The Art Of The Book Proposal

“Maisel intimately understands the anxieties of the creative process and the psychological landscape that artists inhabit. Strong on the psychology, Maisel is equally strong on the practicalities … What Maisel does, and does brilliantly, is explain how a book proposal can be not only a marketing tool but also an essential means for discovering what your book is about.” — The Writer Magazine

“If Eric Maisel were to write a book on book proposals, this is exactly what it would be like. There are several excellent books on how to prepare book proposals and I have made it a practice to read them as they come out. Each of these books features their authors’ imprimaturs and tends to be suited to individual writers depending on their proclivities. This book is comprehensive in all the areas of preparing a book proposal but is particularly strong in the area that the majority of writers are weakest – thinking their concept through before preparing and submitting the proposal.

“About one-third of the book is devoted to figuring out what you want to say, how you are going to say it, and how you are going to express the book concept in the proposal. Having reviewed hundreds of book proposals, my opinion is that the aspect of not thinking the project through is the factor that accounts for most rejections. There were a couple of areas in which I somewhat disagree with the author: (1) I feel that the sample chapter should almost always be from the middle of the book because using a introductory chapter does not show how the writer will handle the meat of the book, and (2) I feel that chapter summaries should always be done in a narrative style because excerpts don’t get to the point and bulleted lists are basically a power point approach to a selling a non-power point product. Nonetheless, the author has been published many times more than I have and what he says carries weight.” – Bert Krages, literary agent

“Having already read a dozen of Maisel’s books, I came to this new volume with excitement. I wasn’t disappointed.

“Several authors and experts have covered the topic of writing book proposals, but none have done it in the organic, yet sensible, way Maisel does. Drawing on his experience as both author and creativity coach, he walks the reader through all parts of the process, including shaping the idea, titling the book, creating all aspects of the proposal, and understanding the agent and publisher’s expectations. Particularly useful are his checklists and suggested formats for keeping track of project and proposal.

“Any writer serious about creating a work of non-fiction should run-don’t walk!-to your nearest book outlet, get this book, and read it from cover to cover. The few hours spent will be immensely worthwhile not just for writing the proposal, but also for devising the general (perhaps even specific) outline to follow in the actual writing of the book.

“Maisel includes a tremendously helpful Appendix: a sample book proposal for what turned out to be his previous book, THE VAN GOGH BLUES, which is a mind-blowingly wonderful book. With his focus on helping authors succeed and to access their creativity in the most profitable and satisfactory ways, Maisel has made this a book no writer should miss.” – Lori L. Lake, reviewer for The Independent Gay Writer and the Midwest Book Review

“This book really explains what the stages of writing a book proposal feel like and look like. Maisel discusses all the false starts, sudden endings, and re-starts, the works. It is equally heartening to have someone clearly spell out the single most important aspect of writing a book (or proposal), that it involves repeated, concentrated, hard-worked-on thought.

“As I coach people who want to write book proposals (and books) as part of what I do professionally, I can’t thank Eric Maisel enough for offering such an insightful and truthful book on this topic. He has done everyone who is thinking of writing a proposal an enormous service. This book is vastly different from all the existing books on this subject, too — no mean feat, in and of itself — considering how many really good books there already are on this topic.” – Laurel Marshfield


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