The Writers’ Tip for the Day:
An Eye-Catching Proposal Includes Sample Chapters, Marketing Information, and the Date of Completion
In this last installment of writing an eye-catching proposal, we’ll discuss writing the Sample Chapters, the Marketing Information, and the Date of Completion.
As you prepare these last three components of your proposal, keep working on your manuscript, and don’t be surprised if the editor requests the entire manuscript with your proposal. Some editors will ask for three chapters; some will ask for the entire manuscript. Just be prepared. The further you are toward that last page, the quicker you can get that proposal to the editor requesting it.
Concerning the sample chapters, it’s obvious that I can’t include them in this blog because of their length. We’re talking about 36 to 50 pages, maybe more. And I believe this component is self-explanatory. (If you’d like to see the first three chapters of my Amish fiction proposal, let me know, and I’ll email them to you.)
As far as the marketing information and the date of completion, you need to do some homework for these two components. Visit the library and go online; look for books that have been published in your genre or sub-genre over the last three years or so. Compare your storyline and characters to those in books already published. This study is important because the editors at publishing companies are looking for something a little different than what’s already out there. OR they might be looking for a manuscript that will fill a niche in their publishing schedule that might fall into a “red hot” category, such as Amish or Mennonite fiction.
Then, concerning the date of completion, if you already have your manuscript finished, you’re that much further ahead of the game. If not, a reasonable time to estimate your completion of a 60,000-90,000 word manuscript is six months after the signing of the contract. For juvenile fiction of about 35,000 words, three months is feasible. Of course, you need to evaluate how long it will take you to do any research, complete a quality manuscript, get it into the hands of some reliable critiquers, and get the final copy ready to submit.
Below are the samples of my marketing information and date of completion:
MARKET POTENTIAL AND COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS
Although many markets of other Christian genres are presently flat, Amish/Mennonite romance fiction is red hot. Go to any Wal-Mart, gift shop, or bookstore, and the shelves are oozing with Amish and Mennonite fiction books that don’t stay there very long.
However, many of the writers of Amish/Mennonite fiction are not exposing the fallacies of these two religious persuasions. Some stories glorify the lifestyle, the storyline reading as nothing more than a modern version of Little House on the Prarie.
The Amish and various Mennonite sects do not believe in the salvation through grace and the shed blood of Christ alone. Sadly, many of the Amish and Mennonites trust in a religion of works and community, their “Ordnung,” remaining in spiritual darkness and fearing eternity and facing God, whom they do not know on a personal basis.
I’m writing this fiction series with the goal to share with readers the actual belief system of these “religious” folks. As I shared with Jeannette Windle at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference last year, the truth about the Amish/Mennonite doctrines is embedded in my fiction stories and must be told.
The author has her own website and blogsite, which allow visitors to purchase books using PayPal. She is willing to travel for book signings and book conventions. She also offers to promote the books by speaking at writers’ conferences and ladies’ events. Her best-selling Keystone Stables series, published by Zonderkidz, has already gained Marsha some notoriety in the publishing world and has a following on the social network online.
PROJECTED TIME OF COMPLETION
Six months for each book manuscript following the signing of the contract
So reader, my analysis and examples of an eye-catching proposal are now complete. If you have any questions about any components in a proposal, please feel free to email me. I’ll be glad to help you in any way I can.
Next time, I’ll analyze the correct use of point of view in fiction and give examples. Besides the overuse of passive voice with beginners, P.O.V. ranks high in the Beginners’ Mistakes list.