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Newsletter Dated: 6/3/2008 6:33:10 PM
Subject: Publish That Book e-course Starts June 10, 2008
Publish That Book:
How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal That Sells
With Andrea Campbell: email@example.com
New session starts June 10, 2008.
The first book proposal I wrote was constructed using Roman numerals! The year was 1990 and I was very naïve. But I sent that proposal by snail mail directly to five New York publishers, and got an offer in the second query letter that I mailed out—it was to Sterling Publishers, and they went on to publish two more of my books. So despite my inexperience and lack of know-how, a New York publisher picked up my book! Why did that first book sell?
Obviously because of content—it was a great idea. The book was called Great Games for Great Parties: How to throw a perfect party. In preparation for that title what I had done was to collect and try out party games on different groups of people for about ten years. I used everyone from foreign exchange students, to the Hot Springs Women’s Club, to a regional Kennel Club of America chapter, and they all eventually became my book’s buyers as well.
At the time the market had only a few children’s party books, but really nothing for adults and for adult parties. I had hit a “void” in the market and found a way to fill it. Consequently, Great Games was on the market for 12 years. I didn’t make a lot of money with the initial advance, about $1,750.00, but I earned about $35,000.00 in royalties all told -- from checks that had come in the spring and fall every year for 12 years. And Great Games was also published in Spain; New Delhi, India; and Russia—twice!
Now think about it: wouldn’t it be great to have ten books like Great Games under your belt and on the shelf? Well, it can be done and if I can do it, why can’t you?
Let me show you how through my intense, 8-week-long workshop on how to get a nonfiction book proposal ready for publishers. This is your opportunity to gain a serious business advantage over other writers who will try to wing it. And even if your first book doesn’t sell, you will have the skills and the template to apply to other ideas and other projects. You may even come up with more ideas for more books as you work through this course.
And my workshop is different. I keep the classes small so you receive a lot of individual attention; class size is limited to 10 students. In addition, we will have a private area where you will share your work with the other students. Why? Because you will find you gain a lot by seeing the work of your contemporaries, and soon everyone makes supportive suggestions to help guide others along, in effect, mentoring each other. Besides, I am an advocate of networking and establishing relationships. You know, you will find out when you begin marketing, that often the people you interact with will buy your book just because they like you, and will come back for your other titles. Getting to know others then is part of your marketing and promotion arsenal.
Another thing I do in my workshops is to have weekly chat sessions. Yes, every Thursday night, we will meet online to ask questions, discuss the lesson plans, and talk about additional information or details that you might have missed. Chats are an important tool for learning (and camaraderie) and why shouldn’t we work together to leverage our knowledge?
And to make it worth your while, you will also receive additional materials to help illustrate important points from the lesson plans or that you can use to aid you in staying abreast of what is happening in the publishing industry.
Here are the details:
E-course: 8 weeks; Online chats: Thursdays, 8 pm CST
Intermediate. Try to clear your plate of other things that may distract you and be prepared to work hard. If you want results, you will get them but this class involves work and preparation week after week.
Nowadays, big publishers simply don't read unsolicited material. They depend on agents to muck through the "slush pile" in search of the gems. If you want to get a book published, knowing and using the correct format for a book proposal is paramount.
Nonfiction books -- a market easier to break into than fiction -- are the backbone of publishing. In this workshop, you'll learn what is appropriate for writers who already have an idea for a book, but would like to know the complete and correct execution of this vital marketing product.
In this class, you can expect to learn:
• If your idea is a good one
• The essential ingredients of a book proposal
• What the format and overall look of the actual proposal should be
• How to write your proposal letters and the best markets for your book
• Why you must exploit your “intellectual capital”
• The nuts and bolts of the nonfiction book publishing industry
By the end of class, students can expect to have:
A marketable, nonfiction book proposal package ready to send out to agents, including a query letter, along with the confidence to market his/her product.
