How To Write A Book Proposal

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neomutiny06
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How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by neomutiny06 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:01 pm

Hello. I am interested in writing an investing book. Does anybody have a good resource on how to write an enticing book proposal?

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White Coat Investor
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:02 am

neomutiny06 wrote:Hello. I am interested in writing an investing book. Does anybody have a good resource on how to write an enticing book proposal?


Why are you writing a book proposal? Why not just write the book if that's what you want to do? Are you planning to hire a publisher or an agent or something? I'd recommend against it based on my experience give the ease and profitability of self-publishing.

The first hit on Google is this:

https://janefriedman.com/start-here-how ... -proposal/

Seems like a nice answer to your question.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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prudent
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by prudent » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:07 am

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

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Rick Ferri
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by Rick Ferri » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:20 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
neomutiny06 wrote:Hello. I am interested in writing an investing book. Does anybody have a good resource on how to write an enticing book proposal?


Why are you writing a book proposal? Why not just write the book if that's what you want to do? Are you planning to hire a publisher or an agent or something? I'd recommend against it based on my experience give the ease and profitability of self-publishing.


I agree with this advice. Just write the book and self publish. That's what I intend to do with all my future books. You control everything.

Rick Ferri
The views expressed by Rick Ferri are strictly his own as a private investor and author and do not reflect the views of any entity or other persons.

chx
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by chx » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:05 pm

If your can obtain a publisher, then I would recommend against self-publishing. I have ghost-written one book and written three on my own with a publisher (total of nine editions). On my own, I never could have managed the level of distribution that my publisher did.
Last edited by chx on Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

neomutiny06
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by neomutiny06 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:51 pm

Rick Ferri wrote:
White Coat Investor wrote:
neomutiny06 wrote:Hello. I am interested in writing an investing book. Does anybody have a good resource on how to write an enticing book proposal?


Why are you writing a book proposal? Why not just write the book if that's what you want to do? Are you planning to hire a publisher or an agent or something? I'd recommend against it based on my experience give the ease and profitability of self-publishing.


I agree with this advice. Just write the book and self publish. That's what I intend to do with all my future books. You control everything.

Rick Ferri


Thanks Rick! Please update the All About Asset Allocation book, I would love to read a newer version. Thanks.

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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by jackholloway » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:05 pm

I know people on both sides of this divide.

You will hear people on the internet claim that self publishing is the only sensible path. You will also hear others claim that of course a good traditional publisher is your only choice. Both claims are so obviously incorrect as to be straw men, but they have nuances of truth that make one of those claims absolutely true for many individuals.

Rick Ferri is moving to self publishing, and will almost certainly be successful, because he has name recognition and a solid back catalog. Hugh Howey had an amazingly successful breakout novel, and will probably never go to a traditional publisher.

John Scalzi has a good relationship with Tor and other publishers http://www.jimchines.com/2015/06/publishing-101/, David Drake has been published by Baen and others for many years, and Andy Weir http://www.businessinsider.com/how-andy-weirs-the-martian-became-so-successful-2015-6 moved from self published to traditional.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what activity gives you pleasure and makes you money. If you enjoy the publishing business, or really want to be in control of your back catalog, then self publishing makes a lot of sense. You need to be enough of a business person to control your fate http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/06/20/yogs-law-and-self-publishing/, but given that, it can be rewarding.

Expect to have to write many, many books - Kris Rusch http://www.kristinekathrynrusch.com/ argues that if you crank out a book a month under enough pen names to communicate your brand, you will eventually have a big enough back catalog to live on the proceeds. You may the Andy Weir or Hugh Howey with an amazing breakout first novel, or Lois Bujold with an evergreen that stays earning money, but that is not the way to bet.

Traditional publishing, on the other hand, lives on advances. As a rule, the typical author earns less than minimum wage, and never earns out. That is balanced by the ones that have enough success for the publishing house to make book. Those authors do quite well, and tend to write fewer books. They also have more editing up front, and may have better cover art and appeal. It is also about the only way to get traditional printed books in a reasonable number of distribution channels.

CashBalance
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by CashBalance » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:10 am

I've written six books. They've been on the NY Times, WSJ, Publisher's Weekly, and USA Today bestseller lists. They've all been published by one of the "big 5" trade publishing companies. The publishers put them on the shelves in all the major retail stores but I went out into the world and promoted the book. Self-publishing is an excellent alternative to trade publishing but I don't think one is better than the other. The question you have to ask is... how am I going to promote the book? No one is going to do it for you.

Either way, I recommend writing a book proposal. Often, when people self-publish, they skip the book proposal part of the process and just start writing which often leads them down a windy path that leads nowhere. Whereas, if you write a book proposal, you are proving the concept and laying out the process for development of the concept and marketing of the book before you start. You'll:

- Identify your target market.
- Get clear on your concept by writing a synopsis.
- Write a killer title and subtitle.
- Identify and understand the competition.
- Write a table of contents.
- Pre-design the production elements.
- Write sample chapters to settle on your style.
- And, what might be the most important, write a detailed marketing plan so you know how you're going to make the book a bestseller.

Think of it like writing and adhering to your Investment Policy Statement. It keeps you focused on your long -term goals and how you're going to get there.

