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How to Write an Effective Book Proposal

At some point in your writing journey, no doubt you’ve thought about submitting your manuscript to an agent or publisher. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you’ll want to present your project in a way that will effectively convey the purpose or plot as well as showcase your amazing writing talent.

Even if you’re on the self-publishing track, there may come a time when you want to pitch your manuscript or book idea with the hope of landing a traditional publishing contract.

And you’ve probably heard that agents and publishers will want a book proposal.

But does every book require a proposal? If so, what’s included?

If you write nonfiction, you’re expected to provide a book proposal, and there are specific elements agents and publishers want to see.

If you write fiction, you may be surprised to learn that a fiction proposal might be your ticket around the gatekeepers.

I put together a brief but targeted book proposal for my fantasy series and landed a three-book deal with a publisher—without the acquiring editor ever reading a single manuscript.

While that’s highly unusual, it speaks to the persuasion a great book proposal can wield. Continue Reading…

How to Come Up with the Perfect Book Title

I’m sharing another of my posts that ran last year on The Self Publisher blog. 

Struggling with coming up with the perfect title for your book? You’re not alone. In few words, you have to catch the interest of potential readers and, hopefully, get them excited to read your book.

It’s not easy! But there are obvious and practical considerations that will help you in this endeavor.

We’ve all heard the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” But, truth is, people do judge a book by its cover. Authors well know that a cover can make or break a book release.

A badly designed or unappealing cover will influence a potential reader’s decision to even glance at a book, never mind buy it. This is especially true when an author doesn’t have star name recognition.

Another saying comes to my mind: “A picture speaks a thousand words.” Covers that are evocative, portray symbolic or beautiful imagery, are aesthetically appealing in their design draw readers in for a closer look. If self-published authors have learned anything about success in the competitive book marketplace, it’s how crucial a great book cover is.

Continue Reading…

Using KDSPY to Optimize Your Book Marketing

kdsI’ve written about KDSPY on occasion and have used it to great success (as have many writer friends). This post ran on The Self Publisher, drawn from my Targeting Genre online video course.

There’s no worse scenario for an author than launching a new book out into the world and watching, waiting, and hoping for sales, week after week, and … nothing.

Knowing how much competition there is for book sales, writers need every edge in getting their books discovered, and acquiring real-time data on what books sell well, what keywords are actually generating sales, and which subgenres are “hot” will give you that edge.

Finding a Genre That Sells Well

There are a number of ways you can research which genres sell well, but that’s not the only criteria for finding a genre you can sell big in.

In fact, big-selling genres are flooded with books, so it’s not an easy task writing a book that will rise above the thousands of others.

Even looking at subgenres shows a lot of competition.

But here’s the key point: Certain genres are big sellers because there are a lot of people reading those genres.

There may be huge supply, but there is also huge demand.

You could very successfully choose a specialized subgenre that doesn’t have the high numbers of romance or thrillers have.

But, if there is enough demand, and the top books in that subgenre are making good money, there is room for you to make good money too.

Meaning: sell a lot of books. Continue Reading…

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