Book Proposals

A Perfect Proposal

A lot of the writers I’ve worked with over the years have the same complaint: “I hate doing proposals!” I admit, they can seem pretty imposing. And too often writers find themselves in the not-so-enviable position of trying to figure out what the agent or editor is looking for. When they ask for influential people, what do they mean? Those who’ve influence you in your writing, or those who will be an influence for your book project? When they want to know about your mailing list, do they mean your contacts, or something different? And what on earth do they want for comp titles??

Over the next few weeks, along with various other blogs, I’ll tackle some of the different aspects of a strong proposal. And I’ll give you all a chance to try your hand at some of them.

But today, I want to hear from you. When you think about putting a proposal together, what is the section that’s the most difficult for you?

C’mon, folks, share!

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8 Things Authors Should No Longer Ask Their Publisher

Publishing is changing faster than ever before.  Book publishers have been wrenching to find new business models that make them more flexible, efficient and adaptable to the realities of the digital publishing age. Within this fast-change world, another group who has felt the pain of shifting tectonic plates are authors …

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Naming Names

We recently received several excellent questions that I would like to answer: 1.) Should (you) repeat a book name and how old should it be? I believe you are asking if it is okay to use the same title for your book even if it has already been used before. …

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Unsolicited Proposals: aka “The Slush Pile”

All literary agents receive dozens of proposal each week. Some in the mail and some via email. Last week was a slow week, only 30 unsolicited proposals arrived. (Unsolicited means proposals that are not from our existing clients. We get a number of those each week too.)  The variety can …

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Endorsements: How Important Are They?

How important are endorsements? (Those “blurbs” on the back of a book that exclaim “A real masterpiece!”) Let me answer with a question. When you are browsing a book title do you look at the endorsements or notice who wrote the foreword or introduction? I suspect you do without realizing …

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Why an In-the-Know Agent is Your Best Partner

Even in the tightest market, new opportunities develop. Not only can authors keep up with these opportunities by being well-connected themselves, but this is just one part of your career where partnering with a great agent is key. Why? Because editors don’t always put out a call to every writers’ …

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Book Proposals I’d Love to See

By God’s will and pleasure, during my career as a literary agent I have been successful in representing authors writing Christian romance, Christian and general market trade book fiction, and Christian nonfiction. My interests have changed very little since my first blog post for The Steve Laube Agency, “Happy to Be …

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Bring the Books

“Bring the books, especially the parchments,” is a sentence in 2 Timothy 4:13 that has teased readers for 2,000 years. What books did the Apostle Paul want to read while waiting for trial? Theology? History? How-to? (Maybe a little escape reading? Pun intended.)

Another writer chimed in a while ago by saying “Of making many books there is no end.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12) And if we read the statistics he wasn’t kidding. 300,000+ published in the United States alone last year.

And yet there is an allure to the stories of great novelists and a fascination in the brilliance of deep thinkers. It is what drew me to the book industry in the first place having been a lifelong reader and a burgeoning collector of my own library.

I can safely say that the allure and fascination remains unabated. I’ve had and continue to have the honor and privilege of working with some of the finest minds and talented writers in our industry. The photo above is from my office showing every book represented by our agency. Hundreds of amazing books by amazing authors.

Meanwhile I am still searching for the next great story, the next great concept, the next great writer. So, to answer the question, “What are you looking for?” I will attempt to clarify a few things.

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