Notes on a Proposal
Union Park Press specializes in books for and about Boston and New England. Below, please find our guide for aspiring authors. If you have a great idea and don’t know where to go with it, these notes should be able to help you along. Remember: You don’t have to be a published author to be a serious writer, but you do have to be a serious writer to become a published author. Happy Writing!
About the Book
The first 3-5 pages should give us a thorough overview of your intended project; we’d like to see a description of the book and its raison d’être. Part jacket copy, part synopsis, this initial introduction should sell us on your proposal and make us excited to have received it in the first place. Answer these questions:
- What’s it about?
- Why should we publish this book?
- What makes you qualified to write this book?
- What is the book’s market?
- What are the reasons or situations that prompted you to write this book?
- If you’re proposing a guide, what utility does this book provide?
- What makes your proposed book unique and worthy of bookstore shelf space?
- What are the new approaches and special features of your book?
Chances are there are books out there covering a similar topic. If you don’t know what they are, stop right here and get yourself to a bookstore. (Or at least log onto Amazon.) This section should list any and all competing titles by author, title, publisher, and date of publication. Tell us why and how you’re book is going to be different: Competing titles might be out of date, poorly written, incomplete, overly technical. They might be inaccurate or boring . . . Are you taking a fresh point of view and approach to the subject matter? How will your book be positioned in the marketplace?
We can’t underscore how important this section is to us. If we are inspired to take on your project, this section provides us with the beginning of a marketing plan that will be built around your book. Please, give it its due.
Now, for the fun stuff. Describe in detail how your book will deliver on its promise. Under each heading provide a few paragraphs describing that chapter/section. Approach these paragraphs as though they are the openings of each chapter, so that we have a sense of your range.
Please try to include 2-3 chapters or sections. They do not need to be consecutive. A good rule of thumb would be the introduction, an early chapter/section, and a later chapter/section. If you are proposing a guide, provide us with a sample of how the resource information will be organized.
Include any information on illustrations, photographs, or special formats that will be required. Include your estimate of the time you need to deliver a completed manuscript. We like a quick turn around, but not at the expense of good writing and solid research. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
About the Author
This short, third-person biography states your credentials and credits. Please include any favorable reviews you’ve received for previously published titles. If you have a track record as a journalist, let us know about that. If you’ve been a researcher for a published book, tell us more. Again, convince us that you’re the only writer for this job.
Please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner! Thanks for thinking of us and READ LOCAL!