Current challenges regarding the new book landscape: the advent of online book sales, the booming entertainment industry (reading a book does take a while and lack the instant visual excitement) independent publishing avenues and the collapse of the Red Group, creates a more competitive environment for the new author. Getting published is difficult, whether traditionally through a publishers via a literary agent, or independently, the new author needs to decide whether he or she will craft a book proposal or submit a sample of their work with a simple covering letter.
As an author, you need to know:
- What the Publisher or Literary Agent requests concerning your book. Websites offer information about submissions and book proposals.
- Target Audience.
- Where your book is going to sit on the bookshelf and genre.
- What is the current competition? – Similar titles and how popular they are. Will your book tap into an already enthusiastic target market.
- Is your book commercially viable? Books are art and commerce. Publishers chose a book because they believe in it artistically and commercially.
- And how are you going to get published. How will you pitch your book to a Publisher or a Literary Agent: Book Proposal or Submission.
Both Book Proposals and Submissions begin with a cover letter. You need to get this right.
The covering letter is the first page that a literary agent or publisher reads, so make it punchy, succinct and engaging.
The covering letter is usually one to two pages in length, as the literary agent does not want to flick through reams of unnecessary information – so get to the point. You’ll need one paragraph on the book, including the inspiration for it, genre and word count. The next paragraph should cover you as an author and your credentials. Also add what you bring to the promotional side – are you comfortable with public speaking and have you created an author platform. The last paragraph covers the intended market and other books like yours. You as an author need to show that there is an established market and your book will tap into that.
A book proposal usually includes the covering letter, the pitch, synopsis, sample chapters and a breakdown of each chapter.
Today, many Literary Agents and Publishers don’t ask for book proposals. Have a look at a Publishers and Agent’s websites and view the submissions section. They usually request a cover letter, synopsis and three chapters of your book. They are specific on the font, how it is set out and how it is delivered – whether hard mail or electronically. Before you go to all the effort, time and work crafting a sensational book proposal, go directly to the website and see what the literary agent or publisher requests.
Save you a heap of time.
TIP ~ Always, Always find out the publishers/Agent’s name – never entitle: Dear Submissions, Dear Editor, Lit Agent etc.
Want to write a bestseller but don’t know where to start? This book has handy hints and advice on the essential aspects of story writing, with tips on publishing festivals and how much a new author can get paid. It’s an entertaining and easy read on the important fundamentals of story writing, with quotes from successful writers to inspire and encourage you. A must read for all aspiring authors and new writers.
Pick up your Aspiring Authors Guide Book here: http://ow.ly/mhwxi