Writing Books/book idea


I have a nonfiction book idea that I think would go over well. Where do I go from here?  

You'll need to do enough research to create a table of contents and write three sample chapters.  
Then, you need to write a book jacket blurb.  This is one paragraph with active verbs and specific nouns that pitches your idea.  Read a bunch of book jacket blurbs in your genre to get the idea.
Then, you can write a query letter.  The book jacket blurb becomes the main paragraph of the query letter.  
First paragraph query letter:  I propose a self-help (type of book) book of ##,000 words titled:
Second paragraph query letter:  Book jacket blurb
Third paragraph query letter:  State why you should be the one to write the book.  List only the credentials that pertain to the topic of the book.
Last paragraph:  I have a proposal ready to send you.

Then pick agents/publishers that handle your type of book.  Send out the query letter to them.  Make sure you do have the book proposal done so you can mail it out as soon as you get a request for it.

The book proposal consists of:
1.  Overview.  This is a sales pitch for your topic, the place to discuss the structure of the book, include your specific credentials to write this book.  Throw in lots of statistics if you can find them.  
2.  Competition.  What other books are out there on the same topic and why is yours different from them?  
3.  Target markets.  Who do you see buying the book?  Get some statistics on them as well.
4.  Annotated Table of Contents.  One paragraph per chapter that shows what the chapter covers.

Obviously this is a question that could take a week to answer.  If you want more details, just pick one of the topics above and we'll concentrate on that next time.

Hope I was helpful!

Liz Aleshire, author
House of Collectibles Guide to Antique Quilts

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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