Welcome to the final round in our series of book proposal critiques. It’s an audiocast, so to get started, just click the play button below.
The six book proposals
•The first proposal we’ll be looking at today is for a sci-fi/fantasy novel that takes place in a South American jungle. The hero is a hack novelist, whose fictional characters, including a serial killer, come to life.
•The second is an illustrated children’s story about a boy, his dog and a conductor, who make music from the noisy sounds of the their city.
•Then, we’ll take a look at another novel, a satirical parody of James Frey’s alleged memoir, A Million Little Pieces.
•The fourth proposal is for a treatise that tries to bridge academic and popular non-fiction on the subject of religion and contemporary culture, namely Harry Potter.
•Next is a novel about a professional chef and his search for love and meaning in life.
•The final proposal is for a biography of a rap musician from Peru, who is best known for his political songs.
If you’re here for the first time
For those who are here for the first time, in Proposal Critiques we wanted to provide a snapshot of how editors, agents, and publishers go through and consider book proposals: A behind-the-scenes view of the quick and candid evaluation your proposal will receive when you send it to a literary agent or commercial book publisher.
You’ll hear me discussing a little of what works and what doesn’t in these submissions, and some suggestions for how they could be improved. By necessity the discussion here is very brief, but the issues I address are fairly typical, so I hope that readers will find something to take away. When I work with a writer one-on-one as a developmental editor, of course, I go into great detail with specific changes, suggestions and comments throughout the entire manuscript.
Thanks for sending your book proposals
Hey, thanks to all of you who submitted proposals. I hope the exercise was a helpful step in the process of writing and shepherding your work to publication.
This audiocast will be the last one in the series, as we now turn our attention in the blog to other aspects of writing and getting published. And remember: All writing is rewriting!
If you haven’t heard the two earlier audiocasts of Proposal Critiques, go here for Round One, an evaluation of a novel and a children’s book series, and here for Round Two, an adventure novel, a biography and an inspirational self-help book.