I could start this post telling you all the reasons I haven’t been writing my book, as well as updating this blog. *Ahem*. Excuses like, “OMG I’ve been sooooo busy with other projects.” and “It’s summer! I’ve been hanging out with my kids!” And yes, those are both true- but that’s a bullshit excuse as to why I really haven’t been writing. And the reason….is the book proposal.
Scary, isn’t it?
Well, I had assumed the book proposal comes AFTER you’re entire manuscript is written, edited, re-written and finalized. Then you write the proposal in order to shop agents, then you go back to your book when your agent gives you feedback, and said agent helps you spruce up the proposal before he or she shops publishers. So, I talked to my dear friend and book writing expert Debbie Reber and she delightfully told me that since I was about 75% through the first draft of my book, I could write the proposal and start looking for agents.
Er, thanks a lot, Debbie. My made-up version was looking just fine. Now I have to do something I have no idea how to do.
The book proposal. Here’s my first draft:
Dear big-shot publishing agency,
Here is my book. I hope you like it. I worked really hard on it. I think a lot of people will like this book. Please publish it and send me a check.
But, apparently there’s this whole process to writing a proposal. And it’s really important. There are sections, its own table of contents and its own science. Danielle LaPorte says, “Book proposals are to books as business plans are to businesses: essential.” she goes on to say,
A book is always more than just a book. Much more. Writing a book could direct the course of your career for the rest of your life. It could lead to infinitely important connections, multiple revenue streams, spin off products, international relations. It could send more business your way. It could pay for a trip to Tahiti or just pay the rent. It could change one person’s life for the better. It could start a revolution. You need a plan.
So, as I see it, both Debbie and Danielle are out to get me. Wtf.
Long story short, I freaked the fuck out. I was okay writing the book. But, now I have to write a letter to sell the thing. A very, very special and important letter. The most serious thing in the world. Or, at least that’s how I was looking at it. I was so overwhelmed at the prospect of writing this proposal that was the catalyst for anyone even looking at the book to consider publishing it, I stopped.
Then, things slowed down with other projects and I had to look at it again. I decided to get over myself and stop being so dramatic about the whole thing. It’s just a damn letter. With sections. Talking about me and the book. So, I gathered up a little courage and did this:
And started writing. And it was about 1% as scary and hard as I made it out to be.
And I blame Debbie and Danielle for that 1%.