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Book Proposals That Sell

4.7 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1932124644
ISBN-10: 1932124640
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. A former literary agent, Terry has published in over 50 magazines and written more than 60 books through traditional publishers. Several of Terry s books have sold over 100,000 copies. He is the creator of www.Right-Writing.com and www.TheWritingLife.ws. A popular speaker at conferences, Terry and his wife, Christine, live in Irvine, California.

Donna Clark Goodrich is the author of nineteen books and over 700 short stories and articles published to date. She now teaches at Christian writers conferences across the United States. Donna and her husband, Gary, have three children and two granddaughters. Donna began the annual Arizona Christian Writers Seminar in 1981, which she led for seven years.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Write Now Publications (April 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932124640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932124644
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Heather Ivester on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
You've got an idea that you're bursting to put into words. You think you may even have a book in you. You talk about it with your friends and family, and they tell you it sounds amazing. Now what?

Weeks pass. Months go by. Maybe even years. That idea just won't go away! So, finally you sit down at your computer and begin typing it out. You become engrossed in your topic -- swamped in research, personal anecdotes, and fresh twists on age-old issues. You're convinced every publisher will be clamoring for your book.

Unfortunately, if you send your masterpiece out without a bodyguard (an agent), it may end up in a tottering pile of manuscripts in the corner of an editor's office. Or worse -- it may not even make it to his desk because a first reader deemed it inappropriate for the publishing house.

Never fear. That's where Terry Whalin's book will save you the months and years of heartache as you turn your passion into print. He explains, "Many writers focus only on the creative aspects of writing a book and getting it published, but the executives inside a publishing house are business people who want to sell books and turn a profit at the end of the day. It's a delicate balance between creating the best possible product and assuring that each product has the best opportunity to sell into the market and reach the target audience."

BOOK PROPOSALS THAT SELL is your road map for bypassing the long, winding route that gets you nowhere and shows you the shortcuts for learning what publishers are really looking for. The author explains that more than 80% of nonfiction books are first sold as proposals. How can you capture an editor's interest? Where should you start?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written in 2005. The publishing world has changed a LOT in that time, and it's very dated, as well as basic (as other reviewers have mentioned). I'm recycled it instead of sending it to Goodwill because I don't want anyone else to waste their time on it. Consider The First Five Pages: A Writer'S Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman instead...
http://www.amazon.com/First-Five-Pages-WriterS-Rejection-ebook/dp/B003XMWSSY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394900021&sr=1-1&keywords=The+First+Five+Pages%3A+A+Writer%27S+Guide+To+Staying+Out+of+the+Rejection+P
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I'm a published book reviewer, freelance critiquer and editor. Because I read proposals and manuscripts for various houses, authors and agents, I have seen my share of proposals that aren't quite "there." I wish I could send this book to every wannabe author out there who isn't quite sure what they did wrong, or what they could do right to get through people like me.

With examples, anecdotes and real experience this book hands the keys to open doors for those who wonder what the mystery is all about. The appendices are worth the price of the book.
1 Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Before you even think about writing a book, you need to read Terry's book. Finally, in helpful detail, we have an insider explaining what goes on in those mysterious caverns called publishing offices. Terry teaches you how to write a book that will pass the scrutiny of those guarding the publishing house gates and eventually reach the golden status of "published." He introduces his book with some insight into non-fiction trends in publishing, then launches into the twenty-one "secrets" that comprise a winning book proposal. From sharpening a book's topic and identifying an audience, to defining marketing plans and putting together a winning proposal package, he gives helpful, inspiring advice. His thorough treatment offers a comprehensive education in the business side of book writing that you'd never get from a conference or course. It's a paperback mentor you can't pass by.
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Format: Paperback
Not a good resource AT ALL. I didn't learn anything from this book that I didn't already know from a few hours of researching on the internet. I bought this after seeing so many positive reviews and was incredibly disappointed. It is heavily biased towards Christian literature and all the examples given are about religious books. The "Sample Book Proposal that Sold for a 6 Figure Advance" is laughable as something you can use as an example to follow; it is for a book about a new Christian movement called Promise Keepers and it is written by a bishop. The movement is new so there are no competing books and it is by a bishop so of course Christian people are going to buy it! Unfortunately this type of situation isn't going to apply to the other 99.99% of people writing book proposals. This book also says that it comes with a CD to help you develop a marketing strategy for your book. However, I never got the CD and Amazon.com says that in fact there is no CD with this book. Great... It probably sucked anyway. And a lot of these 21 "secrets" are just inane. "Know the topic of your book". That is secret #1. Are you kidding me?! "Never Trust the Spellchecker" is secret #12. "Proposal Writing Takes lots of Work" is secret #18. Give me break. I paid for this?! My favorite secret is #10, "Get high profile endorsements". Yeah right. How am I supposed to do that? Maybe I could if I was a bishop..

Save your money. This thing is a piece of garbage.
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