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Welcome to The Book Coach Says…

December, 2000

 Welcome to The Book Coach Says…
Writing/Publishing/Promoting Your Books
[email protected]

May your holidays be filled with warmth, friends, family, and joy!

New Subscribers receive two free e-special reports: "Fourteen Tips to Get Started Writing Your Book" and "How To Write A Power Press Release"

In This Issue

  • So You Want an Agent or Publisher?/One-Page Book Proposal
  • Book Coaching Marathon Success
  • The Coach's Corner
  • Special Offer
  • Seminars
  • Announcements
So You Want an Agent or Publisher?
Then you need The One-Page Book Proposal

What is a book proposal?

A book proposal is a document you send to your agent or publisher after the query letter. The query letter is a pitch letter which hooks the editor, agent or publisher enough that they will ask for a book proposal. Before technology agents would expect a proposal that included an overview of your book, its thesis, its book hook or "tell and sell," its audience, its competition and why yours is unique and better, its subsidiary possibilities, its promotion plan, an outline and three sample chapters. For example, my book proposal for Passion at Any Age was 60 pages and took me about six months to complete.

The One Page Book Proposal&emdash;Sound Bytes to Sell Your Book

A One-Page anything means one page front and back

Who will you give your One-Page to?

As a book coach I encourage clients to attend at least one 2-3 day writing conference, where agents, publishers and other book people congregate. At the famous Maui conference every labor day, sixty-five agents and editors attend. At these conferences, you have a chance to speak with agents in person. While they don't want a lot of paperwork they may accept your One-Page Book Proposal. It shows them you have done your research into your target market, you have read and are able to show how your book differs from and is better than your competition, and that while you may not have completed your book, you have the blueprint to do so.

Two Schools of Thought

Tip: It's a good idea to complete your One-Page book proposal before you complete your book. Most non-fiction agents, editors and publisher don't expect a completed book. In fact they want to see its format, ideas and chapter titles first. They want to know how you plan to market it. They may want you to change your focus.

Tip: Another point of view is that agents and publishers may appreciate your book even more if you self-publish first through the cheaper printing version of Print on Demand or non-print format like the eBook. When they see your finished book, they know you can do the job. They will also be interested in how many copies you sell in the first year. If the figure is over 10,000, they most probably will be interested in your book. Agents and publishers don't want long manuscripts or long proposals anymore. They don't have time to read them.

In your One-Page Include:

1. Your title and subtitle. Best titles are original and engage the readers' emotions.

2. Your book hook&emdash;"Thirty-Second Tell and Sell" (benefits/audience/sound bites)

3. Your back cover copy&emdash;headline, bulleted benefits, ad copy, short bio to include speaking experience, clients, degrees, awards, experience.

4. Your purpose for writing book. Why will it sell? Timely, different, needed?

5. Show your book's uniqueness. While these books showed…, my book,_____, will be the first book to….

6. Your marketing/promotion plan. Show your commitment, organization, professionalism by giving a one-year launch program, and follow up program. Include how much time you will devote, what publicity such a press releases, book reviews, radio and TV appearances, web site presence, speaking and conference tours, feature articles, interviews, how many books you'll sell, who you'll send promotion copies to.


How to choose a good agent: Several approaches are good.

First, visit your library. Ask the reference librarian for all the books on agents, including the Annotated Book of Agents. From this book I chose 20 agents to query, then sent a proposal if desired. I only sent my query I edited at least 12 times. I chose agents who did not have a huge client load (over 30), and who wanted the kind of book I was writing. I sent out 10 queries at a time. Out of ten, three agents requested a proposal. This was before the Internet. Now, your proposal need be only two pages. Be sure to edit it at least 15 times too.

Second, attend several writing conferences. Take the name, fax numbers and emails of every agent/publisher who fits your book category. Meet the agent face to face. Sign up for several agents' critiques for an extra fee of $30 or so.

Third, visit your book store and library. Go to the section where you book would be. Notice the inscriptions under Acknowledgments. Notice words like "I couldn't have done this without this agent!" Contact those agents with a query.

Fourth, after talking to a potential agent you can fax your one-page proposal to them. Call your potential agent to see how he wants the information presented.

Tip: Before you send it out! Your query and book proposal must be much better than your book. Be sure to get at least ten peer edits, then have a professional editor or book coach line edit it. You must show your marketing savvy too. Agents and Publishers can help you market your book, but only for a few months. Marketing is always up to the author.

Book Coaching Marathon A Big Success

Twenty-year book coach Judy Cullins' first marathon on November 28 from 7-9PM was filled to capacity. "I gave it because so many people don't know how coaching works, how it helps move the writer so much faster to his or her goal. Others may want one, but think they can't afford it. It was a huge success." Each person will bring three or more burning questions they wanted answered&emdash;which way to publish, how to get started, how to focus, what makes a marketable book, is my book significant, how shall I market it, what about eBooks and the Internet? If you missed this one, look for my next marathon in March 2001.

The Book Coach's Corner

While many books have been written on the query letter and book proposal, my up-to-the-minute research with agents and successful authors tell me the query and book proposal have changed immensely in just the past year. Before you send them out, book a session from a qualified coach!


How To Write and Sell Your First Book Fast

8450 La Mesa Blvd. (Senior Center)
T January 9-March 20
Fee: $4 for all sessions

Life 101/Conquering Clutter/Memory/Money/Vision and more.

8450 La Mesa Blvd. (Senior Center)
TH January 11-March 22
Fee: $4 for all sessions

Creative Writing

8450 La Mesa Blvd. (Senior Center)
TH January 11-March 22
1:15PM-4:15PMFee: $4 for all sessions

Teleclass: How To Write Your Book Fast

Register at, (877)773-2800
February 21, 2001
5PM-6PM Pacific Time
Fee: $25


Authors, speakers, and coaches need a Web site.

If you want an excellent Web master, contact Leva Duell at If you're not quite ready, take her $39.00 seminar sponsored by the Learning Annex called How To Design A User-Friendly Web Site. See her Web site for the current schedule. Leva says "Forget fancy bells and whistles, focus on creating a Web site that generates sales." Create fast-loading, easy-to-read-and-navigate, interactive Web pages. Get visitors to click on your links. Make it easy for them to buy from you. Numerous handouts! Bring your questions, ideas, and rough drafts. Call 760/944-7970 for more information or call The Annex at 619/544-9700 for course 1748.


About the author

Judy Cullins, M.A. has written and sold over 20 self-help and writing books. Her 20 years of experience as a teacher, speaker, coach, and columnist give Judy the expertise to help writers with their next step in book writing, publishing, or promoting.

Copyright 2000. This content may be forward in full with author's name and contact numbers.


Please send your comments about this Ezine to [email protected]


"Any Journey is Easier With A Partner"
Judy Cullins, M.A.

Ten Coaching Clients Published with me in 1999!

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