Monday, April 19, 2010

I Think I Made a Boo-boo

Are book proposals even used for fiction manuscripts anymore? Is this something that's outdated? Because the more research I do for literary agencies, the more I find book proposals are only requested for non-fiction books.

Or is it possible book proposals are utterly useless for fiction books and simply used by literary agencies as an extra hoop to jump through so they can avoid getting too many bad manuscripts from less than serious authors?

It would explain why numerous fiction authors find book proposals so difficult. I tried writing one for Eden Fell and it was a disaster. For my next novel, I actually found it fun and a useful writing exercise.

Oh well. I don't regret writing the proposal. If nothing else, it made the story clearer in mind. I guess only time will tell whether book proposals are useful for fiction...


  1. I've often heard that it's better to send a "P & O" or "portion and outline" of a fiction manuscript, which is a short form of book proposal, but it depends on what the publisher or the agency want. I guess if writers perfected the craft of writing proposals, it could save them from writing complete manuscripts that just end up in a desk drawer. On the Penguin Books site it recommends that authors should not send their submissions to publishers, but should instead focus their efforts on sending to literary agents because those are the people who know the publishing game. I have a proposal in play right now for a non-fiction book. If it works, I'll share it with you. And if you write a proposal that works, please share it with me, too.

  2. Thank you, that's very useful information. It does seem highly dependent on each individual, agent, publisher.

    I'll keep everyone updated about the progress for this book here. So if I get a response and you do as well, we'll exhange experiences :)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
If you're not a spammer,
I'd love to hear from you.