There's a book called How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larson that you might consider reviewing.
Last edited by CashBalance on Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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JPH
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by JPH » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:39 am

CashBalance is giving you good advice. Do the proposal and send it to a few publishers. One or two may express some interest and request a sample copy. If you can work with a major publisher you will have guidance from an experienced editor. They also will provide a copy editor, proofreader, indexer, legal department, artwork for the cover and dust jacket, marketing & advertising. Periodically, you will receive royalty checks, which is a lot easier than doing it all on your own. My experience is in academic books, not novels.
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by sschullo » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:21 am

Hi,
I hope you find what you are looking for.
You got great advice from a lot of smart people here from previous questions you asked.
Get some mentors, work hard, get an education, know yourself, even if you think you have no talent for a specific task, do it anyway IF its your passion/love and never forget to give credit where credit is due to others who assisted on your successful journey:
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=189322&p=2872429#p2872429
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=189298&p=2873264#p2873264
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

neomutiny06
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by neomutiny06 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:22 pm

sschullo wrote:Hi,
I hope you find what you are looking for.
You got great advice from a lot of smart people here from previous questions you asked.
Get some mentors, work hard, get an education, know yourself, even if you think you have no talent for a specific task, do it anyway IF its your passion/love and never forget to give credit where credit is due to others who assisted on your successful journey:
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=189322&p=2872429#p2872429
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=189298&p=2873264#p2873264


I have kept all responses very close to me, the Bogleheads' forum has been one of the greatest educations I've ever experienced.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:54 pm

I had lots of book publishers interested in my book AFTER I wrote and AFTER I marketed it and AFTER I sold a whole bunch of copies.

The question isn't whether they can get more distribution, it's all about a multiplication problem:

Number of books sold x royalty per book = Author earnings

So if the publisher can sell 100,000 books and I get $1 per book, then I get $100K.

If I can sell 10,000 books and get $10 per book, then I get that same $100K.

But if you have no desire or ability to market your book, then go with a publisher. At least someone will do some marketing that way. If no one markets it, no one will buy it.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by jackholloway » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:02 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:I had lots of book publishers interested in my book AFTER I wrote and AFTER I marketed it and AFTER I sold a whole bunch of copies.

The question isn't whether they can get more distribution, it's all about a multiplication problem:

Number of books sold x royalty per book = Author earnings

So if the publisher can sell 100,000 books and I get $1 per book, then I get $100K.

If I can sell 10,000 books and get $10 per book, then I get that same $100K.

But if you have no desire or ability to market your book, then go with a publisher. At least someone will do some marketing that way. If no one markets it, no one will buy it.


There is another element - what you spend your time on. Your book marketing is also part of your personal brand marketing for your blog, so you get a synergy that a non-blogger might not. For someone without a substantial online presence, their choice is between spending time editing, promoting, and marketing their book and writing another book, without follow-on benefits.

Personally, I expect I would be happier self-pubbing, but it depends a lot on whether the conventional publishers would be interested. A good contract would certainly turn my head.

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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by sschullo » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:45 pm

neomutiny06 wrote:
sschullo wrote:Hi,
I hope you find what you are looking for.
You got great advice from a lot of smart people here from previous questions you asked.
Get some mentors, work hard, get an education, know yourself, even if you think you have no talent for a specific task, do it anyway IF its your passion/love and never forget to give credit where credit is due to others who assisted on your successful journey:
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=189322&p=2872429#p2872429
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=189298&p=2873264#p2873264


I have kept all responses very close to me, the Bogleheads' forum has been one of the greatest educations I've ever experienced.


And its all free for the asking. That's what makes the Bogleheads so special.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

Trader/Investor
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by Trader/Investor » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:50 pm

If you aim is to make money good luck. The book publishing industry has gone through drastic changes since the advent of e-books and the decline of traditional bookstores. I had two books published, one via Wiley and Sons and was on bookshelves throughout the country in late 1999/2000 and beyond. It was translated in 4 languages. I think my cumulative royalties over the years is in the $70,000 to $75,000 range. On the other hand, when I self published trading information in the early to mid nineties I made over six figures over the course of a couple years. That was lucrative but I didn't want to fall into the category of those who can't end up teaching. So I became one of the rare birds who gave up vendoring to concentrate solely on trading for a living. Boy, the stories I could tell about some of the bigger names out there who can't trade or invest their way out of a paper bag. They make their living writing/pandering books/seminars instead of trading/investing. It all ended well because had I not done the above ventures would never have been able to fund a retirement account. That retirement account is a story for another time and place as it was the antithesis of Boglehead investing.

Don46
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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by Don46 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:09 am

I have authored what are called serious non-fiction books. The best book I discovered on getting published is Susan Rabiner's Thinking Like Your Editor. It takes you through how to write the proposal and the book. I found an agent who knows the ropes and was able to pitch the proposal to several prominent publishing houses. The agent is known and trusted among publishers and that helped. You pay 15% of your earnings to the agent. Worth every penny in my case.
http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Thinkin ... ur-Editor/

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Re: How To Write A Book Proposal

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:03 pm

Fellow blogger JL Collins, known best for his 29-part stock series, will be self publishing a book, The Simple Path to Wealth. He has written a couple posts on the topic.

In the first, he was looking for help http://jlcollinsnh.com/2016/04/05/help-wanted-the-book/

In the second, he details who he found to provide that help: http://jlcollinsnh.com/2016/06/03/a-peek-into-the-simple-path-to-wealth/

After reading the first, I thought self-publishing seemed to be an overwhelming task. After reading the second, I thought it might not be so bad after all.

Best,
-PoF

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