I’m one of those people who like to make lists so I can check things off as I go. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and it keeps me on point to get things done. Your list doesn’t need to be rigid or unchanging. In fact, being flexible with the order and even the items on the list is necessary when you attempt to juggle lots of things in your life.
After attending the Hay House Writing Workshop, I created a list of things I wanted to accomplish this year.
The 2014 List
Step 1 Write a book proposal.
By attending the Hay House writing workshop, I was eligible to submit my book to their writing contest. This meant I had to write a book proposal. You all now know that I didn’t win the contest but moving forward the proposal will be needed when I submit Journey to Jobville to publishers or agents so this was a worthwhile endeavor.
Step 2 Get a professional headshot taken.
Step 3 Enter the Hay House contest
Step 4 Build a website so I can promote myself as a writer.
Step 5 Build my platform.
My plan was to tackle each of these separately rather than multi-tasking. Yes, it would take me longer but it would also keep me from being overwhelmed.
This list was created back in April 2014, and we’re now at the beginning of November. I’m proud to say that steps 1–4 are completed, and I’m in the throes of step #5. Building a platform will be an ongoing, never-ending project.
Since I promised to enlighten you on the process of publishing a book, I’m going to back up to step #1 and fill in some of the details.
Step 1: The Book Proposal
Understanding how to write a book proposal is important for several reasons. If you want to find a literary agent, you will need a book proposal. If you want to publish with a traditional publisher, you will need a book proposal. Even if you don’t want to do either of those things, a book proposal can help you to clarify many aspects of your book. It can help you to:
- Hone in on who your audience is.
- Create a succinct summary about your book so you can talk about it easily without stumbling for the words.
- Explain why your book is a marketable product.
As you can well imagine, there are tons of books, websites, podcasts, and people who promise to teach you or help you to write a book proposal. Once again, I was overwhelmed so rather than wade though it all on my own, I chose to get help. During the Hay House Writing Workshop, we were introduced to Kelly Notaras from KN Literary Arts. She and her team provide a wide variety of services from writing to editing to marketing your story. I hired Kelly and her team to help me write a book proposal and edit my book. The knowledge and support I gained from KN Literary has been invaluable to me and was well worth the money spent.
So, let’s get to the details. A book proposal is very much like a business plan. It is a document that explains:
- Who you, the author, are.
- What your book is about.
- Who the audience is for your book.
- What books you compete with.
- How you will help promote your book.
It should also contain a table of contents and chapter summaries if your book has chapters. My book does not, so I omitted those.
Market Analysis – Who is the audience for my book?
The largest target audience for Journey to Jobville is high school or college graduates. People who wish to transition to a new career that combines passion and skills make up the secondary market. Lastly, readers of motivational and creativity books round out the audience for this book.
Gathering statistics for these markets gives the reader (agent or publisher) an idea of how big that audience really is. The bigger the audience the greater the number of potential book sales.
Here are the statistics I found:
- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects 3,307,080 students will graduate from high school in 2014 and 2015, and 1,606,000 students will graduate from college with a Bachelors degree.
- A survey performed by Harris on behalf of the University of Phoenix found that over 50% of working adults are interested in changing careers.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2014, there were 145,814,000 people employed in the United States.
This means that over 72 million working adults are interested in changing their career!
YIKES! Clearly, I’m not alone in feeling that my chosen career path was inadequate! Fortunately, I have stepping stones in place so I can continue on this writing journey. I’m already thinking about what 2015’s stepping stones will be.
Question: How many people do you know are part of that 72 million?