Eric Smith @ericsmithrocksWriting non-fiction? I'm back with some more free resources.
FIGHT MAGIC ITEMS by @adribbleofink publishes next week, and we've got a breakdown of the actual proposal that sold the book.
We dig into explaining platform, the market, all that good stuff. ericsmithrocks.com/blog/2022/9/27… pic.twitter.com/s23D7TzjxA
Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit#Authors, payout is WHEN you get advance $. Don't overlook this deal point.
Half was norm 20 yrs ago b4 it went to thirds. Then quarters w/ large advances but now norm for most advances. Recently, fifths(!) entered the pic. You see where this is going. twitter.com/JohnHMaher/sta…
For authors who live off their advance, this is a real problem since your first payment has to support you while finishing your ms. Front load if possible, e.g. 50% on-signing, 25% acceptance, 25% pub. #pubtip
Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura @RrrrnessaThere's studies that show like 70% of men don't read very often or almost ever and at least 30-40% haven't read a book since high school and it's just something I've always found fascinating particularly how often they seem to have opinions on all the books they don't read.
The majority of book buyers are women across the board and esp in Advice/Self Help. If you have a book that will help men be better, it's got to appeal to the women in their lives to buy it for them. #pubtip
Lynn Jones Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit...take on a project that doesn't check all 3 boxes. Most agents are specialists even if it's not obvious. That's why querying authors should pay close attn to submission guidelines. Does the agent rep adult or children/YA? Mostly fiction or NF?
What specific genres in fiction or NF do they gravitate towards? There are lots of shades here. Look at past books and profile of their authors as guides. Get good at reading nuance to find the right match. #pubtip
Lynn Jones Johnston @lynnjohnstonlitIf you're working on a NF book proposal, you're prob focused on editorial. Fair enough, but don't skimp on the publishing side. 3 Qs to answer:
Who's going to buy your book
Will they buy a book on the topic
How will they know about your book
Lynn Jones Johnston @lynnjohnstonlitA project I placed last year with a mid-6-figure advance at 5-bidder auction got 11 passes. Another project with a healthy 6-figure advance in a 4-bidder auction had 13 passes. Some projects get 1-2 bidders. No project pleases everyone.
Many factors contribute: They like it but don't love it. It's too similar to something else they publish. Someone on the team isn't into it. My point is, you're going to get rejections. Lots of them. Prepare yourself. Ultimately you only need ONE. #pubtip
Lynn Jones Johnston @lynnjohnstonlitAs a marketing document, the overview not only must reflect your craft and content but also sell it/you. This is why you need to break the 4th wall and speak directly to publishers in the overview in the way you wouldn't in an intro.
What gets confusing is sometimes book proposals will have an overview and then include the intro as a sample chapter. This is fine if the content is expressed different enough but if it's close, then I'd choose another sample. #Pubtip
#Pubtip I just read the introduction to a forthcoming book & recognized a lot of the material from the overview of the original book proposal. If you get tripped up over the diff btwn a book intro & overview, you're not alone.
Tara Parker-Pope @taraparkerpope@maudnewton @CaitlinKellyNYC I much prefer non fiction/memoir audio books read by the author -- it feels weird otherwise.
Laura Portwood-Stacer (she/her) @lportwoodstacerNeed to summarize your book chapters for a book proposal or for that little outline of chapters at the end of yr bk’s intro?
It can feel like a tedious task but it’s helpful for getting clarity on how your book is built & how the reader will experience it.
Here’s how to do it:
Chapter summaries are the necessary evil of book proposals. They can’t seal the deal alone but done right, show you have enough depth for a whole book. #pubtip
Margaret McDeadlines Owen @what_eats_owlsSince I see more authors moving into merchandising (which is imho cool!!) a quick reminder that, unless you have a separate written agreement with the people who did your cover/title design, using either of those for commercial purposes puts you in dicy territory!
Also, make sure your publishing agreement excludes merchandising and paper product rights. It’s also a good idea to state the author reserves all rights not otherwise specified. #pubtip
I'm closed to submissions until early Jan as are many other agents. #Pubtip it's a good habit to check agency websites/SM before querying but esp over the holidays. In the meantime, here's what you can do while waiting:
Lynn Jones Johnston @lynnjohnstonlitI passed on a well-written proposal with a promising premise. The issue has to do with familiarity editors feel when considering projects. On many topics, the editor has probably seen some version in dozens of proposals & even books she's edited.
The challenge is to stand out. You don't have to present totally new ground BUT you do have to present a fresh take. Do you have a new way to tell the story? Is your conclusion counterintuitive? Highlight the freshest, most unexpected aspects. #pubtip
Lynn Jones Johnston @lynnjohnstonlitAuthors, if you see a rival book being published, hope with all your heart for its success. I recently submitted a project to an editor whom I thought would love it. She did. But her group published last year a book with overlapping themes that didn’t sell…
Meaning my submission was a non starter there. The lesson is a good seller hurts no one & as a comp, paves the way for similar books, whereas a poor seller can wreck the category for everyone. TLDR: Wish other authors well. #pubtip
Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgoWriters: maybe wait until Tuesday to email your query to agents. It’s called Labor Day. #publishing
Laura Portwood-Stacer, Jeopardy Champ (she/her) @lportwoodstacerA lot of ppl will *only* read the introduction in an academic book. If you want them to cite your contributions and/or tell other ppl abt them, you’ve got to clearly state the takeaway(s) right there in the intro
#Pubtip: Write your book intro last or plan to rewrite after you're done with the ms. The intro has to do A LOT: set up the argument, tease & intrigue, establish you as a credible messenger.
Carlos Lozada @CarlosLozadaWPYes it’s unfair but I’m often skeptical of books with subtitle that begin “A Meditation on...” or “Reflections on...” or “Notes on...”
It feels like a warning sign that the book does not come together into a cohesive whole.
Book titles are tricky! Think what you want to signal (literary, prescriptive). Is it searchable? (1 word titles are hard to google.) Look to comp titles as a guide. #pubtip