I know what you might be thinking. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't hate the idea of writing a book proposal. I'LL GIVE YOU THREE GOOD REASONS.
1. A good proposal serves as a blueprint for a compelling and coherent book that is unique in the marketplace and serves the needs of your target readers. Isn't it better to have that blueprint before you start than risk the chance of having to tear down what you've built and start from scratch because you didn't research the market or refine your idea?
2. The process of researching and writing your proposal can get you all fired up about how great your book is. If it's having the opposite effect, then it can inspire you to re-think your concept and come up with an idea that really keeps you fired up for the long haul.
3. It serves as the foundation from which you will eventually publicize your book when it gets published. By the time you've perfected your proposal, you've become such an expert on how this book touches a chord with the public that you are able to succinctly and brilliantly express your conviction to other people.
Many writers of nonfiction books who are experts in their fields are not necessarily experts in explaining why people should want to read their book. Often we are so close to the work that we can't express ourselves clearly in terms that the sales department of the publishing house can repeat to the bookstores.
But after having worked on a good book proposal, you the author will be an expert in explaining why the public should buy your book and what they will gain from it.
So, now you know why it's good for you. But let's say you still feel less than enthusiastic, or intimidated, or overwhelmed. I'm going to show you how to break through those blocks with a powerful exercise.
THE FOLLOWING EXERCISE CAN HELP YOU GET PSYCHED TO WRITE YOUR BOOK PROPOSAL,
OR REWRITE ONE SO THAT IT REALLY SINGS.
IT CAN ALSO HELP YOU WHENEVER YOU'RE FEELING STUCK, DISCOURAGED, OR OTHERWISE CONSIDERING WHY YOU'RE STILL WORKING ON THIS BOOK YOU USED TO CARE SO MUCH ABOUT.
Write down everything that excites you about your book or idea and about yourself as the author, specifically:
- How did the subject matter touch your own life?
- How do you see it touching your readers' lives?
- What difference might it make in the world?
- What inspired you to write this book?
- What makes you the perfect person to write this book?
- What's your mission in writing this book?
- Where do you envision seeing this book in the bookstore, online or bricks-and-mortar?
- Whom do you see picking up your book from the shelf and taking it to the cash register?
- What do you see yourself saying about your book in an interview?
- What are some other thoughts you might have about your vision for your book?
Keep everything you wrote down. Look at it when you're feeling uninspired or discouraged.
It will remind you of your vision and all the good this book will do! And as you gain more inspiration or add to your vision, write it down so that you can return to it.
It's like another version of yourself giving your present self a pep talk.
Wishing you lots of success and inspiration!