Tag Archives: proposal

Why a nonfiction book publisher won’t accept a fiction manuscript or comics publisher rejects a textbook?

2017-12-11

The variety of book proposals publishers receive is great: some proposals have been drafted so well that the author either has long experience or has attended a course where it was discussed, whereas others simply ask their memoirs to be published. Perhaps the most puzzling proposals are novel manuscripts in the spirit of Fifty Shades of Grey submitted to a nonfiction publisher, or an astrophysics book proposal submitted to a poetry publisher. Let’s see why this kind of random submission method is a total waste of time for everyone involved.
office desk, employee sorting inbox and outbox
It is so easy to submit a book proposal to a publisher (or agent in some markets) that even if the author has read the guidelines on the publisher’s web page, the author may think “You never know – maybe they still like my book”.

No, that’s not the case. The submission doesn’t even get a chance. A book proposal or manuscript that doesn’t fit into any genre specified in the guidelines will be swiftly moved into the receiver’s computer trashcan. The message and its attachments won’t even be read.

The reason is simple: publishers specialize in a specific genre in order to master the content and the business related to that genre. Small and independent publishers do it to focus their limited resources on a type of content and business ecosystem they believe they know the best. Big publishers who accept books of any genre operate the same way behind the scenes. They have separate publishing divisions for fiction, nonfiction, textbooks, and for all other categories they have decided to pursue business.

Let’s think of music: say, a conductor of a philharmonic orchestra wants to record Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with a new star violinist. The conductor doesn’t contact a punk rock or blues label, but a publisher that is specialized in classical music. The classical label knows the costs of a live recording, professionals required for post-production, and has the means to market the album to maximize sales.

Exactly the same applies to book publishing.

When an author submits his or her precious manuscript or book proposal to a publisher who has published, and wants to publish, books in the genre the author is targeting, the book proposal gets an opportunity. It will be opened, read and reviewed. Perhaps several individuals examine the submission, and discuss its merits and shortcomings. Above all, the proposal gets its moment of opportunity.

What if the author can’t specify a genre, and that’s the reason for submitting the proposal to many types of publishers? If the proposal is absolutely clear what the book is about, the genre can be specified. If not, more work on the proposal is required.

10 items writers should include in a nonfiction book proposal

2017-10-21

Authors who are planning a nonfiction book can submit a proposal to publishers (or agents) once the book concept is crystal clear in the author’s mind. The manuscript doesn’t have to be ready. The potential of the book is evaluated from the information delivered in the proposal. This applies to nonfiction books only, and here are ten items that publishers and agents typically expect to find in a proposal.

eyeglasses on computer keyboard
These ten items for a nonfiction book proposal were originally outlined by Marisa Corvisiero

1. Title and Word Count

The title doesn’t have to be the final one, since it is often changed by the author or the publisher during the publishing process. Nonfiction books can have a title – subtitle structure which allows explaining quite a lot about the book.

In the era of ebooks, the traditional wisdom for the length of a nonfiction book (85,000 words, or about 300 printed pages) doesn’t apply anymore. For instance, we have published nonfiction ebooks that are about 50 pages, and also books that are about 500 pages.

Assuming that the author is still planning the book, the tentative word count indicates the scope of the manuscript and the amount of work required.

Many publishers also want to get a tentative idea for how many pictures, photos, schemas, tables and other elements besides text the author is planning to include in the book.

2. Tagline

A short, one or two line description about the concept of the book. The purpose is to make the product interesting and attractive.

3. Blurb

A short summary of what the book is about. What the reader will learn and the key points that will be made in the pages.

4. Structure of the Book

How the book will be organized and why. Often, however, it is better to include a comprehensive Table of Contents that shows the structure.

5. Target Market

A description of who should buy the book, who it is written for, and why they need it.

A list of competitive products belongs in this section, with analysis how this book will be different and/or better than books already in the market.

6. Author Bio

Readers will want to know if they can trust the author’s expertise. This is all about credentials.

7. Marketing Plan

Publishers want to know how large audience the author can reach. They will then add their activities to the mix. Any ideas for delivering the message to the world are welcomed by publishers. Authors must be ready to do book marketing as well.

8. Endorsements or Media Coverage

If an author can get endorsements from renowned people for the book, here is the section to mention it. Also possible media contacts, or earlier appearances in media should be listed here.

9. Table of Contents

The more detailed the Table of Contents is, the better picture the publisher gets from the book concept. This is the key element for many publishers when they consider what the book really is about and ponder its positioning in the market. For more information on the details publishers may expect to find in the TOC, read this article.

10. Sample Chapters

A chapter or two of the book should be included in the proposal. Many agents want three to five chapters, but it varies, as well as publishers’ requirements. Submission guidelines should be followed. A sample is important for publishers and agents in order to evaluate the author’s style, voice, and way of presenting the information.

Ebook news digest: publishing trends 2017, tools for remote workers, tips for book proposals

2017-01-15

Ebook news digest January 15, 2017

bricks-and-mortar, book shop in Gothenburg
Top Ten Trends in Publishing Every Author Needs to Know in 2017
(Written Word Media)

Some bold predictions and some things that already have happened are featured in this article. 2017 will be an exciting year for ebook publishing. Digital markets are growing in many countries, for instance, in Europe, whereas in the US, big publishers rather sell paper books than ebooks. The rise of self-publishers and independent publishers will be one of the key trends to follow in 2017.

The Ultimate List of 22 Remote Work Tools Any Digital Nomad Needs in 2017
(Remoters)

Remote workers need good tools to be able to work both online and offline anytime and anywhere they happen to be. The ultimate list of tools introduced by Remoters features the usual suspects, but they are proven tools. We encourage Remoters and readers to think about two issues: offline work situations and being locked out of your free cloud service account. We have argued against using Google services for business or freelance work because of risks that particularly traveling workers will eventually face.

What To Know Before You Submit: 28 Great Tips from Literary Agents
(Writer’s Digest)

This is actually a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with expert answers to the mystery of how to approach an agent with a book proposal. It is worth mentioning that not all publishers, especially in Europe, require an agent to represent the author. If a publisher’s web site has instructions for submitting book proposals, follow the instructions and submit directly (for instance, here). The points, however, made in the Writer’s Digest article are very valid for those direct submissions as well.

Travel Photography Essentials
(Wanderlusters)

An accidental travel photographer carries a camera, and a lens or two along for a trip, but a travel photographer who shoots for money often has a bag full of photography equipment for a trip. Wanderlusters introduces a comprehensive kit for on the ground and underwater travel photography. Here is a travel photo gallery updated by our writers.

Best Events For Digital Nomads In 2017
(flystein)

Life of a digital nomad can be lonely unless you are participating in one of those organized tours that move from one country to another once a month. Plenty of online services can help you find fellow nomads and connect with others near your location. If you want to connect with hundreds or even thousands of digital nomads in one place, attend a conference. Yes, they exist for nomads, too.