I Want to Be Your Book Proposal Coach



I have decided to switch things up for the remainder of this series on how to write a book proposal. A number of you have encouraged me to use specific examples of things to do or not do in a book proposal.

I would like to do this, and I do think it would be useful to writers who are working on book proposals. The problem is that I don’t have permission from the writers who have sent me proposals to use excerpts of what they sent in.

So, I’d like to be your coach. In other words, I want to help someone write, edit, and otherwise craft a book proposal.

And I’d like to post about our progress on this blog so that others can learn from the work we do.

To be honest I’m not sure what shape the blog posts will take, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My hope is that blogging about the process of creating a book proposal while actually doing it will reveal things that would not be revealed otherwise.

I also hope that some will choose to work on their own proposals right along with us. Let’s make a workshop out of this.

I’m looking for someone who:

  • Will give me permission to post here about our progress, including excerpts of the proposal, to help others develop their own proposals
  • Already has a solid nonfiction Christian Living book concept (Sorry novelists!)
  • Is committed to prompt communication with me
  • Won’t expect anything from me except coaching advice
  • Is committed to finishing the proposal in four weeks or less.
  • Is fun to work with!

If you’re interested, comment on this post or email me at chad@chadrallen.com with a one-sentence summary of your concept and your bio. See these two posts for help:

How to Come Up with a Great Book Concept

The Very First Thing I Look at in Your Book Proposal and Why

I’ll keep this open for a few days to a week to see what kind of response comes in. My idea is to pick the series back up in the new year.

As responses come in (assuming they do!), I’ll review them and pick someone to work with. Then we’ll get to work.

If I don’t get much of a response or if for some other reason it just doesn’t seem like a good thing to do, no problem. But I thought I’d give it a whirl.

And away we go.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Pingback: How to Write a Compelling Bio for Your Book Proposal | Chad R. Allen()

  • Chad, I sent my concept and bio by email, but wanted to add a comment.

    The hardest thing was putting the concept statement in terms of the two elements of the process as described in your earlier post: the need it meets and a working title. Perhaps because I’m an academic by day I’m much more comfortable with straight description. The idea comes from my sense of a genuine need in the church and the lives of individual Christians, but I found that taking your approach left me feeling fearful that my point would not be clear. I do see the point, though, and if I’m able to do it right it is well worth it.

    Likewise with the title: past experience of being strongly attached to a working title, only to the have it replaced with a VASTLY superior title thought up by my editor and her team left me holding off on the title brainstorm until your post prompted me into action. (I’ve just thought of it as “The Community Book” until that became the working title.)

    (And like most academics, I have a very hard time holding myself to one sentence!)

    Thanks for your generosity and sense of adventure in doing this. I look forward to following your posts as it rolls forward.

  • Pingback: Book Proposal Coaching Update | Chad R. Allen()

  • Does this include a spiritual memoir? I’ve got one.

    • It does, indeed, Michelle. Drop me a brief description and your bio, via a comment or the email address above, and I’ll consider it along with the others. Thanks!

  • I have a seed of an idea but it is not yet ready for this project. BUT I wanted to thank you for offering this and then sharing it with us. I think that is very gracious of you and I look forward to the series. Thank you!

    • Thanks, Jean, both for being honest about the status of your idea (keep growing that seed!) and for your nice words. Means a lot to me.

  • Well, fine, no soup for you!!
    Have your people call my people when it’s FICTION time.
    BTW, did I mention my city-wide fame for my cheesecakes?
    Bribery. Right here. On the interwebs.

    • Dang! I love cheesecake too, and that’s a very tempting offer, but I just don’t think I can add a lot of value in fiction. I’ve spent my whole career in nonfiction. You could probably teach me more about fiction than I could teach you. But, and this is for the record, I would flatten you in a cheesecake eating contest. Of that I’m quite certain.

  • I have a book concept and several notes but have *no* idea what a book proposal even is – so if you want to work with a absolute newbie – I’m your #1 potential biggest bang! I’m game if your serious about the offer. My nephew Josh Mosey tells me it’s a gift of great value.

    • I’m serious about the offer, Susan. Check out my request in the post!

  • Chad, you are a genius. I would love your wisdom. I’ve had two requests for proposals in the past couple of months and, while I have written proposals before, I’ve never had one accepted so I’d love some coaching.

    Emailing you now!

    • Teri, I’ve received your email and will take a look. Thank you! As for being a genius, you’ve got the wrong guy. I’m the guy who searches his pockets madly for his cell phone with one hand while he’s got it up to his ear in the other. I’m not even kidding!

  • Very good idea. I bet these will turn out to be some of your most popular posts, Chad. 🙂

    • Thanks, Erin. It feels a little like I did when I was a kid and slowly walked up the really high diving board for the first time. That first time did not go well, actually, because I tried actually diving. The next time I just jumped in, and that went much better. I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere, but I’m not smart enough to know what it is! Anyway, a little nervous, to be honest, but the response has been great so far.

      Hey, thanks for commenting back to the novelist (AK, she goes by) yesterday or the day before. She posted on her own blog about how helpful your comment was. When that stuff happens, I’m tellin’ ya, something leaps within my chest.

  • Wow! What a fun idea. No matter who is chosen, I’m looking forward to reading the blog posts that come out of this. That said, my non-fiction book is a memoir focusing on a couple years ago when each of the guys in my writer’s group decided to start families around the same time. The result was one girl, one boy, and one still-birth, the last one being mine. It would be about friendship, family, and finding your way through hardship with your relationships in tact.

    • Thanks, Josh, and what’s your bio? Comment or email…

      • Josh Mosey is a husband, father, writer, and bookstore employee. If books were food, Josh would be morbidly obese. He enjoys flash fiction, fantasy, and dystopian literature. He is currently seeking publication on three of his many manuscripts. Follow Josh at his blog, joshmosey.wordpress.com.

  • Pam

    Cheers to your generous offer. Have fun!

    • As I live and breathe…hey Pam! So fun to see Unladylike getting out there. You’re gettin’ it done!

  • Chad, I continue to point folks here, not only for writing/pub tips, but as a source of encouragement, too. Your heart for people is so inspiring.

    Continued blessings on your ministry!

    *Raising a Starbucks toast to you*

    • That’ll be an Americano I’m raising right back at you. Every now and again I allow myself to imagine what it will be like to have blogged for an eternity like five years (snicker), and I think about how you and several others will always be very special to me because you were with me from the beginning. I hope that’s not too presumptuous (who knows if I’ll last that long?) or sappy (we’ve never even met face to face!). But in any case it’s sincere. Cheers. Cheers indeed!

  • I really love this idea. I’ll send you an email in the next day.

    Thank you for such practical and helpful information.

    • And thank you, Lisa, for being such a loyal reader and commenter. I’m grateful, and look forward to reviewing what you sent.

  • Seriously, this is the best experience you could gift an aspiring writer. I’m impressed. Bonus points to you, my friend. Proposal writing ranks as the most difficult part of this whole process, IMO. It took me a year of crafting and downloading seminars and hiring two editors to polish mine. Even then I felt like it needed more work. I can’t wait to see you help someone along in this process.

  • Eric Bryant

    What a kind offer, Chad! I would love your help.

    I have a book idea that I think could be a good one, but I’m having trouble helping publishers see that as well. 🙂

    Here’s the idea:

    We can all experience a fruitful life – a generative, productive, and creative life when we develop the following skills as shared by Jesus in the parable of the soils: receptivity, tenacity, intentionality, and proactivity.

    Thanks for the offer!

    • Thanks, Eric, and thanks for emailing too. I’ll take a look!