The secret to a great book proposal is making it as compelling and exciting as an in-person pitch from you might be.

One of the things I noticed in my years as an acquisitions editor is that sometimes book proposals don't capture the personality and passion of the author. They are dry and sterile, and they don't really say much. Oftentimes, in-person meetings end up in book publishing deals easier than if only the book proposal is submitted.

So what does this mean for you?

Perhaps you won't have the chance to meet with an editor or publisher in person, but what you can do is effectively use your words to craft a book proposal that communicates your passion for the project and your personality. And, really, every book proposal should be written this way. You don't know who will be reading it even after a meeting with an editor.

Crafting a great book proposal is really more about using your words to show more than tell. In other words, don't say, "I have a passion for this topic." Show it! Don't say, "I have a great personality on TV and radio." Show it!

You're a writer. Use your words. Draw us in.

One caution

Keep the crazy at bay. Seriously. We are all silly and crazy. Or maybe I should just speak for myself. But I know I am not alone here. In an effort to show their personality, some aspiring authors sacrifice professionalism for personality. I've read these kinds of proposals, and yes, I was scared. Don't be that person.

In your book proposal, be your best, interesting, passionate, authentic, and professional self. If you don't know who that person is, get some outside input from a local writer's group or a real friend who you know will tell the truth and give you great advice. You can even work with an independent editor or agent and have them critique your book proposal. They will give you valuable, objective, and industry-related tips that will help you say what you need to say and how you need to say it to get that publishing deal you so desire.

You got this!

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