How To Write A Book Proposal Posted on by Karen Kelsky You all know that the book proposal is the cornerstone to a successful tenure track career in most areas of the humanities and social sciences. Sure, some parts of psychology and economics and other fields are not book-based, but basically, the law of the land is:
Last month I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking with Tom Sant, world's top expert on proposal writing.
Understand the concept A proposal is a sales tool not an information packet. The purpose of the proposal is to make a persuasive case that leads to a sale. To win the business, your proposal must overcome the following hurdles: Do I know who this is? If this is the first time the customer has heard of you, your proposal will be thrown out.
Is this proposal compliant? If the customer provided a template for the proposal, proposals that don't follow that template will be thrown out.
Does this proposal make sense? If the executive summary does not define the problem correctly or propose a reasonable solution, the proposal will be thrown out.
Does the solution provide value? Of the proposals that met the minimum as defined above, the one that wins will be the one that provides the most value.
The remaining steps provide a method for creating a proposal that overcomes all four hurdles. The proposal will not win if you fail to uncover the customer's true decision criteria and decision-makers. You must therefore research the customer--preferably be interviewing people in the various groups involved in the decision--to understand what's really going on.
Please note that different groups will likely have different "takes" on what's needed and will use different terms to describe the situation. If your proposal will be evaluated by both engineers and accountants, for instance, you'll need to understand both, and be able to communicate with both.
Lay the appropriate groundwork. Your proposal will be thrown out unless you've done marketing and sales activities that establish recognition in the mind of the decision-maker.
There are two ways to do this: Create a public presence. This consists of advertising, social networking, public relations, sponsoring conferences, sending speakers to conferences, publishing newsletters, and so forth.
Create a personal presence. This consists of establishing recognition through sales calls, customer meetings, emails, notes, texts, and phone calls. Now that you've done your research and laid the groundwork, brainstorm the client's situation and your own approach to helping them.
Use these questions to get the discussion started: What is the customer's problem or issue? Why is this problem important to them?
What parts of the business are affected by this problem? What corporate goals are not being achieved due to this problem? How will the customer measure the success of the solution?
Of these success measures, which is most important to them? What, precisely, will we propose?
How will we do this work?The Anatomy of a Proposal Although sales proposals vary, most successful ones share key elements and a mode of organization. Independent consultants proposing relatively small projects can usually get the job done in two to five pages.
Feb 18, · The classic example of focusing on inputs rather than outputs is our dysfunctional education system. For many years the educational establishment .
Sales Proposal Essentials. Sales proposals should be written on the company's letterhead and should include an account number, contact information, the name of the individual the proposal is addressed to and the name of the sales person making the pitch.
Turn things around by incorporating these 6 tips into your next sales proposal. 6 Tricks for Writing a Sales Proposal That Wins Business That contrast—the shock value—is incredibly compelling, and you can use that to your advantage in every proposal you write.
How? Say your client needs to spend $9, to update his computer system. Co-written by veteran literary agents (and husband and wife) Jeff Herman and Deborah Levine Herman, this book is a must-read for writers at any stage of their careers and helpful for writing a proposal for practically any kind of nonfiction book.
WHAT TO EXPECT. Writing a sales proposal is a very important step in gaining a new client, or selling to a current one.
There are some basic features to a winning sales proposal. There are some basic features to a winning sales proposal.