Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Non-Fiction Book Proposals, Mary DeMuth, and A Contest!

Do I have your attention? Good.
Our friend Mary DeMuth has some great advice on writing that non-fiction book proposal, and you can even get it free! Just leave your name in a comment on this post from today until next Monday. Then we'll draw the names and announce the winner on Tuesday!
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Nonfiction Book Proposals that Grab an Editor or an Agent by the throat (in a good way)! Have you been languishing in the frustrating land of nonfiction proposals? Don't know where to go next? In this fifty-page tutorial, Mary walks you through two proposals and empowers you to write one that sells. Terry Glaspey, Director of Acquisitions and Development for Harvest House Publishers says this about Mary's proposals: "Mary knows how to write a proposal that gets an editor's attention: well-organized, persuasive, and with the information I need to make a decision." Interested? Cost is $10 bucks.

Are you ready to write a nonfiction proposal
that grabs attention?

First things first: You need to know a few things before you start.

1. Know your passion. I’ve alluded to this earlier. A good book proposal emerges from a passionate idea. Examine yourself. Think about the topics you get passionate about when you talk to folks. Talk to others who know you well. Share your book idea and see if they catch your passion for it. It’s a huge undertaking to write a proposal, so be sure you have the passion to carry an entire book.
2. Know your book. What genre is your book? Where it would be shelved in a bookstore? How well do you know what the book will be about? Do you have access to good research, great interviews? How unique is your book? Will a pub board find it unique?
3. Know your immediate audience. The first audience of your proposal is actually the agent or publisher you’re querying. Find out everything you can about the agent or publisher. Do they specialize in the genre you’re writing? Do they take new authors? How many? Have you attended a writer’s conference and spoken directly to the editor or agent? What kinds of books are they looking for? Purchasing a market guide is a great first step. Analyzing books already represented or published is another great step. (If an agent already represents three mom authors, chances are he/she won’t want to take on another mom author.)
4. Know the bookselling industry. Do you know what is selling in the industry? What has oversold? What trends are up and coming? Go to bookstores and walk the aisles, sign up for newsletters and updates from the publishing industry, go to conferences, talk to booksellers. It’s absolutely imperative that you know what you’re getting into before you embark on this journey.
5. Know yourself. Writing a proposal is the first step in a very long journey. Do you have what it takes to count the cost of bringing a book to fruition? Can you take constructive criticism? Do you have the time it takes to not only write the book, but to edit it in a timely manner and promote it when it releases? Do you have a critique group to support and help you through the process? Author Jan Winebrenner says publishing a book “is like giving birth to an elephant—only more painful.” Are you ready for that?

Excerpted from Nonfiction Book Proposals that Grab and Editor or an Agent by the Throat (in a good way!) by Mary E. DeMuth. You can purchase the download here: http://www.maryedemuth.com/store.php

Mary E. DeMuth helps people to turn their trials into triumphs. An expert in Pioneer Parenting, Mary enables Christian parents to navigate our changing culture when their families left no good faith examples to follow. Her parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2007), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005). Mary also inspires people to face their trials through her real-to-life novels, including Watching the Tree Limbs (nominated for a Christy Award) and Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, 2006). A pioneer parent herself, Mary and her husband, Patrick, reside in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France, where they planted a church. You can find her on the web here:




Belinda Peterson said...

Thanks for the post. Great tips Mary is sharing. What an awesome prize.

Mrs. Ranch said...

Great prize! I'm in for the contest.

Tiffany Stuart said...

Count me in on the contest. I think a proposal is in my near future.

Beth and I have a writing blog that has a giveaway too. Ends the 15th. Then we will have another one for the second half of November.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Mary is a great source of inspiration. I would love to hear her advice!

becky said...

Cool, count me in for the contest!

Megs said...

Thanks for the tips!

Lisa B @ simply His said...

I need all the help I can get :) Count me in!

Jen Zug said...

I would love to win this book! Thanks!

hoyden said...

This is awesome!
i've got my fingers crossed!

Emma Steinfeld said...

I need all the help I can get!