Part 7 ~ Book Proposals Vs Submissions

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.


Have A Look:

ASPIRING AUTHORS ~ The Fun and Short Guide to the Basics

The final cover

ONLY $3.50

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: 


Part 6 ~ How To Create An Author Profile

 How would you like to let people know that you have created a book and that they need to read it?

An author’s worst enemy is anonymity.

So self promote.


Marketing: Promotion & Publicity. How to sell yourself but not your soul.



Start a blog, join Facebook, sign up to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and flog & hustle till you get a profile. This can be soul destroying, overwhelming and counterproductive. Start off with three and work out a realistic plan of promotion and publicity.


Promotion begins before the book is published and publicity starts after the book is out. Authors are required to ‘build a platform’, ‘create an online presence’ and ‘connect with their potential readership’. All buzz words to let people know who you are and what you’re doing via social media. It generates interest. You are like the modern day door to door salesman peddling your wares on the cyber streets. It’s a tough job but it gets your book into people’s hands, cash in your pocket and readers of your novel – artistic validation.


Promotion & Publicity:


Why promote yourself: The shameless indignity of self promotion and constant pandering to the faceless masses is loathsome to authors but it is valuable advertising. Advertising is a necessary evil and vital to a product’s survival. You have a product and people need to know about it. If people don’t know you and furthermore, are totally unaware that you have published a book, this lack of advertising results in no readers, no sales and no future.

This is the unpleasant business side of writing, which writers shun and hope the publishing company will handle. It is the responsibility of the modern day authors to grit their teeth and immerse themselves in the ugly task of self promotion. Writers don’t just write in this modern age, they are required to be media savvy and willing to market their book. Don’t recoil in horror. Remember to gracefully promote yourself, while not getting sucked into the vortex of digital socialisation and general time-wasting.  


The main avenues of promotion and networking:

  • ·      Twitter
  • ·      Facebook
  • ·      LinkedIn
  • ·      YouTube
  • ·      Blogging


Has social media proven to be a successful platform for authors? Too new to tell but despite varying results it does connect you to potential readers and shows the publishing company you are willing to promote yourself.



  • ·      Give out free copies to generate interest
  • ·      Solicit local newspapers to review your book.
  • ·      Advertise through your blog and social media options  
  • ·      Book fairs
  • ·      Local radio

Start researching promotion & publicity ideas as you are writing your book. For more helpful advice on writing:

Only $3.50: Aspiring Authors ~ The Fun & Short Guide to the Basics 

Everything you need to know to start your bestseller. 

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. 


A Literary Agent Requested My Manuscript!


YAY! Great news…

A literary Agent from Curtis Brown requested to see my Recipe For Slackers manuscript (inspired from all the masterchefiness going on in my kitchen) so I’m submitting it today.

And I’m off to a job interview in the arvo in the hope of getting a REAL job today.

The irony.


After self-publishing three books, my off-beat thriller: The ENTERPRISE; my novelty photographic book: Funny Australian Letterboxes, & Aspiring Authors: The Fun & Short Guide to the Basics – 45 pages of fun-filled advice and tips, available next week at the lovely low price of 4 bucks, I’m looking forward to traditional publishing – not getting my hopes up yet as the consideration process could take up to 4 to 6 months and then it could be rejected… but fingers & tootsies crossed.

Recipes for Slackers

Part 5 ~ Authors Need To Kill Their Personal Demons


So What Is Holding You Back from Achieving Your Writing Dreams?


Are your Personal Demons letting you down & ruining your life?


Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win. ~ Stephen King


People have different types of personal demons according to their natures and particular personality traits. The demons holding me back from my achievements maybe different from yours. Your demon could be Procrastination, Self Doubt, or the Demon of Retail Therapy.

Every author is riddled with the demon of self-doubt and insecurities. Every author has heard this inside their head as they have read their own work: “This rambling incoherent drivel was written by a five year old.” The demon maybe right but that’s what rewriting is for. Editing will perfect your work.



If you are reading your writing and hating it, take heart: Ernest Hemingway feels your pain:


Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. I rewrote the first part of Farewell to Arms at least fifty times. 



Also, like anything in life, you keep working away until you get somewhere… or you die in obscurity. I should probably pre-order that tombstone… Stop that – this is self-doubt and it only leads to a crisis of confidence and failure.


Demon termination is quite simple… in theory.


  • ·      Firstly, identify all that hold you back or actively get in your way of writing. Identifying demons means admitting to faults, failings, or certain personal issues. It’s surprising how many people find this difficult. Accept these and make the changes.


  • ·      Secondly, don’t take the fact you have personal demons personally. Don’t  allow it to reflect negatively on your character. Everyone has demons. They’d be more common if we weren’t so ashamed of them and openly discussed the issue. But we don’t… I don’t, it comes off as really weird.


  • ·      Thirdly, once demons are identified, terminate them. This is actually the easy part. It is also quite satisfying. This is not as macabre as it sounds. Giving into your demon of television watching, or self-hatred, or procrastination breathes life into the demon. Turn off the TV, limit your Facebook or Twitter time, and tell yourself you’re the greatest and write.



 “I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries. ~ Stephen King




How To Get Your Self-Published Book into a Bricks & Mortar Store


Someone out there

must be willing to take a chance

on a local self-published author?….*crickets*

My book – Funny Australian Letterboxes is a novelty book, which has been rejected from local and city book stores. I tried not to take it personally as they didn’t even look at it. It was a blanket outright rejection of the self-publishing industry which I can understand. I decided to look at the situation philosophically.  I see it as an exercise in handling rejection. I passed with flying colours… initially, then I got home and grabbed a box of tissues and a tub of icecream. Those chocolate chips really do make one feel better.


So I have to think outside of the box – what about supermarkets? novelty stores?… what about the Australian Post Gift Stores. That is perfect. I confidently strode into the Australian Post Shop with my business plan, book, press release and display arrangement. I chatted with the owner of the store who said that all business requests need to be called through a number from the website. No number on the website – a few email enquiries later, which sent  me in a circular fashion and I  ended up calling a help line. The friendly assistant directed me to a few more email addresses until I hit Ms Roth. Ms Roth directed me to a list of publishers, as they only handle merchandise from publishing houses. Here I am, back in my quandary – my initial dilemma. This is a bit tougher than I thought. So, I hit a few department stores and received the same response.


I drove home from the big smoke and visited my small city for a coffee. I walked passed the city newsagent and waved to the owner. Jules, the owner was up for a chat – usually she is flat out. Hmmmm, should I? I wouldn’t like to take advantage of the friendship. What if I pitch it in a way she can decline and it’s not a prob’ at all. I started my spiel and before I could get my pitch out she said yes and refused any profits from the sales.

So the cliché of ‘it’s not what you know

but who you know’ is true.

So Funny Oz Boxes will hit a bricks and mortar store after I receive my next batch of books in a month. Then I’ll be able to accurately assess the commercial viability of this book. Then I’m going to get a real job… really, maybe after the next book I’m working on. Then…