Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Selling Yourself--Create a compelling proposal

posted by Teresa Slack
Anyone who knows me knows I can be long winded. It’s the reason I can easily slice and dice about ten thousand words, minimum, after I finish the first draft of a manuscript. Convoluted writing doesn’t generally hurt anything during first drafts. Writing is all about rewriting. Tightening. Making the story better. Writers can spend years doing this.

But meandering and taking forever to get to the point is the worst thing a writer can do when creating a proposal. The toughest part about writing is taking the shortest route to saying the most about your book in a way that will have editors and agents begging for more.

I was recently told my proposals do not do my writing justice. A little discouraging but good to know. It isn’t a lagging plot or poorly drawn characters or lack of style that has kept this particular book from finding a home. I have a product worth buying, I’m just not doing a good job selling it.

Besides writing I am also a Scentsy consultant. Scentsy is a product I believe in so it’s not hard to sell. The question is, why haven't I translated my amazing sales prowess to selling my writing? What's holding me back? Do I lack confidence in the quality of my writing? Or, and I suspect this is the real reason, have I not taken the time to craft a succinct, compelling proposal that will make editors take notice?

What about you? Does your lack of confidence in your writing keep you from approaching editors and agents? Or is your proposal like mine and so convoluted and confusing no self-respecting editor would slog through it to find the diamond in the rough?

This week I challenge you to go over your proposal all over again. Ask yourself if someone who has never seen it before might get confused or just plain bored with the premise. You have a product worth buying. All you have to do is sell it.


Molly Noble Bull said...
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Gwen Stewart said...

Great post, Teresa. I have a tough time with confidence, but I plug along best I can. Actually, sometimes proposals are easier for me than writing the novel, as the synopsis "gels" my thoughts while my novels tend to get rambly, at least in the first few drafts.

God bless you!

Teresa Slack said...

Thanks, Molly. Gwen, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets rambly. I tend to repeat the same info if I don't watch myself. Now I just need to go over that proposal again with a fresh eye. So glad to know my book still has hope.

Molly Noble Bull said...

Great post, Teresa. Interesting.