Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Book proposals: a question

Rob says....

"One more question, if I can. I am also looking at a non-fiction work. How much information will I need in my proposal before sending it off? Is there a good on-line resource for putting together the proposal/query?"

My book proposal for Pen on Fire ran around 50 pages. Parts include the overview of the project, a bio, marketing plan, comparison survey, chapter outline and three chapters or 30 pages or so of text from the book.

I don't know if there are online resources but I'll tell you what book served me well: Michael Larsen's How to Write a Book Proposal. I followed it pretty much to a T and my agent garnered a great deal for me. There may be other good books on writing book proposals but this one worked for me. (Larsen is an agent in San Francisco.)


Allison Johnson said...

Like Barbara, I followed Larsen's formula in writing a proposal for my book, Your Self-Confident Baby. The proposal got me an agent and then a book deal.How to Write a Book Proposal is concise, tells you exactly what to do.

Leslea M. Harmon said...

Hi, Barbara! Sorry I haven't dropped by the blog in awhile. I am still listening all the time to the podcasts. Thanks for having Ron Carlson on again. He is such an inspiration.

I am sending in a proposal for a non-fiction book this week to an agent who requested it (woot!). I found lots of help online, but the best offline help I found was a book called Thinking Like Your Editor by Rabiner and Fortunado, former editors and current agents.

I enjoyed Larsen & Pomada on your show, too!

Hope you are well! I'm going to go do a search on your blog and see how your novel is coming. I finished mine in a blitzkrieg of editing and submitted it to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. Hopefully it survives the first cut (4000 of the 5000 entries are being eliminated by amazon.com editors).

Oh! And my newspaper column has gone national recently! Thank you so much for your show, which continues to be food for my soul.

Bless you!