Proposal = “YES!”

Why are proposals so hard??? Wish I could just send an agent a Mountain Dew box filled with fireworks and my WHOLE book…

BTW: That’s how my hubby proposed to me. Christmas day…his WHOLE family immediate & extended…annual white elephant gift exchange…beautiful ring in a box inside a Mountain Dew box filled with newspaper and fireworks (which we shot off that night)!

As you probably guessed, I’m working on a book proposal for my YA, urban fantasy BOUND. I’m trying to remember that this is good for me, that I CAN do this. It’s just a struggle trying to sum up your book five thousand times in fewer and fewer words…

For those of you who don’t know, a book proposal is what sells your book–an abbreviated and specialized business plan for your book.There are SO many components that go into a book proposal: Premise, tagline, audience, market, competitive books already on the market, author bio, marketing strategies, outline of your book, chapter-by-chapter outline, and sample chapters of your book.

Awhile ago, I had the privilege of proofing this book by Dave Fessenden:

Note to Authors: Even if you’re not writing a Christian book (which I’m not), this book is an invaluable resource.

I opened my official copy today. Inside was the blurb I wrote for this book:

Stop! Before you even write one word, read this book! Author Dave Fesseden makes the case that the proposal should come first, and that writing it can actually be enjoyable. Dave’s invaluable wisdom saves countless hours of Googling “How to write a killer book proposal.” It gives writers the how-to and examples they need to catch the editor’s eye and nail down the ever-elusive publishing deal. -Janelle Leonard, novelist, and blogger at The Writing Life: Behind the Scenes with an Author of YA Fantasy

Guess I should take my own advice… So, off I go…setting up my proposal using the format from this wonderful book. Bring on the coffee!!

*Writers, anyone have tips or things they’ve done for writing a killer book proposal?

Brain-Tweaking

This post is about brain-tweaking. Don’t worry, it’s NOTHING like twerking…PROMISE! Brain-tweaking involves, for me, having a conversation with myself that changes my perspective/way of thinking. (usually in a little, insignificant-to-the-world way). 

I’ve been querying like a crazy writer. And with great (amounts) querying comes rejections.

Last month, in my “distracted-from-writing” time, I made a spreadsheet so I could keep track of which agent/agency I’ve sent to. Of course, there had to be a column for the response. Originally I had in the column a lot of NO’s. But that word is so final…and kinda depressing in regards to querying. So, this is where the brain-tweaking comes in! Instead of typing NO each time, I now write PASS. Image

This changed my perspective, giving me a happier outlook with each “rejection”. When an agent passes, I have to remember that it’s not about me, or my novel, it’s just that BOUND (my witty, YA, urban fantasy) is not right for that particular agent at that particular time. By passing, the agent is actually granting me a kindness, saying “I’m not right for this.” This keeps me open for someone better that will be perfect for me and my writing. EXCITEMENT! 

So . . . besides querying, I’ve been playing a lot of card games. And in games, if you don’t have a card or you don’t have a good enough hand to bid, you say “pass.” This doesn’t mean that you’re a loser, or that you can’t play the game. It just means that this round you don’t have a card or hand to win big. But as you keep playing, keep improving at the game, eventually you will have a card to play, or a hand that will win the jackpot. And hopefully, if you play your cards right, the score will be higher than it would have been if you had bid or played that random card when you shouldn’t have. 

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As much as I hate getting rejections, these PASSES are just weeding out the “cards/hands” that won’t win big for me. So, I’m going to keep playing, and some day (prayerfully soon) I will get a hand that gets me an agent and then a publishing contract! 

 

*What brain-tweaking things have you done?