We were recently asked about what specifically should be included in the author bio section of your proposal.
Everybody hates talking about platform. We get it. We do to. But the reality of publishing today is you have to be building one. For reasons we'll tackle in a later post, the ability of a publisher to "make" a bestseller has diminished greatly. The unfortunate reality is that most books are sold to the author's audience. The platform section is where you describe how you intend to reach an audience with your message.
When putting together a nonfiction proposal, it’s important to have sample writing, but not your entire manuscript--unless specifically requested [see here for the reason]. So how many chapters should you include?
When putting together your proposal, please put as much care into it as if it were going to be published itself. There are some things that immediately stand out to agents and publishers alike that may make them think twice about continuing to read (as there is no lack of proposal submissions). Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you craft your perfect proposal.
You’ve been working on your killer idea. You’ve put time into developing your chapters, your narrative arc, your proposal. By chance you run into a publisher who asks, “So what’s your book about?” You have 30 seconds to tell her. You’ve been waiting for this moment! You can do this! But your mind goes blank …