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4.4 out of 5 stars
How to Write a Book Proposal
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2011
Being an unpublished writer, I was looking forward to reviewing the 4th edition of How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen. This book is easy to read, filled with relevant examples. This Writer's Digest classic outlines in a clear step-by-step manner how to create an effective nonfiction book proposal. This edition of the book features information about recent changes in the publishing industry, updated trend information, new sample proposals, a completely updated resources section, and a new chapter on online promotion. This book is a comprehensive how-to guide filled with lists, bullet points, dos and don'ts, hot tips, and sample proposals that will help writers create a winning proposal. The information in this book is well organized and presented in a way that the layperson can easily understand and apply. Larsen covers subjects such as Your Subject Hook, Your Title, Your Promotion Plan, Your Bio, and Your Competition. He also provides tips on marketing and research, as well as sample proposals and information on what editors and agents want. If you're a writer looking to get published and perhaps gain some insight into the publishing industry, this is well worth the read.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review program for bloggers. I was not asked to write a positive review, but simply, an honest one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
I've read my share of book proposals and books about writing book proposals. A good number of them are intimidating, difficult to understand and cause a new and unpublished author of nonfiction to rethink their approach to this "book thing." That isn't the case with the 4th edition of How to Write a Book Proposal by literary agent Michael Larsen.

Larsen's book is definitely the one you'll want to add to your personal library and refer back to when you're writing a book proposal. The 100,000 copies sold and its 25 years in print is probably a hint to its popularity and success, and it doesn't hurt that it's written as a precise and clear step-by-step roadmap to the ideal book proposal.

The book highlights information about changes in the publishing industry and includes updated trends, sample proposals and resources as well as a new chapter on online promotion. That's just like a Writer's Digest classic to make sure its new edition stays on top of what's current.

Not only is this book informative, but it's also interesting. It definitely challenged me to pay attention to the vast amount of details that are necessary to complete a successful proposal. If you're serious about seeing your nonfiction book bought by a reputable publisher then you should get serious about your book proposal. How to Write a Book Proposal is the book for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2013
Having read the third edition hardcopy from my library and then having gone through the Kindle (4th) edition, I have to say that there are many things I preferred about the 3rd edition. Certainly if you have access to only the 3rd edition, you should not feel disadvantaged.
In particular, the table of contents in the 3rd edition provides an excellent, simple checklist for writing a book proposal.
Overall, the writing style is engaging and Larsen argues his points well. I was convinced again and again to take his advice.
I DEFINITELY recommend this book to anyone yearning to get published as an author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2012
If you're like me you love to write. But when it comes to writing something to promote me, I'm stuck. I've written resumes, biographies and the like for other people and they are amazed at themselves after I get done describing them and their talents, but "tooting my own horn" is very difficult for me. This book showed me how to tell the world that I can write and my writing is worth reading. I couldn't have wiggled my way through this part of the process without this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2012
How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen is fun to read. Most How-To books bog me down with details laden upon details. Mr. Larsen gives you all you need to know to start confidently looking for a publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disclaimer: 'I received this book for free from the publisher for this review.

I have 2 books which I am in the process of writing, and they may be finished within 20 years. As if writing the book wasn't hard enough, I received the Kindle version of How to Write a Book Proposal, 4th Edition by Michael Larsen. Mr.Larsen is a veteran in the publishing industry and gives tried and true practical advice on how to write what may be more difficult than the book itself-the book proposal.

The book is written in small, bite-size chapters and was humorous throughout. It's a good thing too, because I was crying as I was realizing that I'll never get my book published now.

Michael Larsen makes a treacherous task seem practically easy. He makes aspiring writers do one of two things: get inspired or throw away the manuscript. I believe I fit into the latter.

By helping the author, whether a veteran or a newbie, get maximum profits, he explains how he must capture the editor's interest from the very first sentence. Since Mr. Larsen writes from an editor's perspective, and gets thousands of manuscripts a week, many are probably fantastic, but they never get read because his interest wasn't peaked.

He explains how a ho-hum manuscript can be made to sizzle by the proposal! He argues that by giving more attention to the book proposal than the actual book, can make your book outshine other books that may even be superior.

"Sell the sizzle, not the steak"

And he tells you how. Step by Step. He also explains how to test market your book to see if it's even sellable.

He also let's you in on industry tricks and secrets.

I was excited to get this book, and the author exceeded my expectations. So even though I would recommend this book to everyone writing a book, and even those individuals who I feel SHOULD write a book but aren't, and especially to those who shouldn't write a book, I feel like I have more work on my table now. So thanks a lot Mr. Larsen for deflating my balloon, but making the deflation enjoyable.

4.75 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2012
I am writing my first book proposal. I could not have asked for a better guide. Michael's directions are clear and specific; easy to read and follow. "Hats off to you!!, Michael". You have turned a formidable task into a pleasant, engaging experience for me. You have my sincere gratitude.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
I find Larsen's book eminently practical. I am using his suggestions as a model for creating my nonfiction proposal. Lots of great advice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larson is an excellent find when it comes to getting a book published. If you think you have what it takes to compete in this field, this is the book you need to help put you on the path to possibly make your dreams come true!

How to Write a Book Proposal is an in-depth guide to writing a book proposal. I never knew how much time and effort the proposal took. I figured the hard part would be the actual writing of the book. Now, I see that you may not even have to write the book before the proposal! Though, I think that the writing of the book would probably be the first thing I'd personally do.

I have yet to finish the book I'm working on. Though, this guide does give me some inspiration to finish it and actually start on my own proposal.

This guide does not claim to be some kind of miracle to ensure that your proposal will be accepted (don't we wish?). It does significantly help your chances as opposed to just writing something brief about your book and hoping it will spark interest in a publisher.

I highly recommend this book to everyone that wants to have any type of a book published. It is really a must-read for anyone wishing to pursue a career as a writer.

** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2013
When I was aspiring to be a writer, I used this book to craft a proposal. Needless to say 8 books later and translated into 7 languages, this book works. I followed it to the letter of the recommendations. Thank you Michael.
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