Why You Write a Proposal if You are Self-Publishing


How to Write a Killer Book Proposal


Lesson Info

Why You Write a Proposal if You are Self-Publishing

I wanna talk very briefly about why, if you are interested in self publishing, you should still consider writing a book proposal. It may sound like why would I wanna do all of this massive amount of work if I'm just gonna publish it myself? I will tell you why. You've written an overview. That's a really concise, tight, impactful little piece of copy. That's your pitch to the press. It's done. You may have to tweak it a little bit, but you've already done the work to really refine it down. Your author platform is your marketing plan. You have figured out how, to whom, when, the various events you're gonna do, how it's all gonna come together. It takes a long time to do that. But you've done it already, if you've done it for your proposal. Now you can just start implementing it if you decide to self publish. Your target audience, doing that research makes sure that your reach the right readers. You may discover a population that you wouldn't have necessarily wanted to market to by doing...

that research, and then you've got a whole new subset of people that might buy your book. The process is gonna help you understand how to make your book successful. I feel like one of the biggest myths about writing a book is that all you have to write a book is write a book. That is not it. That is not the end of the journey, especially in this market. When publishers give sort of minimal support to the authors that they work with, you have to do a lot to make sure that your book is successful. Writing your proposal is a great way to really get in the weeds with that and understand what it's gonna take for this book not to just get written but get into the hands of readers. I would highly recommend writing a book proposal even if you think you may end up publishing your book yourself. And more shameless self promotion, I would love to write your proposal or your query letter for you. If you've listened all that, everything I've said today and thought to yourself, "Oh my gosh, "I don't wanna do any of that," I would love to help out. I would be happy to offer anybody a 10% discount on my services. Just reach out to me and say that you were part of Creative Live either in the studio or online. My pricing is project based, so we can talk about fees once you get in touch with me if you're interested. I'm also absolutely happy to answer any of your questions about book proposals, publishing, anything that I might have knowledge about, at any time. Please reach out to me after class is done. I would love to hear from you via email. This is my LinkedIn and this is my professional website where you can see a couple of little samples of my work, some testimonials. A lot of the work that I do is ghost writing, so I can't necessarily share samples of that, but you can see the stuff that I've written under my own name. I'm delighted to have been here today. I hope this was helpful to everybody. Please reach out to me if you have additional questions about book proposals.

Class Description

You might have an amazing book or idea to sell, but the only way you’ll be able to seal the deal is with a strong, persuasive book proposal. Much more than just an introduction to your book, a proposal gives literary agents and acquiring editors the information they need to make the tough decision to take on your work.

Writer, editor and consultant Sally McGraw will teach you the six essential elements of a solid book proposal and how you can make your case in the most creative and convincing way possible.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Persuade rather than summarize.
  • Figure out your target audience.
  • Create a market analysis and choose comparison titles strategically.
  • Write a bio or have someone else write it for you.
  • Define your author platform and explain what you’ll do to make your book a success.
  • Create a chapter-by-chapter outline.
  • Write a short, sweet and attention-grabbing query letter.


Beth Howard

Sally's presentation was excellent. She is articulate, professional and informative. I learned some great tips about adding statistics (and how/where to find them.) I especially appreciated her guest speakers, two seasoned literary agents who added helpful perspective. More classes from her, please!

Lee-Sean Huang

I am currently in the process of preparing my own book proposal. Sally's class is concise and super helpful in breaking down the elements and considerations needed to be awesome. I feel like I will be coming back to re-watch this while I prepare my proposal.