"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you."

—Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

So You Want to Write a Book?

First, Write a Strong Book Proposal—and Finish It in Just 12 Weeks


Did you know that you can write a 15- to 75-page book proposal, submit it to literary agents and publishers, and actually get paid to write the book of your dreams?

A strong book proposal can secure a book deal and a publisher's advance, providing you with enough money to launch your research or to take time away from your day-to-day job to focus on writing your book. With a few months of focused effort, any writer who has a strong nonfiction idea and some writing talent—even without a lot of experience—can research and write a robust book proposal that will turn publishers’ heads.

As one literary agent puts it: “The proposal is almost more important than the book itself.” The proposal, then, is the key first step to writing a nonfiction book. But how do you explain your brilliant, 300-page book idea in a 30-page proposal? What are the key elements of a successful proposal? And how do you manage your fears and anxieties enough to see it through?

In her 12-Week Plan for Writing a Winning Book Proposal, award-winning author and editor Valerie Boyd will serve as your teacher, your writing coach, your editor and your cheerleader. She'll teach you the 11 essential elements of a strong book proposal—and then, week by week, guide you through researching and writing each step. Through weekly meetings (in person or by phone), Valerie will provide you with the knowledge, encouragement and hands-on editing that you need. She'll help you hone your idea, articulate it effectively, then figure out which agents, editors and publishers to pitch it to. Along the way, she'll also provide you with a weekly writing schedule, suggestions for staying true to the essence of your idea, and compassionate instruction and guidance on keeping the faith. With Valerie serving as your writing coach and editor, you will actually write your proposal during the 12-week period, which means that after three months, you can have a finished book proposal to send out to agents and publishers.

If you're serious about writing a nonfiction book—and tired of procrastinating—this 12-Week Plan is for you. Email vboyd@valerieboyd.com for pricing and to schedule a consultation.

 

Valerie's 12-Week Plan for Writing a Winning Book Proposal

Week 1: Review of the 11 essential elements of a successful proposal

Week 2: Focusing your idea; setting goals; settling on a compelling title and a useful subtitle

Week 3: Researching the competition; writing the Competing/Complementary Books section

Week 4: Writing the Marketing & Promotions section

Week 5: Writing the Credentials section

Week 6: Writing the Overview I

Week 7: Writing the Overview II

Week 8: Writing the Chapter-by-Chapter Outline

Week 9: Writing the Chapter-by-Chapter Outline (with Sample Chapters, if needed)

Week 10: Polishing the Chapter-by-Chapter Outline (with Sample Chapters, if needed)

Week 11: More revising of Outline and Sample Chapters

Week 12: Revising & polishing; discussion of agents, next steps