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I've been busy these past few weeks, working on proposals to send out to agents and a handful of publishers. As those of you who have gone through this process well know, every agent has a different list of things they want you to include in your proposal, as well as New and Exciting ideas as to formatting. Some want a three-page double-spaced synopsis, some allow only one page, strictly single-spaced, while still other allow a vague “2-4 pages” without bothering to specify spacing at all.
I understand why. It's part of a process to separate out the authors who are willing to go the extra mile from those who aren't. And bit by bit, it's building me a toolbox full of everything a publisher might want to know about my manuscript. I have a bio, a query letter, a cover letter, a write up of “comparable titles,” a market analysis, synopses of every size, back cover copies, tag lines and one-sentence “blurbs”...and the list goes on.
It's hard work, but it's satisfying to know that as time goes on I'm learning more about the business of publishing. And it really is a business, one in which, (like every other business), you must excel to succeed.
So how about you? Have you ever written a fiction proposal? What's the hardest part of proposal writing for you?