traditional, Independent or Self-Publishing, your manuscript will need to be professionally edited by a professional book editor, it will need to be complete and it will need to be formatted in standard publishing form. That form is:

 

One-inch margin on all sides

Use a title page (not numbered)

Use a header on each page that includes your last name, the title in all caps and page number. Use forward slashes to separate. Start each chapter on its own page-starting 1/3 of the way down the page

The chapter number and the chapter title should be bold and in caps

Indent five spaces for each new paragraph

Double-space the entire text

Use a standard 12 point font such as Times New Roman. Ariel and New Courier are also acceptable

Only use one space between sentences.

While this is the business standard each agent and or publisher may have their own specific instructions for submissions. Follow their instructions carefully. Many of them will not even read your query simply because it is not formatted correctly. It is so much easier to start with the correct format.

I cannot stress enough how important editing is. Most authors I know will write a rough draft. Once that is finished they will let it sit for a week or so and then they will go over each and every word, making changes, cutting etc… A memoir is approximately 90,000 words. A novel is at least 135,000 words but can be much longer.

Once you have finished your first edit you will want to have someone read your manuscript. A beta reader can be another writer that agrees to read your work in exchange for reading theirs. Finding a good one or two is invaluable.

Little girl looking at book through magnifier

While your manuscript is being read you might want to fine tune your proposal. I wrote about proposals here:

http://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5141

Another good idea while your MS is being edited is to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Choose a current topic that you are passionate about. If it is chosen for publication, you are published!

Write a few short stories on your book topic. Enter those stories in contests or use them as guest posts. This will help to establish you as an expert on your

You want to work on is the ‘elevator pitch’ for your book. When someone asks you what the book is about you want to be prepared with a carefully crafted two or three sentence description. Not only should you write your pitch you want to practice saying it out loud until it feels comfortable.

Your beta readers will most likely return your manuscript with suggestions. You will need to weigh their suggestions and do what you feel is right. Once you feel like the MS is as polished as it can be it is ready to be professionally edited.

I cannot stress enough how important this step is and that it is one you need to invest in no matter which way you plan to publish but especially if you plan to self-publish. The editor should be a professional book editor because they know the rules. They also know what sells and what doesn’t. It isn’t all about spelling and grammar, not that that isn’t extremely important too. Before hiring an editor ask for references.

My advice would be to follow whatever instructions and make whatever changes your editor requests for the sake of argument.  If you are not happy with the results you can always change it back. Chances are you will be happy with the outcome.

While your MS is being edited work on your online presence. Most agents and or publishers will Google your name. What will they see? You want to make sure your online presence is appropriate. Be careful when it comes to spelling, grammar and judgment on all social media formats.

[I need to take my own advice.] You want to be professional and non-controversial. A little bit of debate can be a good thing if you stick to the issue. Personal attacks are always unprofessional and a publisher and or an agent may choose not to work with you if you engage in that type of behavior.

There is more..

Do you set writing goals for yourself?  If so what are they?

 

Thank you for reading!

Doreen

 

 

Spotted on Facebook this week:

 

Giving up on a goal because of a setback is like slashing your other three tires

because you got a flat.

 

I would love to connect with you here too:

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bristol-boyzStomp/113804488656243

http://www.twitter.com/doreenb8

 

 

 

 

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