About that book I’m [not?] writing…

January 12, 2012


I am tickled pink and ridiculously excited about the prospect of writing my non-fiction book!

Already some of you have written to me with kind encouragement and advice, and for that I am so thankful.

At this point, what’s required is that I write the “proposal”.  As it turns out, when you’re shopping a non-fiction book to agents, writing the full thing isn’t actually required.  Which sounds like a good thing, and it is.

The tricky part is that part of the “proposal” must include a bit about why one is essentially the best person on earth to write this book.

And boy, that’s a doozy!  Realistically, *am* I the best person?  To some extent, I am because I had the idea, and no-one else appears to have it before.  At the same time, I have no obvious “qualifications” that would recommend me as an expert in this field.

Now, as I’m not proposing to write a scholarly work, or a biography, or anything at all serious, I’m hoping that the need for me to be an “expert” is less important.  I guess we’ll see.

One of the things a prospective agent will be looking at is this blog, assuming I give a link to it on my proposal (and unless I’m given advice not to, I don’t see why I wouldn’t).  The agent will be checking out my “platform,” that is, my ability to market myself.  If I write a book, will all my blog readers (I have no idea how many of you there are and that’s a bit of a problem…) go buy it because they love me?  Are my posts compelling, witty, inspiring?  What kind of comments do I get?

This is daunting.  I am a small new voice in the blogosphere.  I’d like to think that most of you would run out to your local bookstore (or to Amazon in a pinch) STAT and buy my book.  But realistically, not all of you will be interested.  And as I’m pretty sure there aren’t thousands of you reading, a small portion of my readers (as meaningful as you are to me) probably aren’t amazingly attractive to prospective publishers.

So in my excitement, I am tempering with realism.  I will be writing my proposal.  I will be shopping it to agents.  If need be, I may even shop it directly to select publishers that seem appropriate, and which accept direct submissions.  But I am prepared to wait a long time, and perhaps never sell this book.  But if I don’t try, I won’t forgive myself.  The idea is too good, even if it’s not serious, academic, or in any way life-changing (boy, I’m making it sound great, aren’t I???).

I could use your help, readers.  What I’d love the most is someone(s) to run my proposal by before I start shopping it to agents.  If any of you have written non-fic proposals, or have received/read non-fic proposals, I would really love to hear from you.  If you don’t have personal experience but know someone who does, please send them my way.  I’ve read some samples online so I have a great idea of where to start, but everyone needs an editor!

I’ll also happily take any advice any of you would like to toss my way, about proposals or otherwise.

Another of my quandaries?  One of the ways to build my “platform” is to start blogging about the subject covered by my book, and presumably start “influencing” readers on the subject in question.  The only problem with that is that I am (probably unreasonably) terrified that someone will figure out the topic of my book, and go get it published before I can. 😉  Right now the greater part of any advantage I have is that there is no other book on the market (that I have yet found, though I am still searching) that fits this niche.  I need to come up with some creative ways to start brainwashing you all to buy my book without spilling the beans.

Thanks to you all in advance for your support.  God I sound like I’m running for office.  VENUS IN 2012!!!  Come on, you know you’d vote for me…


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8 Comments on “About that book I’m [not?] writing…”

  1. blogginglily Says:

    You’re cute. I’d say run it past me, but I’m irritatingly pessimistic about things, and don’t want to be a killjoy. Plus if I really like it, it’s extremely likely I’d steal for my own because I have no heart.


    • Venus Says:

      Wait… that part about me being cute… does that mean all I have to do is send a picture of me simpering to the agent to get my book sold???


  2. Sweaty Says:

    I’d say go for your dreams! That’s not to say you won’t get rejected, or it might take a long time before you get it published, but I really believe that if you don’t give up, and take each step (rejection and all) as a learning process to write better, then you can only move forward!


  3. Rachel Cotterill Says:

    Sounds like you need to find some creative ways to link to topics that are sort-of related to your book, without actually including the content of the book in your blog. Which should be a fun exercise of your creativity 😉

    I’ve written a couple of novels but haven’t done a non-fiction book yet, just odd articles. Which still require a proposal, but maybe less of a hard sell!

    (Visiting from SITS)


    • Venus Says:

      Hi Rachel (and sorry it’s taken so long to respond to your comment)! Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the encouragement! it’s quite exciting, and definitely a new way to be creative with posting. 🙂


  4. Ginger Says:

    I actually work in book publishing, and would be happy to take a look at a proposal when you’ve got it ready to go. (I won’t get your hopes up, I don’t work at a publisher anymore who does traditional non-fiction books so I can’t get you any further than my opinion, but I’m happy to give you that!).


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