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How to Write an Irresistible Book Proposal

Do you seek to publish your nonfiction book with a traditional publisher? Then you’ll want to write a compelling book proposal.

To help you get started, I’m offering you this free guide to writing your book proposal.

I am an experienced book-proposal coach. I help people write powerful, irresistible book proposals. If you’d like my expert guidance through this process, please email me at [email protected] to set up your free 30-minute phone consult.  I offer several book-proposal coaching packages on my website: bradwetzler.com/book-proposal-coaching

I hope you find this guide useful.

Understand The Parts of a Proposal

Most proposals range from 35 to 50 pages and have three parts: The OverviewThe Outline, and a Sample Chapter.

The Overview

Your overview must prove that you have a marketable, practical idea and that you are the right person to write about it and promote it. Provide as much ammunition about you and your book as you...

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Spring Cleaning, Memory, and a Note from JFK, Jr.

memoir nonfiction writing May 16, 2020
While spring cleaning and rearranging bookshelves this week, I came across this card from John F. Kennedy, Jr. I received it in 1997 or 1998 after I signed on to be a contributing editor at George magazine.
 
I spent two years writing regularly for that magazine. I traveled to Moscow to report and write about the Russan space program. I went dinosaur-bone hunting with Newt Gingrich. I shadowed Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota for a few weeks during his presidential campaign. I traveled to Arkansas and wrote about President Bill Clinton's pals at Tyson Chicken. I interviewed Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb. I interviewed California governor Jerry Brown...and much more.
 
I was in India reporting a story for Wired magazine when I turned on the television and saw the report that JFK, Jr.'s plane was missing. I was in shock. I didn't know John Kennedy beyond short talks with him during my visits to the editorial office to sit in on editorial meetings in New...
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How to Tell a Great Story in Your Memoir or Narrative Nonfiction Book

Writing a memoir or narrative nonfiction book requires a wide range of skills. You've got to be able to do it all: organize thoughts, structure chapters, report the facts, and, after all the big-picture stuff, you must also pay attention to the smallest of details such as grammar and punctuation. It's a big job, but it's very doable with focus, inspiration, hard work, and stamina. 

That said, in book writing, one skill trumps all. If you want to draw an audience and make a splash in the world, you must tell great stories. 

In today's blog post, I want to share a powerful tool that I use in my writing, which will help you write your very best memoir or nonfiction book. I call this tool  The Magic Formula of Storytelling.

Here's what the Magic Formula looks like: V + C + S = A Great Story.

What in the world is that, you ask?

Let me break down the meaning behind all these letters and symbols.

V stands for vulnerability....

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Take these 11 Steps and You Too Can Be a Published Author

  1. Journal about your book and expertise. 
    In other words, write like crazy about your book idea and your expertise. Ask yourself, what gifts of knowledge and wisdom do I have to share with the world? 
  2. Locate your tribe. 
    Research your audience. Who are your readers? Where are they? What do they need? How can you help them with the problems they face? Can you help them increase their income or live a more fulfilling life? 
  3. Launch a blog. Publish once per week.
    Create a website with a blog--and then write weekly blog posts directed at the future readers of your book. In your blog posts, aim to solve your readers' pain points. Lead with an anecdote that shows how you or one of your customers faced and overcame a problem. Pivot to explain how your readers can overcome similar problems in their own lives. End with a call to action, i.e. to read more on your website, schedule a free consult with you, or buy a product or service.
  4. ...
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Short Memoir: On Finding Your Author Voice

I want to tell you about a book that, each time I open it, makes me a better writer. You probably haven’t heard of it, or of the author, Ted Solotaroff. It’s not a best-seller like Bird by Bird or a popular favorite like Stephen King’s On Writing. In fact, I’ve never seen another copy of this essay collection other than the coffee-stained, dog-eared one I own. But this book—just one essay in it, actually—is my savior. It’s my savior during dark nights of the soul, when I lurch, when I desire to say something meaningful and truthful, when I wish to say it in MY own unique and original voice.

I bought my copy of A Few Good Voices in My Head at a used bookstore in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood during my graduate school years. I don’t recall the shop’s name, but walking its aisles was a Saturday afternoon ritual, especially during the dead of a brutal Chicago winter when the snow flies...

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