Happy New Year to all. I sincerely hope that the hamster wheel of 2010 free wheels a lot smoother than the one of 2009. Very best to all.
In May of 2008 I boarded a flight from Cape Town to Bangkok on what was to be a 4 month trip around SE Asia. The reason for the trip besides the travel adventure is that, my goal in life was to explore the possibilities of becoming a travel/documentary writer and photographer. I’d always been a commercial photographer but now I wanted to try my hand in writing stories to accompany my pictures and sell them to publications.
The Magic that’s Ours was out there and being handled by my distributor and the manuscript for the follow on book had been completed(or so I thought).
A month or so before leaving I decided that I was going to explore the option of finding an international literary agent as I wanted my books available internationally. Up until then I didn’t know about translation rights and all I thought of was having a literary agent represent me internationally. I managed to track down a book that needed to be ordered from overseas called, “Guide to literary Agents“-2008 Edition.
In the month before leaving I read through the guide- book. Of the 362 pages only 82 pages cover topics, among others, like;
- Drafting a professional query letter
- The ins and outs of a book synopsis
- Drafting a professional proposal
- The different avenues of contacting an agent
There are other important subjects discussed in the guide but formatting a Query Letter, Synopsis and Proposal were for me the most interesting along with the pages and pages of agents with all their contact details, including the genre which they represent.
I’m not going to go into the detail about a query letter and a synopsis but I do want to touch on the proposal.
If you are exploring the option of a publisher they are obviously going to look at your style of writing, content etc etc but also, and this is becoming more and more important, the publishers also wants to know what you as an the author are going to bring on board as a marketer. Unless you are a Dan Brown etc authors now must have a marketing plan on how they are going to market their books.
Why I mention this is that if you are going to self publish- you have to have a marketing plan. By following the requested headings of a proposal (see below) it will assist you in having a clearer idea of how you’re going to market and distribute your books. As my proposal was for my second book I included all information about my first book making my proposal about 35 pages long. A lot of work indeed but very worth it in the long run.
So the day I left for Bangkok my luggage consisted of; my cameras, laptop, sample copies of my first book, Query letter, Synopsis and Proposal all on my laptop and ready to send.
A Proposal for
THE POWER THAT’S OURS
Po Box 12018
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents
About The Book 4
About The Author 5
About the Market 5
About the Competition 6
Production Details 6
List of Chapters 7-16
Sample Chapters 17-25
Chapter 1 17-19
Chapter 2 20
Chapter 3 21-25
Promotion/ Marketing 26
Book launch 26
Public Relations and Publicity 26
Talks and Public Speaking 27
Website and the Internet Marketing 28
Internet Marketing 29
List of Schools in the Western Province that have Purchased the Book 32
List of Public Speaking Venues 33
Reviews – Media 33-34
Copy of “The Magic that’s Ours”