The subtitle of W. Terry Whalin’s Book Proposals That Sell promises 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success. In fact, those 21 secrets are just a portion of the valuable information in this book.
Whalin has been on both sides of the editor’s desk. He not only has experience as an editor at a publishing house, he has written more than 60 published books. In Book Proposals That Sell, he shares what he has learned with writers who aspire to get their non-fiction books published.
Book Proposals That Sell begins with an introduction to some basic realities of the publishing business. For example, non-fiction books are typically sold with a strong proposal rather than by submitting a completed manuscript. (The opposite is usually true for fiction.)
The 21 secrets are a step-by-step process to completing a powerful book proposal. Each secret leads you closer to your goal of producing and submitting a proposal that will present you and your ideas in the most effective and professional way. And each secret has details and examples to help you understand how to implement it.
The 21 secrets include:
- Know the audience for your book.
- Understand what each chapter will contain.
- Cast a vision of your book.
- Write a spellbinding sample chapter.
- Maintain a log of your submissions.
- Get more proposals out the door.
Although some of the secrets are common (but often ignored) knowledge, such as always include a SASE, others may be surprising. For example, many authors would not see the value in getting high profile endorsements for a book proposal, thinking that the publisher will take care of getting endorsements once the book is published. In fact, endorsements from celebrities and leading authorities can be key in getting your book proposal noticed by a publisher. Whalin explains the importance of these endorsements, how to go about getting them, and from whom you should get endorsements.
The Appendices are also filled with useful information and resources, including a sample book proposal that sold for a six-figure advance, a checklist for your non-fiction book proposal, and the Thomas Nelson (Publishers) Guide to Writing a Winning Book Proposal.
If you are interested in selling your non-fiction book, W. Terry Whalin’s Book Proposals That Sell should have a place on your bookshelf. Better yet, don’t put it on your bookshelf, but keep it next to your computer where you can reference it frequently as you work on your next book proposal.