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My Best Advice for Writing a Successful Book Proposal

Last week, I appeared on the Journey Sixty6 Podcast with Melissa Parks and Dave Goetz to discuss my best advice for writing a successful book proposal. Melissa and Dave asked THE BEST and MOST THOROUGH questions about the subject and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you. Listen here for my advice on book proposal writing.

Journey Sixty6 Podcast Hosts

Melissa and Dave highlighted these “Great Moments in the Episode”

6:50 – 8:16      The number one thing publishers and literary agents look for in a book proposal.

8:18 – 10:19    Lisa answers the question: What size platform do agents and publishers look for?

10:20 – 12:18  What to do when an agent likes your idea but you do not have a platform.

12:19 – 13:49 How to grow a basic platform.

13:50 – 16:01 Help for developing your book idea when it needs to be differentiated.

16:03 – 16:36 Signs your book is based on a crummy idea.

17:37 – 18:52  When you should pursue an independent publisher instead of a traditional publisher.

18:53 – 19:52  Signs your idea is suited for an article and not a book.

19:54 – 21:15 How to differentiate your book from comps.

21:16 – 22:15 How many comps and what types of comps to include in your book proposal.

22:16 – 25:54  How much of your book should be completed when you submit your proposal.

25:55 – 28:18  How much time a writer should devote to a book proposal.

28:20 – 30:23  Reasons why your literary agent might accept your book but a publisher won’t.

30:25 – 32:05  How your publishing on external digital platforms influences literary agents and publishing boards.

32:06 – 35:01  Missteps when writing a book proposal.

35:53 – 37:21 Managing expectations for first-time authors

At the beginning of the interview, they also asked about The Joy of Writing Journal, finding joy in writing and more questions about the creative process and my favorite prompts and responses. Listen here.

And here is my top article on how to write a book proposal, along with links that highlight specific advice for each section of a proposal.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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