One Writer’s Journey

March 13, 2015

The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified

If you want to make a living as a writer, you need to be familiar with Nina Amir’s work.  A few weeks ago, I reviewed her book Authorpreneur.  Today, I’m reviewing The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified.  This review is part of the Muffin blog tour for this most useful book.  At the end of this post, I’ll even tell you how you can win a copy of the book.

I have to admit that I’m amazed by the number of writers who have never written a proposal.  Many of them, in fact, refuse to learn how.

I get it.  A proposal is a huge amount of work.  Amir gets this too, and that’s why she opens The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified by acknowledging this fact.  Then she tells you why you need to know how to create this business plan.

That, after all, is what a proposal is.  It is a business plan that you use to convince an editor or agent that you are a top-notch business partner.  You know what you’re doing, you’re willing to do the work and you are the kind of writer who can and will succeed. By creating a proposal you show your would-be agent or editor that not only is there a market for your book, but that you know what this market is and are well aware of any competition.

Self-publishing so you think you don’t need to know how this works?  Think again.  Create a proposal and you will have identified the market for your work.

After explaining why you need to know how to create a proposal, Amir talks about how proposals have changed in recent years.  She then goes on to identify and explain each section including: Overview, Markets, Spin-Offs, Promotion, Competing Books, Complimentary Books, About the Author, Mission Statement, Author Platform, Chapter list, Chapter summaries and writing sample.

I know, I know.  Quit panicking.  It’s a huge amount of work but it is totally worthwhile when it lands you that contract.  And each part really is essential.  Some sell your idea (Overview, Chapters, Sample).  Some show that there is a market (Markets, Competing Books, Complimentary Books).  And some sell you, the author (Spin Offs, Platform, Mission Statement and Promotion).

All three areas are essential.  You aren’t going to sell without a solid idea.  Even a solid idea needs a viable market.  And you have to be just the right writer to take it on.

Personally, I really liked the sections on Spin-off, Complimentary Books and Mission Statement.  I’d never considered needing this specific information but I can easily see why it is necessary.  You, the author, will be more appealing if you have ideas you can spin-off the original. Complimentary books aren’t direct competition but help show reader interest in the topic.  And the Mission Statement?  It sells not only the author but the usefulness of the book.

The beauty of this book is that Amir anticipates authors and their issues.  I can hear it now.

Worried Author:  Even if I do the research, how do I put it all together?  How should the proposal look?

Amir:  Not to worry.  Here are links to templates you can use.

Worried Author:  But wait!  I don’t have a query letter. I  don’t even know what goes into one…

Amir:  Gotcha covered.  Here’s how to write it.

I would definitely recommend this book to the author who needs that final nudge to market their idea and find just the right publisher or agent.  Want a copy?  Pop on over to the Muffin and use the Raffle Copter form to enter the drawing.

Then get busy on that proposal!







February 20, 2015

Authorpreneur: How to boost your income as a writer

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:36 am
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AuthorpreneurWhen I was asked to review Authorpreneur by Nina Amir (Pure Spirit Creations/Short Fuse Publishing) as part of the Muffin blog tour, I jumped at the chance. If there are multiple ways to make an income from my first book, I want to know about it.

First things first, Amir emphasizes that you need a plan.  Income isn’t going to happen by accident.  You, the author, have to make it happen.  Instead of going with the first idea or two that comes to mind, Amir encourages readers to brainstorm.

Not sure what to brainstorm about?   Amir has suggestions ranging from free ebooks to telesiminars and more.  Follow her steps to come up with your list.  Once you have a list, figure out when each item needs to be finished.  With that date in mind, you can figure out when you need to start this piece of the puzzle.

Individual chapters cover various possibilities for salable content including:

  • Short e-books.  Based on my Ancient Maya book, I could write short e-books on how to research an ancient culture, what 5 experts have to say about the Maya, and more.  Amir encourages readers to go beyond a simple e-book to include videos and transcriptions of videos and worksheets as additional content on your website.
  • Talks based on your book.  For nonfiction, Amir suggests that you look at each chapter and see if it could be the subject of a talk.  For fiction, use themes and topics as subjects or speak on the writing process.
  • Workshops and classes.  These can be built from the topics of your talks.

Do you see how Amir takes you from one idea to another?  Don’t take the time to develop 6 vaguely related items.  Instead, use your book to create e-books and lectures.  Take these lectures and turn them into classes and workshops.  Lecture or classes can be used to create videos. These become transcriptions.  One piece leads to the next.

Not that you have to create them all.  Amir knows that no single writer will be comfortable with the full range but she still shows you all of the possibilities.

In the first several chapters, I sometimes found myself wanting a bit more content.  How do I do this?  What steps should I take? What do you mean?  I should have been a bit more patient — this material was all in the book, in the later more detailed chapters.  Although Amir doesn’t take you step by step on how to create an e-book or a webinar, she does take you through the process of deciding what to cover, some of your options, and what tools you need to get the job done.

Amir is definitely the one to lead the way and she definitely practices what she preaches. She is author of How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual, and 10 Days and 10 Ways to Return to Your Best Self, transforms writers into inspired, successful authors, authorpreneurs and blogpreneurs as an Inspiration to Creation Coach. She moves her clients from ideas to finished books as well as to careers as authors by helping them combine their passion and purpose so they create products that positively and meaningfully impact the world. She writes four blogs, self-published 12 books and founded National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge.


If you’re as eager to try these techniques as I am, you’ll be glad to know that the Muffin is giving away a copy of Authorpreneur.  To enter hop on over to the Muffin and fill out the form at the bottom of the post.  Good luck!




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