The Proposal Process, Part 2

The first hurdle in the proposal process is what most potential authors expect it to be: content. Is your subject interesting and timely? Does it have a hook that is natural and not forced? Are you the right author for the book you are proposing? If you are an established author, can you commit to a timeframe? If you are new or less well-known, can you submit more than just an outline? Are you open to and cooperative with the editorial process? Some authors have a great concept, but aren’t able to execute it well. Others write with great clarity and style, but what they have to say doesn’t particularly stand out. Most authors don’t fully consider their readers’ needs.

Defining your audience clearly—and writing for that audience—is key. Of course, if your audience is bird-watchers-who-are-interested-in-a-how-to-book-about-climbing-glaciers-in-order-to-find-the-nesting-grounds-of-the-arctic-tern, it is unlikely that we will move forward. However, “this book is for all people, ages 9–99, who have seen at least one bird in their lives” isn’t going to form the foundation of a successful proposal either. Ask yourself what your reader is looking for. What are his/her fears, hopes, desires? Where is he or she in terms of faith commitment or knowledge of the faith? What lasting or life-changing takeaway will the person who reads your book receive?

It is extremely rare for a proposal to move through the acquisitions process without some changes being made along the way. These are generally given as suggestions by your acquisitions editor, and are intended to make your proposal the strongest it can be from a content perspective. Working together to frame your proposal is the beginning of what will—hopefully!—grow into a long-term working relationship. Remember, every book on the shelf is the product of collaboration. People who hold jobs you never knew existed are involved. The author is only where a new book begins. —Jaymie

So, you’re doing a book signing.

481300_352251878180669_58947230_nBook signings are a fantastic way to get the word out about your book, and generate sales. It’s not difficult to set up, but it does take some planning. So here are some easy steps to make the most of your next signing!

What’s in store.

Bookstores love author signings! Plus, they’re great for you because the store does a lot of the work. Contact Catholic or Christian bookstores in your area that are carrying the book, and offer to do a book signing at their store. You could sweeten the deal for the store by offering to do a short talk or read excerpts from your book. Continue reading

Setting up your Amazon author page in three easy steps.

Deutsch: Logo von Amazon.com

Deutsch: Logo von Amazon.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You already know that setting up your Amazon author page is a great way to help readers find you and learn about your books. The information they find on the author page will help motivate more sales, and help build your platform.

But how do you do it? Here’s the easy 1 – 2- 3!

  1. Join up! Go to Author Central and click “Join Now.” If you already have a personal Amazon account you can sign in just like you’re signing into Amazon to shop. If you don’t have an existing Amazon account select “No, I am a new customer” and follow the prompts.
  2. Find your books. Enter the name your books are written under and a list of your books for sale on Amazon will pop up (if not you can search by ISBN or title). Continue reading