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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Book Proposals & Query Letters

Book Description

Inside information from publishing professionals.

The Complete Idiot's Guide9781615640454 to Book Proposals & Query Letters will help writers catch the attention of literary agents with step-by- step instructions on crafting effective queries and proposals for both fiction and non-fiction books that will put them on the road to publication.

* The only book on book proposals that also targets a fiction audience

* The most comprehensive information on query letters found in any book on writing

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Introduction
  4. Part 1 - Before You Start Writing
    1. Chapter 1 - Does Your Book Project Have What It Takes?
      1. Making Your Dream a Reality
      2. It Starts with a Query
      3. Pre-Query “Musts” for Fiction
      4. Pre-Query “Musts” for Nonfiction
      5. Originality Is Key
      6. Credibility Makes a Difference
      7. To Market, to Market
      8. The Next Step: The Book Proposal
      9. Creating a Platform
      10. What’s in a Name?
    2. Chapter 2 - Test-Run Your Project
      1. Why Waste Time on Feedback?
      2. Get Thee to a Writers’ Group
      3. Writers’ Conferences: Writing with Benefits
  5. Part 2 - The Query Letter
    1. Chapter 3 - Query Letter Basics
      1. Why Query?
      2. What Every Basic Query Letter Has
      3. Personalizing Your Query
      4. On Your Mark, Get Set …
      5. Query Letter “Don’ts”
    2. Chapter 4 - The E-Mail Query Letter
      1. First (Cyber) Impressions Count
      2. A Subject Line That Sings
      3. Keep It Professional
      4. Content Savvy
      5. E-Mail Query Do’s and Don’ts
    3. Chapter 5 - The “Snail Mail” Query Letter
      1. The Snail Mail Advantage
      2. Formatting Your Letter
      3. Rules of the Paper Trail
      4. All About the Content
      5. Beyond Formatting
    4. Chapter 6 - The Nonfiction Query Letter
      1. First Things First
      2. Query Letter Highlights
      3. What’s Your Nonfiction Category?
    5. Chapter 7 - The Fiction Query Letter
      1. Elements of Fiction
      2. Query Letter Basics
      3. Ground Rules Unique to Fiction
      4. Genre-Specific Approaches
      5. The Bad, the Not-So-Bad, and the Good
    6. Chapter 8 - Before and After You Click “Send”
      1. Checklist: Is It a Winning Query?
      2. The Waiting Game
      3. When to Follow Up
      4. What to Say in Your Follow-Up
      5. When They Offer Feedback
  6. Part 3 - The Book Proposal
    1. Chapter 9 - Book Proposal Basics
      1. Why Have a Book Proposal?
      2. Developing Your Proposal
      3. Partners in Writing
      4. The Collaboration Agreement
      5. The Parts of a Proposal
      6. Getting Started
      7. Don’t Forget the Guidelines
    2. Chapter 10 - Pre-Proposal Marketing
      1. Researching the Competition
      2. Other Venues
      3. Become the Resident Expert
      4. Before You Write the First Word
  7. Part 4 - The Nonfiction Proposal
    1. Chapter 11 - The Book Proposal Overview
      1. Introducing the Overview
      2. Enthusiasm!
      3. Do’s and Don’ts of a Successful Overview
      4. A Winning Overview
    2. Chapter 12 - About the Author
      1. Let Me Introduce Myself …
      2. Calling Attention to Yourself
      3. Playing to Your Strengths
      4. An About the Author Example
    3. Chapter 13 - About the Market
      1. The Importance of the Market
      2. Why Research Your Market?
      3. Show You Know Your Subject
      4. We’re Here to Help
      5. Assemble Your Market Research
      6. The Competitive Review Section
      7. Think Positive!
    4. Chapter 14 - The Platform Marketing Section
      1. Platform Makes Perfect
      2. A Platform’s Six “Planks”
      3. Assembling Your Platform
      4. Putting It in Perspective
      5. It’s All About Marketing Yourself
      6. Ideas to Get Your Platform Going
      7. More Food for Thought
      8. A Platform Marketing Section That Sells
    5. Chapter 15 - The Expanded Table of Contents
      1. The Big Reveal
      2. Creating the Expanded Table of Contents
      3. Organizing the Book into Parts
      4. Writing Your Chapter Descriptions
      5. Using Bullets to Expand on Narrative Content
      6. Expanded Table of Contents Examples
      7. Special Cases, Special Sections
    6. Chapter 16 - The Nonfiction Writing Sample
      1. The Writing Sample Is Key
      2. Putting Together Your Nonfiction Writing Sample
      3. Getting Specific
      4. A Closer Look at Writing Samples
  8. Part 5 - Fiction Tips and the Process
    1. Chapter 17 - The Fiction Writing Sample
      1. Write About What You Know and Love
      2. Hit the Shelves
      3. Genre Mastery
      4. Presenting Your Story in Three Documents
      5. Polishing Your Work
      6. What to Send to the Agent
    2. Chapter 18 - Using an Agent or Not
      1. Do You Really Need an Agent?
      2. What an Agent Can Offer
      3. How to Find an Agent
      4. Making a Good Match
      5. Going It Alone
      6. If You Opt for Self-Publishing
    3. Chapter 19 - While You Are Waiting to Hear
      1. The Publishing Timeline
      2. What to Do While You’re Waiting
      3. Keep Building Your Platform
      4. You’re On Your Way
  9. Appendix A - Glossary
  10. Appendix B - Online Resources for Writers
    1. Industry Resources
    2. General Associations and Organizations
    3. Genre and Topic-Specific Associations and Organizations
    4. Writers’ Conferences, Workshops, and Residencies
    5. Writers’ Groups
    6. Industry Magazines
  11. Index