Gavin D. J. Harper
<ul><li>The book proposal sets out your stall for what you are going to do with your book. </li></ul><ul><li>The more info...
<ul><li>Name(s) [If a co-authored work] </li></ul><ul><li>Address, telephone number email & fax </li></ul><ul><li>Current ...
<ul><li>What will the book be about? </li></ul><ul><li>What material does it cover? </li></ul><ul><li>What will its main a...
<ul><li>Provisional title </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional table of contents </li></ul><ul><li>Short descriptions of the cont...
<ul><li>For whom is the book intended? </li></ul><ul><li>Why will they buy this book?  </li></ul><ul><li>What level is it ...
<ul><li>Is there a sample chapter? </li></ul><ul><li>Has any of the work been published before? </li></ul><ul><li>What pro...
<ul><li>What sort of book?  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extending theoretical understanding? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul...
<ul><li>Is there a sample chapter? </li></ul><ul><li>Has any of the work been published before? </li></ul><ul><li>What pro...
<ul><li>Is there a sample chapter? </li></ul><ul><li>Has any of the work been published before? </li></ul><ul><li>What pro...
<ul><li>Geographic Appeal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What international market are you writing for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...
<ul><li>What is the ‘need’ for your book? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gap in the marketplace? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gap in ...
<ul><li>Know thy enemy! </li></ul><ul><li>Use Amazon.com by typing in relevant search terms to find competing books. </li>...
<ul><li>Make a case for why your work will work best in the format of a book, as opposed to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A journ...
<ul><li>Give your editor some idea about how your text is going to translate into a finished book in production. </li></ul...
<ul><li>Will your book contain the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreword </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preface </li></ul>...
<ul><li>Illustrations / Graphs / Diagrams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the number of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pho...
<ul><li>Consider any special specifications regarding: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Size of the book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T...
<ul><li>Provide a schedule that you can stick to. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about time needed to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prep...
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Writing Book Proposals

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In this presentation, author Gavin D. J. Harper shares some advice on writing effective book proposals.

Published in: Education, Business

Writing Book Proposals

  1. 1. Gavin D. J. Harper
  2. 2. <ul><li>The book proposal sets out your stall for what you are going to do with your book. </li></ul><ul><li>The more information the better, however bear in mind that you are preparing a ‘proposal’ not a finished manuscript. </li></ul><ul><li>The following follows the headings and structure of some typical book proposals. Run through this list and ensure you have mentioned everything on it! </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Name(s) [If a co-authored work] </li></ul><ul><li>Address, telephone number email & fax </li></ul><ul><li>Current position </li></ul><ul><li>CV, Qualifications, Relevant Professional Affilliations </li></ul><ul><li>Possible referees </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting material (list of previous publications, sample chapters, lecture notes, journal articles) </li></ul><ul><li>Who will be the copyright holder? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>What will the book be about? </li></ul><ul><li>What material does it cover? </li></ul><ul><li>What will its main argument be? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this book necessary? </li></ul><ul><li>How is the book original? </li></ul><ul><li>Unique Selling Points </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Provisional title </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional table of contents </li></ul><ul><li>Short descriptions of the contents of chapters </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional word length </li></ul><ul><li>Figures, tables and illustrations </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional manuscript submission date </li></ul><ul><li>Details of any deadlines we should be aware of, e.g. an impending conference, meeting or book launch </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>For whom is the book intended? </li></ul><ul><li>Why will they buy this book? </li></ul><ul><li>What level is it aimed at (undergraduates/postgraduates/academics & researchers/activists & policy-makers, general readers)? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the book be a main text, supplementary reading, a research monograph or aimed at the general book trade (please choose one)? </li></ul><ul><li>What existing books compete with this one? </li></ul><ul><li>How will this book differ from the competition? </li></ul><ul><li>How you can help promote and market the book? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Is there a sample chapter? </li></ul><ul><li>Has any of the work been published before? </li></ul><ul><li>What professional / academic categories doe the book best fit in? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>What sort of book? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extending theoretical understanding? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policy Analysis? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practical How-To? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Polemic? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Guide? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Synthesis? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monograph? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Edited Collection? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reference Work? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Report? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Handbook? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Field Guide? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Is there a sample chapter? </li></ul><ul><li>Has any of the work been published before? </li></ul><ul><li>What professional / academic categories doe the book best fit in? </li></ul><ul><li>What sort of book? – Extending theoretical understanding? Policy Analysis? Practical How-To? Polemic? Professional Guide? Synthesis? </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Is there a sample chapter? </li></ul><ul><li>Has any of the work been published before? </li></ul><ul><li>What professional / academic categories doe the book best fit in? </li></ul><ul><li>What sort of book? – Extending theoretical understanding? Policy Analysis? Practical How-To? Polemic? Professional Guide? Synthesis? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Geographic Appeal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What international market are you writing for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check that the publisher sells into this market? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider ‘optimising your book’ for different markets, for example, by using U.S. spelling for a North American book, or by putting amounts in Euros for a pan-European book. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider weights / measures / currency / mains voltages… the sort of things that will limit your books appeal to a narrow geographical area, and consider what you can do to get around this. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>What is the ‘need’ for your book? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gap in the marketplace? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gap in the literature? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books on the subject out of date? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HOW DOES YOUR BOOK ADDRESS THIS NEED? </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Know thy enemy! </li></ul><ul><li>Use Amazon.com by typing in relevant search terms to find competing books. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure your puiblisher knows that you have a good command of the literature and a good understanding of the titles your book will be competing with. </li></ul><ul><li>Make a list of Author, Title, ISBN number & Price </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Make a case for why your work will work best in the format of a book, as opposed to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A journal article </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magazine Article </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Delivery </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Give your editor some idea about how your text is going to translate into a finished book in production. </li></ul><ul><li>Think carefully about… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word Count </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page Count </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Size of Book </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Will your book contain the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreword </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Footnotes / Endnotes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bibliography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glossary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annex(es) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading List </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Describe this material! </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Illustrations / Graphs / Diagrams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the number of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Photographs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Line Drawings / Figures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maps / Floor Plans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tables </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Graphs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flow Charts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formulae </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider the need for colour </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Consider any special specifications regarding: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Size of the book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type of binding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inclusion of a CD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colour / Black & White </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Provide a schedule that you can stick to. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about time needed to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check thoroughly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check thoroughly again </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upload Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deal with unexpected circumstances that may arise </li></ul></ul>

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