6 Ways To Give Your Book Proposal a Winning Edge

You have finished your proposal, and it’s as good as you can make it without losing your mind. Fair enough. Ready, set, wait . . . What if there is something extra special you can do? Here are several possibilities. 

1. Humans are highly visual. We see before we can read. We may have existed for more than 100,000 years as a species before phonetic alphabets began to shift social hierarchies to favor those who controlled written information. A photo is worth 1,000 words. Why not ease the clutter of printed letters with intriguing and relevant illustrations? A proposal isn’t considered a published work, which means you can borrow non-public domain photos without permission. Just make sure they don’t sneak into your published work without due permission. Using an attractive illustration on your title page is a good place to start. 

2. Design it like you love it. Do wedding invitations arrive on plain white paper in cheap white envelopes? So why does your proposal? Spend a few bucks for nice paper stock and use a slightly edgy or curvy typeface. What about digital submissions? Good point, but why not submit the proposal both digitally and physically? Touching something always makes it a little more real. 

3. Build a web site dedicated to the book you plan to write, and start the networking process with others who express interest in your concepts. Jump into conversations; compile contacts and information. Right away you’ll have a digital presence to boast about in your proposal, and the existence of your special site helps affirm your credibility. 

4. Without appearing to be obnoxious or delusional, give agents and editors who are reading your proposal the impression you’ll be swiped off the market any moment. You can accomplish this in your cover note and follow-up emails. Don’t lie, just say there’s really strong interest and you’ll need to make a decision very soon. There are too many writers clamoring for attention too much of the time, but possible gems will rise to the top. So why not make it seem like you’re a gem? However, don’t call yourself a gem; make it look like others are saying it about you. 

5. Bribery helps, for the simple reason it might break through clutter. I once received a $5 Starbuck gift-card with a proposal. I rejected the proposal on its merits, but read it sooner than I would have otherwise. I felt guilty about the gift-card and ended up re-gifting it, but the proposal would have wallowed in a slush pile absent the modest bribe. 

6. And last but not least use BP Wiz to help write your proposal, it is a FREE tool that takes you step-by-step through the process of writing your book proposal.

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