SPS 078: How To Write A Book Proposal That Gets You A Book Deal And A Big Advance with Chad Allen (What Agents & Publishers Are Actually Looking For)

Posted on Nov 4, 2020

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Written by Leo Oliveira

Home > Blog > Podcast, Publishing > SPS 078: How To Write A Book Proposal That Gets You A Book Deal And A Big Advance with Chad Allen (What Agents & Publishers Are Actually Looking For)

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Today, I’m joined by Chad Allen, creator of Book Proposal Academy. He is a full-time writer, editor, speaker, and writing coach. Chad has been at the receiving end of book proposals and has created proposals for his own books. We dive into a good book proposal’s elements and why Chad is passionate about the Book Proposal Academy.

“A book proposal is simply a document that authors prepare to pitch their book to agents and publishers.” Chad says you can think about a book as a “micro-business” and to look at your book proposal as a “business plan for your book.” Your proposal’s job is to show that your book is a safe bet to publish for-profit and a good ROI for the publishing company.

You can create a book proposal even if you are intending to self-publish. “A book proposal, even when self-publishing, is a great way to get your hands around your project.” Make sure to have the “three C’s of publishing success” when writing your book proposal.

Chad talks about the three phases to launch your book on your platform: the pre-launch, the launch, and the post-launch. “What are you going to do at each of these phases to promote your book?” You can also add a competitive analysis of your book in your proposal and a section for possible future books if they match your current book’s genre.

Find out tips from Chad on how to solve the problem of starting off without a platform, why you want to build an email list, how to grow your audience. Between writing your book and your pre-launch, figure out how you are going to grow your platform. Think of the different strategies you can use to build your audience and launch your book.

Listen in to find out lessons Chad learned from working in the publishing industry, the three C’s of publishing success, and the elements that create a good book proposal. Learn why your title and subtitle are significant in a book proposal and ideas on how to build your audience to sell your book.

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Show Notes

  • [01:40] What is a book proposal?
  • [03:25] Benefits of self-publishing from a traditional and self-publishing standpoint.
  • [04:25] What you can learn from writing a book proposal.
  • [06:22] When looking at a proposal, Chad first looked at buy-in.
  • [09:13] Casting a vision for your book through your proposal.
  • [13:00] How to include a section for possible future books in your proposal.
  • [16:12] Create a detailed marketing plan to propose to the publisher.
  • [22:39] How to hire a designer for your book proposal.
  • [23:24] Common mistakes authors make in their book proposals.
  • [25:23] Going from book proposal to book deal.
  • [32:08] Give enough time to your book proposal process to give you the best chance of success.
  • [34:15] What can happen in the book proposal process with publishers.
  • [35:38] Look for your buy back discount from a publisher.
  • [37:10] How many free books can you get from a publisher?
  • [38:32] Tips on choosing a good publisher.
  • [43:15] Advice that Chad would have given himself when first starting out.

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