Fiction Proposals

Conventional wisdom says a fiction book proposal consists of a cover letter, a 1-2 page synopsis and three sample chapters. But hold on, cowboys and girls: The times are changing–and fast. Over at Barbara Scott’s fantastic The Roving Editor blog, she’s been outlining the elements of fiction proposals she’d prefer to see. The most surprising thing about the New Fiction Book Proposal is that most of the info is contained on one spreadsheet-like page, called a Tip Sheet. This tip sheet contains not only the summary of your story, but also your writing platform, the genre, your targeted audience and your bio and photo. In a sales committee meeting the editor then has at hand all the info on a potential book.
Writing Tip for Today: Shorter is better when it comes to these proposals. We’ve discussed before the creation of 25 word, 100 word and page-length versions of your novel’s story. These instruments give you maximum versatility. Use the 25 word as a pitch or as back cover copy. The 100 word version can be a short synopsis or be adapted to your query letter. When and where to use the different versions will depend on whether you need the full story or a tease.
Try This! How is your novel’s 100-word synopsis different from the back cover copy?

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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