If you’ve written a book, the first step in selling it is writing a book proposal. Your proposal is a sales tool for your book, and some writers will write this before they even write the book.
But why do you need a proposal? There are four major reasons.
1. Your Proposal Is a Sales Tool: It Convinces a Publisher to Invest in Your Book
Publishing books costs money. Depending on the amount of copies which are printed, your publisher will invest quite a sum in your book. As with every other investment, your publishing house wants to know that it will recoup its investment and even make a profit.
Therefore your proposal needs to contain every possible argument to show that your book is a good investment.
2. Your Proposal Shows That the Book Will Sell
Publishers receive many proposals each week. They don’t have time to research the topic or the market for your book. This means that the book needs to show the market for your topic, and that there are buyers for information on this particular topic.
Your book proposal must show that there are already books on this topic, and that these books sell well. Publishers are conservative and traditional, and if there aren’t bestsellers already in your niche, it’s unlikely your book will sell.
3. Your Proposal Shows Your Writing Style, and Provides a Sample of Your Material
Your publisher wants to know how you will approach your material. There will be other books which cover your topic. Your publisher wants to know whether your book is different, and in what way it’s different. The publisher needs to know that your book will sell at least as well as other books on the same topic, and preferably that will sell more.
If you’re writing on a hot topic or if you have a great story, then much will be forgiven you. However, here’s what won’t be forgiven: errors of fact, and overall sloppiness of presentation. Run a spell-checker, and check your punctuation.
Enjoy writing your book proposal; with luck, it will be the start of a long and profitable writing career.