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Hi, I want to write a book on the processes of pottery and ceramics for the studio potter. I am a professional studio potter and am employed 2 days a week at our local college in the ceramics department. I have 4 volumes of my test's and ideas and results, how do I get these into a book a publisher would look at

Dear Sam:

Well, the answer is easy but the process isn't!  All you have to do is write a nonfiction book proposal which includes:

1.  An overview of the book
2.  Competition:  An analysis of what other books are already on the market that are similar to yours.  You, of course, include in this analysis why your book is superior to the others.
3.  Market Analysis:  This is a review with all the statistics you can find on the number of people who might buy your book and how to reach them.
4.  A Table of Contents.  Go ahead and put in chapter titles that describe the content of the chapter.  You don't have to use them later but it gives the editor/agent reading the proposal and one page look at the entire book.
5.  An annotated Table of Contents.  These are chapter by chapter summaries describing in 100 words or less what's in that chapter.
6.  Your Platform.  An explanation of you are the person to write this book, your membership in associations that cover the topic of the book and if you have an e-mail or blog.
7.  Sample chapters.  Preferably the first three.
8.  A Query letter that you send before the proposal to pique the interest of the publisher/agent you want to buy your book.

Simple really, right?  Run like crazy to your local book store or go on line and buy any of the How To Write a Book Proposal books.  They're all good.

Good luck!

Liz Aleshire

Writing Books

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Liz Aleshire


What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?


I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

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