Have a Great Publishing Idea? Test it by writing a book proposal.

Jane Friedman

I recently completed Jane Friedman’s on-line course: Write a Book Proposal. I signed up while I was still in France following Le Tour de France. I am writing a guidebook for avid fans and amateur cyclists who want to spectate live and in person. I hoped the course would motivate me to get cracking on the project. I have gleaned so much from Jane Friedman’s blog on publishing today I decided to spring for the class with Jane’s critique of my book proposal.

There are videos you watch on-line on a variety of topics. These step you through the stages of writing a proposal, especially research. Then there are two video calls live with Jane where you can ask any questions you have about writing, and publishing. (No one tested the boundaries—you could always ask for relationship or investing advice just recognize the limits of her expertise.) Finally, the written assignment is to draft your book proposal and submit it.

For $250 you get everything, except Jane gives you feedback on an outline of your proposal and for $750 she edits your full proposal.

The discipline of writing the book proposal was very helpful. At first it led me to decide to independently publish because I would have more control and a traditional publisher would not be able to distribute through typical channels and reach my target audience. However, Jane encouraged me to send the proposal to some specialty publishers, such as VeloPress. Why not? I can do this while I continue to work on the other unfinished chapters of the guidebook. If I do not stir interest with my letters of inquiry then I can revert back to independently publishing.

The biggest benefit was the external deadline to complete a draft coupled with the motivation to receive feedback from someone whose expertise I respect greatly. For others they realized that they needed to keep refining their concept, or abandon it all together, or hurry up and finish the proposal and press send!

I do not receive any remuneration or benefit from Jane Friedman if you take or do not take her course. If you are interested you can find out more by clicking here.