Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Book Proposals

on March 1, 2011

Book proposals are not something I usually think too much about as a fiction writer. Why? Because most of the time, we are asked to submit sample chapters which lead up to the whole manuscript rather than a proposal about the book.

However, in January, as I began working on my non-fiction memoir about working with the teens at Denney Juvenile Justice Center, I kept stumbling on book proposal information. Most of the time, memoirs are like fiction where an editor/agent will need to see the whole completed project rather than just a book proposal. However, there are times when what is being asked to submit is a book proposal, not sample pages.

A book proposal can teach you a lot about your book–either fiction or non-fiction. A book proposal asks you to identify things like who is your target audience, what other books like yours have been published, as well as providing a detailed chapter outline of your entire book.

A couple great books to read about book proposals are:

Non-Fiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write by Elizabeth Lyon

Fast Track Course on How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Proposal by Stephen Blake Mettee

And, this month, Madeline Smoot, editor of CBAY Books, will be blogging about Book Proposals on Buried in the Slush Pile. A good blog to follow.

As a part of the month long discussion about book proposals, Madeline Smoot is offering the following:

So, I propose that we spend this glorious month of March dedicated to all things book proposals.  We will discuss every aspect of the proposal, we will practice proposals, and in the end we will have a grand contest (details of which I have not thought out yet, only just now having had this scathingly brilliant idea) with 5 Grand Prize winners receiving the chance to submit their book proposals to me for critiquing and to CBAY for official consideration.  (In other words you’ll submit to CBAY, and if I reject the project, I’ll provide feedback.)

Yes. You read that correctly. Five Grand Prize winner will receive the chance to submit their book proposals to her for critique and to CBAY for official consideration.  Be sure to check out the types of books CBAY publishes to increase your odds of being selected.

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