It occurred to Me that because I have endeavored to publish My first book I should probably keep an account of what I am doing to achieve this. Perhaps there are other writers out there who are looking to publish a book. So far all I have done is researched the procedure and learned what I need to do. So far, this is the procedure as I understand it.
The first thing to do is prepare a written proposal of Your work and the second is to prepare a query letter to send out to agents. The proposal takes much more time and should be finished before sending out the query letter. The query letter sells the proposal so it would be difficult to effectively pitch a proposal that hasn’t been written. It would also be rather embarrassing if an agency asked to see a proposal that wasn’t ready.
I will use a generic template but I will write every agency a unique query letter that will ensure exclusivity of the proposal to one agency at a time. You must believe in Your book. I believe the moment an agency reads My Book, they will know Its potential and I will be offered a contract. When I finish the proposal, I will include examples of real query letters I am sending to agencies and keep You informed of the results.
I am going to write a proposal for My Book. For Me the proposal is not as crucial as it would be to most writers. Most writers are writing a proposal to have the concept or idea of a book sold so that the writer can focus on writing the book – a contract with an agency can mean money, an advance to help the writer create the book. My Book is already written so I can send part or all of My Book to an agency, I just need to write a query letter convincing them it is worth their time to read. But there are two reasons I want to write a proposal.
First, I want to offer some kind of template for other writers who might be preparing their first proposal and second, I want to see if the organization of a well thought out proposal has any creative impact on the finished work. Perhaps I will discover a better way to present ideas by being forced to analyze My work in a new way.
My query letter will be promoting the Book itself, not a proposal for one. If it turns out I am better off sending an agency a proposal, I will use the one here. If it turns out the best way to market and sell My Book is to do everything Myself and market an internet version, then that is what I will do. Whatever I do to get My book published, I will write about it here. I will set up new categories for query letters and the proposal as I write them.
For now I filled out an online query for an agency who took about two days to respond and asked to see My manuscript. I sent the first 79 pages for evaluation which is more than enough to judge the work. The work is protected in pdf format with a photo watermark but even if an agency wanted to try to steal My work (I would only be too flattered) they don’t have the ending. Also, everything is sent through e-mail which is a reasonably good security measure in itself; I have timestamped ownership of intellectual property being sent to a second party.
But the ending is what makes the Book so powerful, the ending is what will make the Book an easy sell for agents. I am voicing these concerns because I know many writers would worry about these things. I am not really concerned that someone will want to steal My idea but I think it is important that people know I have taken certain assurances to protect My work and doing so is well advised.
As it stands now, the agency I sent My work to confirmed they had received My manuscript and asked that I give them up to two weeks to review it. I anticipate that really this agency is going to try to sell Me on some kind of self-publishing scheme but I am hoping that I can at least get some critical feedback on My book. Again, I really do believe in My Book and I think if this agency is for real they will no doubt want to represent Me if they read what I’ve sent them. Waiting for their reply also gives Me the time to write a proposal and begin scouting some other agencies in the event nothing happens.