Five Weeks, 7-9:30 p.m Berkeley
$185 members/$215 non-members (this class is not currently scheduled)
Have you started working on a nonfiction book or memoir (or already completed one?). Have you written your book proposal yet? If not, you’re going to need one. Typically, a proposal is written before the book, but if you’ve already written the book, you’ll still need one. The proposal is the document you send to literary agents and/or editors. It’s essentially a sales pitch, making a case for why the book needs to be written, why now, and why you’re the best person for the job.
Book proposal can go up to 60 pages double-spaced, so writing one requires real commitment. Sadly, about 95 percent of all submitted proposals aren’t read past the first page, because most writers don’t bother to find out what agents and editors want to see. But take heart! You can be one of the 5 percent whose proposal gets read. All you have to do is learn how to craft an irresistable proposal.
Dianne Jacob will explain how the publishing marketplace works, because marketing is part of a book proposal. You’ll learn what it takes to create a marketing “platform” in order to promote your book. You’ll find out exactly what to include in your proposal — and why, as well as how to send your proposal out, and how to immediately grab an agent or editor’s attention. Each week Dianne will cover a different part of the proposal, and each week you will write a first draft for the part that has just been discussed.
“Many writers find it more daunting to write the proposal than the book,” says Dianne, “but the proposal helps focus the book, because you have to think the whole thing through, from introduction to index, and make an argument for why it needs to be written. By the time you’re done, you know exactly what kind of book you’re going to write and why. You’ll also know why you’re the best and most qualified person to write it, and that will increase your confidence.
NOTE: Ted Weinstein of Ted Weinstein Literary Management (http://www.twliterary.com/) will be a guest speaker at this class, and if you choose to, you’ll have a chance to pitch him your book idea.
Dianne Jacob is an editor and writer who shepherds authors on book proposals. She also receives referrals from agents whose clients’ proposals needs help. Her proposal for her own book, Will Write For Food, attracted interest from four New York publishing houses and offers from three. Her second book, Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas, which came out last May, attracted interest from three publishers. An editor and writer for 30 years, Dianne has been published in Salon.com and many magazines and newspapers, including Writer’s Digest and The San Francisco Chronicle.