Friday, September 22, 2017

Planning Your Novel - Part 10 The Fiction Proposal

by Elva Cobb Martin

Have you writen a fiction proposal? It's good to start work on this before you finish your final novel draft. The first place you need to check is the submission guidelines for whatever publisher you're thinking of sending your proposal to. Publishers and agents usually have a proposal form or template on their sites and guidelines to follow. 

I recently sent a proposal out for the new historical series I've showcased in this series of blogs. In my email cover letter I notated the different sections in my attached proposal which included the first three chapters of Book 1, Spanish Rose, all in a single attachment. Here is the list I gave in my email cover letter so the editors could skip to whatever sections they were more interested in.

My Proposal sections include:

1) Working Title and author basic information for Spanish Rose
2) Premise
3) Pitch
4) Back Cover Tag
5) Back Cover Copy
6) Author Bio & Photo
          (all the above is on page 1 for quick perusal)
7) SYNOPSIS (at least one page single-spaced)
8) Web and Social Media Presence (numbers)
9) Marketing Strategies
10) Potential Readers for Spanish Rose/Inspirational Romance             (Primary and Secondary audiences)
11) Market Comparative Analysis
12) Hero/Heroine Character Descriptions and Motivations for                Spanish Rose
13) Projected Book 2 blurb, 1760 Charles Town and the Barbary             Coast
14) Projected Book 3 blurb, 1780 Charleston
15) Spanish Rose, first three chapters

It might not be necessary to include this list in a cover letter, but I decided I would this time. I've always liked numbered lists. This way the editor can quickly check what she might want to look at first.

One point to remember about the synopsis. Unlike back cover copy, this should show the major turning points of the story, the climax, and how the story will end. We never want to leave the editor or agent in suspense about how the story ends. But we will want to do this in the back cover copy to hook readers.

Thanks for stopping by. Do you have a suggestion for a better proposal? What helped you do a successful proposal? Do leave a comment and share this on your social media by clicking the below small boxes.

Elva Cobb Martin