Why you should do a book proposal, even if you self-publish

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There are plenty of good reasons to self-publish your business book. Since you’re the “self” in self-publishing, you get the final decision on every aspect of the final product. Self-publishing is faster to market, too.

You avoid the lengthy process of writing a book proposal and selling it to an agent. You don’t have to revise your proposal to sell to a publisher. And you avoid the delays that go with fitting your book into a publisher’s calendar.

Even if you self-publish, though, you should write a book proposal. “But why?” I hear you cry.

If you work with a legacy publisher, a book proposal is a sales document. If you’re publishing your own book, a book proposal is your business plan.

God Is in The Details

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said that. Write it in large, bold type post it where you write.

A good book proposal contains a detailed market analysis. You’ll analyze the competition and how to stand out. You’ll address details of marketing and sales. The time to do that is before you write the book, and a book proposal helps you do that.

All the Details

Most of the authors who come to me have a clear idea about their book, but they aren’t so clear on what will be in it. That sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not.

The idea they have is in their head. They’ve thought about it a lot, but most of them haven’t committed the idea to paper. Writing a book proposal forces you to do that.

Most book proposals contain a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of what will be in the book. That means a paragraph or two for every chapter.

Right now, you might think, “No problem! I’ve been thinking about this book for 10 years. I can do that in a heartbeat.” Perhaps you can. But I challenge you to try it.

The ideas in your head seem ever so clear. But the ideas in your head are part of a formless network. When they go into your book, they must line up in a logical order.

When you write a book proposal, you put those ideas in order. You see how they relate to each other.

Bottom Line

Even if you self-publish a book, it’s a good idea to write a book proposal. It’s hard work, but doing the hard work early helps the rest of the project go faster and results in a better book.

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