But before you go polishing your proposal and lugging a dozen copies of it off to a writers conference, may I make a suggestion?
Take a pitch sheet instead.
A pitch sheet is a brief, one page summary of your book idea. And, it's the best thing to take with you when you schedule an appointment with an editor or agent at a writers conference.
Better than a proposal?
And here's why:
1. A pitch sheet helps you hone in on what your book is about--what is your passion. You are distilling your main ideas down onto one piece of paper and this helps you focus on what is most important.
2. A pitch sheet helps you polish your elevator speech. What's that? An elevator speech is a verbal pitch of your book idea that can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride--about 30 seconds. Often while you're perfecting your written pitch you discover a great verbal pitch.
3. A pitch sheet helps you use your time better during editor/agent appointments.
- Most editors won't take your book proposal. They don't have the extra luggage space to lug home lots of different proposals. If they want your proposal, they will ask you to send it to them. So why take all the time, effort and money preparing something that you end up hauling back home with you? Most editors will take one piece of paper from you.
- A pitch sheet is a quick read, so you aren't left looking at the top of an editor's head while they read through the multiple pages of your book proposal.
- And since a pitch sheet is a quick read, you can begin to develop a relationship with an editor or an agent. You can talk to them about your book. You can make eye-to-eye contact and interact with them.
Next time I post, I'll go into detail about what you put on you pitch sheet. Until then, here's a basic list:
1. Working title
2.Synopsis of your book
3. Author bio
4. Format of your book
5. Marketing information
6. What is new or different about your book OR what need does your book address?