Suzanne Sherman-Book Proposals

It’s an exciting new world in book publishing. You can publish on your own, electronically (e-books) or in print, or you can use a traditional publisher. Whatever route you want to take, I can help.


Would you like to self-publish an e-book or a print and e-book? Just send me the electronic file and I’ll have it prepared for you. There is NO FEE for CreateSpace (Amazon) to print the book, and you’ll do a 70/30% split with them on the cover price you set for the book. A royalty check comes to you monthly (if it’s over $100). Your production fees are only what it costs to have your manuscript edited, formatted, proofed, and to have your book cover done. The books cost about $3.50 to you as author and you can buy as many as you like whenever you like, at your author’s price. There is no garage full of books; it’s print on demand (POD). Contact me to get started.

Traditional Publishing

Book Proposals

Your proposal has to stand out. Agents receive hundreds of proposals every week.

Book proposals I’ve written have won top agents at the William Morris Literary Agency in New York. Proposals I have edited have led to book deals with agents and esteemed publishers on both coasts.

Book proposals are the primary sales tool for securing an agent and publisher. Proposals follow a standard format and are typically 15 to 25 pages.

Most traditional publishers require agent representation. The first step on that path is securing an agent, one who believes in your book and will be excited to make the right deal for it. Agents outline their requirements on their websites and you need to provide each one with exactly what they want. A writing sample (1 chapter or 50 manuscript pages) is often requested to include with the proposal.

What can I do for you?  Together we create marketing and promotion plans, an essential part of authorship that has to be detailed in a book proposal. I help with book titling, write book synopses, and help locate the right agents for a writer. I consult on all aspects of proposals, from necessary content to standard format, offering notes on their strengths and guidance for improvements as needed. Proposals often include a sample of the manuscript, and I review those, too, to make sure you have a winning package.

Query Letters

Whether you’re contacting an agent or a small publisher, you need a query letter that opens doors. Your goal is to convince a prospective agent or publisher that your book will be lucrative for everyone involved in the deal.

The query letter is the dividing line between a proposal that gets read and one that hits the round file. If an agent (or publisher) reads a good query letter they will ask for more to read or turn the page and immediately read your book proposal, if it’s included. Agents receive hundreds of queries every week, and most of them hit the round file or are deleted on email in a split second.

The query letter has a big job to do in a short space. Written in the tone of the book, in a single page it has to hook the reader from the start, describe in just a few words what the book is about, explain what it will do for readers, and convince the reader that you’re the one to write it. It’s both an invitation and a request, inciting interest and illustrating your professionalism every step of the way. Anything less than that and all of your hard work will go unrewarded with letters unanswered or rejection letters piling up. Don’t let your book be one of those that doesn’t get a fair chance.

Query Critique: $250 (includes 2 drafts)

Query Writing: $300 (a template you can use for multiple agents or multiple publishers)

Book Proposals

Consultation: $400 (10 to 15 pages) Includes notes on each section, recommendations.

Proposal Editing: $90/hr

Proposal Writing: $3500 (10- to 15-page proposal with standard sections: Proposal Table of Contents, Overview (3 – 4 pp), Audience, Marketing & Promotion, About the Author, Competing Titles, Format, Book Table of Contents

Build Your Audience (Author’s Platform)

Whether you’re self-publishing or interested in traditional publishing, you must have a  “platform” — connections to your potential readership — and before publication is the time to start developing one. Agents and publishers require authors have a platform that includes followers on social media, as authors are expected to be involved in promoting their books.

Different from authors of other nonfiction, memoirists are not expected to have had related speaking engagements, conference appearances, or a wide field of colleagues. They are, however, expected to have a large potential audience via the social networking tools available today.

Prospective agents and publishers want to know you’re well-connected through social media and that you can use this and other marketing channels to help sell your book. Without that, they aren’t interested. If you’re self-publishing, you must have a strong social media network, too.

Contact me and we’ll work out a good plan for you.