Please submit a letter of interest (including a brief work history), and a writing sample (less than 2,000 words). Tell me who you are and what you hope to gain from this class, and what you feel are your strengths and weaknesses. Email your letter of interest to the instructor directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The online classroom has several interactive components:
* I post a lecture once a week. You can read them online, print them, or download them at your convenience.
* Students post completed assignments for feedback and discussion by the instructor and their classmates.
* Weekly chats allow the class to get together via instant message. Transcripts are available for review if you can't attend.
Date and Time: Starts June 10, 2008
Here's what Andrea's students say:
"After the workshop with Andrea, I had a great proposal that was ready to present to agents. She found ways to bring out the best in my own ideas, even when I didn't see them clearly myself, and to show me how to turn them into a well-packaged proposal. The first publisher who received it immediately expressed interest."
"I took Andrea Campbell's on-line course in fall 2005 because book proposals were so mystifying to me. Having worked as a freelance magazine writer for almost 20 years, I certainly knew how to write a magazine query. But the book proposal seemed like a whole other art form. And it is. Andrea explained the different elements clearly -- part business plan, part summary, part writing showcase, part voodoo -- and helped me master this strange concoction. She was tough and demanding because she said agents and editors would be. She was right. The proposal I crafted with Andrea's help and insight earned me a top agent and a nice book contract with Broadway Books (a Doubleday imprint). She also told us that if we crafted a good proposal, writing the book would be so much easier. She was right there too. After I got my contract, I wrote my memoir in only five months since I had a very specific and well-thought-out guideline. My book, The Unlikely Lavender Queen: A Memoir of Surprise Blossoming (I even came up with the title in her class) will be out in May 2008."
"Although I'd written and edited several books, I really didn't understand what it takes to create a 'killer' book proposal until I took Andrea Campbell's course. She manages to make a thoroughly intimidating process almost easy, with an engaging style and tireless commitment to her students."
"No amount of time spent reading books and magazine articles about writing will duplicate what you can learn from Andrea's one on one personal feedback. She offers candid, professional, and truthful advice about your work. If your writing doesn't improve, you're not paying attention."
—Jan Shaffer on The Gatekeepers class
"Helpful and how! Making me sit down and put it to paper—the business part. I can work and rework everything in my mind, but to see it in print, I found out exactly where I was and how far—gulp!—I had to go."
—Susan Laing on The Gatekeepers class
I have had such a fun time with this class, looking forward to each lecture, each assignment, each chat and ultimately all the comments from Andrea. It has been more than challenging, but I’ve tried to keep up each week with the assignments. Often, it’s been quite tough….Yes! I took another “get your book published” workshop once back in the day and found the instructor a bit off-putting. You, Andrea, however, have been so helpful, sensitive and personally interested in each and every one of us and all of our projects. Tough on us, perhaps, but it wasn’t unwarranted. You’ve pushed us, all of us, and I think that’s what new writers need, that’s why they take classes like this. Although, I will say that initially, I was unsure of what to expect from an online course (I’d never taken one). I thought we’d be “told” how the industry is and that we’d have to find our way within it. In your class we learned to “DO” and boy did we ever DO! Does that make sense?! Having never taken an online course, I was a little afraid that your class would just be “read this and ask questions later and I’ll tell you what I did to get to where I am.” Your course is so not the case. You dive in and don’t give up until you’ve got that catfish in your teeth! You show us all sides of the experience, teach us not what, but how to create what we need, must, to achieve the perfect sales document for ourselves. As I said, it’s scary!
Andrea Campbell is the author of twelve traditionally published nonfiction books on a variety of topics including forensic science, criminal law, primatology, and entertaining using interactive games, among others. Her latest book is the 2nd edition of Legal Ease: A Guide to Criminal Law, Evidence and Procedure, which has just been updated and fashioned into a college law textbook. She is currently working on a historical biography for Overlook Press. Andrea is a member of several professional organizations and stays current with book business. Her classes always offer students much more than they thought they’d get. One of her students recently got a “very good deal,” and, according to Publisher’s Lunch, a $100,000-plus book contract.