Writing a Book Proposal | Avoid this easy mistake

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Everyone wants their book to find a huge audience. So it’s tempting to address the book to everyone in the whole wide world.

But a book proposal written to everybody will appeal to nobody.

If you’re writing a book proposal, think of three key people you REALLY want to read your book.

Let them be people who have slightly different interests.

I strongly recommend that you don’t settle on someone generic: “a person who does this” or “a person with that”. Think of an actual human being who fits the type. Someone with a name.

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Someone who might, just conceivably, read the book one day. (But that’s not the point of this exercise.)

Now, write a book proposal that speaks directly to each of those three people.

Here and there, you may write a passage that will interest one of them more than the others – so make sure the others know you haven’t forgotten them.

If you feel like it, you could even name them while you write the first draft: “Liz, I know you’ve always wanted to know how to do X, or Y…”

Or, “Enrique, this is what happened after Z.”

Then when you revise your proposal, simply remove the names.

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You may worry that by writing for this very narrow audience you will lose everyone else. But you won’t.

The book 84 Charing Cross Road was about letters exchanged between a book lover in the US and a UK bookseller. And yet it became a global smash, leading to a stage play and a film.

People read that book – as they will read yours – because people are nosey. They’ll like to “overhear” or pry into what you have to say on a topic they’re curious about.

If you want to discuss about a book proposal with me – sign up below and I’ll send you a bit more information.

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