Just so you know that being an author isn’t all about book releases and eating chocolate bars, I thought that I’d give you a peek into the world of writing a proposal. Generally, when you write a proposal you write the first 3 chapters (about 50 pages) and a rather detailed synopsis. I want you to picture a ROOT CANAL every time you read the word SYNOPSIS. It’s pretty similar–takes too long, hurts a little bit, and you don’t really know if it “worked” until later. Where was I? Oh…writing a proposal.
So, this can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to forever. You might think I’m kidding, but some authors get stuck in the proposal process, which is too bad because they might have a very good book.
An editor usually won’t buy your book just because you tell them it’s going to be great when you write it. They sort of need to see part of it. At the very least, they need to see those 3 chapters and synopsis. When I send a proposal into Love Inspired, it includes a very detailed synopsis and 3 chapters of the first book, plus paragraph synopses of the subsequent books. My most recent contract with them included 6 books, so that was a lot of paragraph synopses to write. And honestly, I don’t know what’s going to happen to those characters. I’m sort of making it up. I mean, isn’t that what fiction is?
It’s like you’re getting to know these people, and you’re getting excited about what might happen to them, but don’t get too attached because the answer might be “no” or “change it.” Usually (but not always), you have an agent, and your agent sends in your proposal and then you wait. Sometimes you wait for a few weeks. Sometimes you wait for a few months. Hopefully you have something else to work on in the meantime.
My proposals for Love Inspired have been fairly painless, but I’ve also been writing proposals in other genres…just to flex my writing muscle a little. My agent is submitting those proposals to various publishers. They include cozy mysteries, Amish cozy mysteries, suspense, speculative, and women’s fiction. Yeah. I’ve been writing a lot of proposals in between my contracted books.
Occasionally, publishers will like what they read, but maybe they aren’t quite ready to offer a contract yet…especially if the book isn’t in your “normal genre.” This happened to me with a fabulous suspense book. Several publishers asked to see the entire book, which wasn’t written. So, I wrote it, and now we wait.
It’s a crazy career for sure, but I definitely love being a writer. Now where did I put those chocolate bars? While I’m searching for them, comment below with your favorite way to cool off in the summer. We’re melting here in Texas. I wonder if my chocolate bars are melted. Hmmm….