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Writing for Profit, Issue #017, Preparing a Proposal
August 25, 2003
Issue Number: 0117
Date: August 2003
Many writers struggle over preparing a proposal for publication. Some regard fulfilment as a daunting prospect while others treat the exercise as nothing more than a necessary chore. It is neither. Unless you execute the document with professionalism and the same degree of enthusiasm you put into writing your book it won’t get read and you won’t get published. Commissioning editors have neither the time nor the inclination to wade through flimsy submissions so this month we put the spotlight on how to prepare a proposal that commands attention.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Spotlight on preparing a proposal for publication
SPOTLIGHT ON PREPARING A PROPOSAL FOR PUBLICATION
Preparing a proposal for a work of niche non-fiction requires almost as much clinical application as goes into writing the book itself and when you follow the guidelines provided here it allows you to focus on what to include in your proposal and also enables the publisher to make a more accurate and speedy assessment of its viability. These are the key factors to bear in mind as you set about construction.
The structure of the content
How you can offer something different from competitive titles
You would normally be requested to submit the following:
300/500 word description of the aims and scope of your book
Detailed list of contents - Chapter headings and subheads for each chapter.
Target market readership - Outline in 1/2 paragraphs.
Comparative/competitive books on the market
Timescale - Indicate when final manuscript would be ready
TIP OF THE WEEK
Self-publishing: Is it for you?
What to know and ask about doing it yourself
FEATURED GUEST ARTICLE
Brought to you by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab Adapted from Jacqueline Berke's ‘Twenty Questions for the Writer’)
Planning (Invention): Thought Starters (Asking the Right Questions)
As a writer, you can begin by asking yourself questions and then answering them. Your answers will bring your subject into focus and provide you with the material to develop your theme. Here are twenty questions or "thought starters" that present ways of observing or thinking about your subject matter. Each question generates the type of topic listed in parentheses after the question.
1. What does X mean? (Definition)
2. What are the various features of X? (Description)
3. What are the component parts of X? (Simple Analysis)
4. How is X made or done? (Process Analysis)
5. How should X be made or done? (Directional Analysis)
6. What is the essential function of X? (Functional Analysis)
7. What are the causes of X? (Causal Analysis)
8. What are the consequences of X? (Causal Analysis)
9. What are the types of X? (Classification)
10. How is X like or unlike Y? (Comparison)
11. What is the present status of X? (Comparison)
12. What is the significance of X? (Interpretation)
13. What are the facts about X? (Reportage)
14. How did X happen? (Narration)
15. What kind of person is X? (Characterization/Profile)
16. What is my personal response to X? (Reflection)
17. What is my memory of X? (Reminiscence)
18. What is the value of X? (Evaluation)
19. What are the essential major points or features of X? (Summary)
20. What case can be made for or against X? (Persuasion)
QUOTATIONS ON THE SUBJECT OF WRITING
Albert Einstein: "Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in language comprehensible to everyone."
Wilson Follett: "Whenever we can make 25 words do the work of 50, we halve the area in which looseness and disorganization can flourish"
H.W. Fowler: "Any one who wishes to become a good writer should endeavor, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid."
Anatole France: "The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you can't understand them."
Hippocrates: "The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words."
Thomas Jefferson: "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."
Using the guidelines detailed above your proposal will get read and assessed for viability but there’s only one way to ensure acceptance for publication: the injection of longevity into your work and the only way you will discover how to achieve that is by obtaining my exclusive writing-for-profit tutorial for a modest investment of $9.95.
Why settle for travelling half the route when you can go all the way… http://www.writing-for-profit.com/writing-course.html
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