"We think you did a wonderful job with our simple story. We are very happy with the outcome." 
Bill and Kay N.

Pitching your book idea

Publishers don't typically buy nonfiction books--self-help, entrepreneurial, or biographies--they buy prospective manuscripts from book proposals, which is essentially your key to getting pass the gatekeepers in the traditional publishing market.

A book proposal is a bundle of information about your book, it's commercial potential, and you as author. It generally contains a summary of your book, an outline of chapters and their content, a competitive title search, sample chapters, an author bio including why you are the best person to write the book, and a marketing and promotion plan. If you want the benefits of a traditional publishing house, your book proposal must demonstrate a demand for you book, that it's set apart from the competition, and you're the only person to write it. 

A book proposal is not meant to be thrown together over a weekend; not if you want a real shot at being picked up for publication. It's a thoughtful, time-consuming process best accomplished by someone who writes well and is familiar with publishing industry standards. 

Packaging your book idea

As with all my services, I start with a free, 30-minute consultation either in person or over the phone to discuss your goal and project. Once we agree to collaborate and determine a book proposal is the focus, I'll ask you to share any existing materials, such as notes and research, you've already gathered. We'll then spend time exploring you book's potential chapters and content through interviews, and ultimately, I'll help you refine the message you want to share.

With an understanding of your vision, I'll craft chapter summaries and two complete chapters. While you're reviewing those drafts, I'll get to work on the other necessary parts of a book proposal. In the end, the components will be packaged together as a pitch-ready sales tool for your use.

Book proposal vs. manuscript

Some prospective authors have the goal of seeing their book in print with a major publishing house; that's almost as important to them as having a book in the first place. Others simply want to tell their story and share it in any way possible, and they're happy to consider digital and self-publishing options. One is not better than other. It's a personal decision. However, it does influence where you start in your journey to authorship and working with a ghostwriter.

If you fall into the first camp of wannabe authors--wanting to traditionally publish with a major house--and are writing a nonfiction book in pretty much any genre, then starting with a book proposal is a good choice, because your manuscript doesn't have to be complete. (The only exception to this may be if you are crafting a memoir. Many agents/publishers will ask for the entire manuscript for this type of narrative nonfiction.)

Another reason to consider developing a book proposal first is to bring clarity to your idea. If you have a story inside you and feel driven to share it, yet aren't sure what the book will entail, working through the parts of a book proposal with a ghostwriter can be helpful. It defines your chapters, their content, and the overall summary of your envisioned book. Another factor to consider is the cost. Hiring a ghostwriter to complete a book proposal is often less expensive. 

Alternatively, writing the entire book is a proven choice for any prospective author wanting control of the publication process and with plans to self-publish. It's also a good option for most works of memoir, any genre of fiction, and many business people. 

Entrepreneurs who want a book-in-hand for clients and speaking engagements may wish to hire a ghostwriter to complete a manuscript. A ghostwriter typically has a book done in a matter of months versus the years it takes a traditional publication to reach its author. Having a copy of an authored book done quickly and readily available can make all the difference for someone presenting as an authority or expert in an area. 

Lastly, in making a decision of book proposal or manuscript, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that a book proposal will land you a book deal with a publisher. Also, even though you will have a productive start on your book if you work with a ghostwriter to complete a book proposal, you won't have a completed manuscript that you can call your own. 

Ready for publishers to know about your book idea? Contact me.