What Is a Proposal and What Is Its Purpose?
In January, Castle Gate will begin accepting query letters. If we like what we see, we will eventually ask you to send a proposal. So in anticipation of that even, we will spend the next several months on Writing Wednesday explaining the various parts of a proposal: its purpose and how to write it.
To start things off, let’s look at the proposal as a whole. What is a proposal and why should you have one? Plain and simple, the purpose of a proposal is to sell your book to an editor or agent. It needs to convince an agent that he can sell your book to a publisher, and it must convince a publisher that he can sell your book to readers.
A proposal should give all the information an editor needs to determine whether she can sell your book: who your target audience is, what other books like yours are already on the market, your platform, and what type of marketing plan you have.
It would be nice if all it took to sell a book was great writing, but in today’s economy, it takes more than that. Even if you have the best manuscript ever written, if you can’t demonstrate that there’s a market for it, no publisher will print it. So do your research and take advantage of the opportunity a proposal gives you to show that your book is marketable.
The next eight posts in this series will focus on a specific element of a proposal, and the final post will wrap up with a discussion about formatting. So stick around for the entire series, and by January, when we begin accepting submissions, you’ll be ready with a great proposal.