Monday, September 11, 2017

Some Terms of The Trade, Part II Non Fiction


A book proposal is a package of materials providing details about your book. Included should be any awards you've won, your credentials as a writer, education, and some information about the marketability of your work. Include any social media aspects that will enhance your visibility in the market and whether you've established an author's platform, blogs, web sites, or such. This is crucial to have well before you send in your manuscript. A typical book proposal will include sample chapters or a completed manuscript. Always follow publishing houses' guidelines. Check websites.


Write an amazing query letter that actually gets the agent or editor to want to read the proposal.

  • first paragraphs must grab the agent or publisher's attention.
  • There are three questions that a good proposal will make a publisher or agent ask next. Do you know what they are?.
  • Your marketing plan should be unique. Explain why your book will be profitable to the reader and how this notion will be delivered to the reader..
  • Make a list of all the benefits your book provides. Then list some of its features and why you're doing so.
  • What's your intended readership? Why them?
  • Show them that you have a clear understanding about the differences between demographics and psychographics for your book by answering what, when and why. 
  • Identify any contacts or social media aspects that will help to sell your book.
  • Show that you are aware of your competition and why your book is different.
  • What are your qualifications to write this book?
  • Tell them about your author platform.


    This is a periodical directed toward the average reader or layman, eg., Woman's Day, or People.

    Consumer magazines bring you independent test reports, best-buy recommendations and advice many times a year.


    This is also called a trade journal, and is a periodical that provides business and technical information to members of a particular, industry. Such a periodical is sometimes called a technical journal when directed toward readers in technology-oriented or scientific industries.

    It's called a professional journal when directed toward doctors, lawyers, and others in the "professions." Trade publications therefore cover an industry in more minute details than a consumer publication might.

    The idea is that trade publications deliver information that's of value to those who work in a certain field, but might not be of as much interest to the general public.

    Trade magazines are often exclusive as they are not sold at retail chains and are usually circulated to an elite class of subscribers and members interested in the publication's particular industry. For example, someone who likes movies might read a consumer publication like Entertainment Weekly because it covers entertainment. But someone who works in the movie industry will probably be reading publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, two trades that cover deals and other things happening in Hollywood more closely.

    In general, a trade publication will include articles that try to entertain the reader, sell a product (their own or their advertisers), or promote a particular viewpoint. People consider trade magazines to be where they go to talk shop, see who's who, learn who's new, and find out what's new.

    Readers will often find information about:
    • current trends, issues and events
    • news
    • useful products to use or sell, for that profession
    • practical advice
    • ads of interest to people in that profession
    Most articles found in trade publication are not particularly long, two to three pages in length is the norm and since they are written for the professionals in the field, they don't offer explanations of basic concepts as they assume the reader knows the basic concepts of the industry already.

    Some of the most popular types of articles featured in trade magazines could include:
    • Interviewing successful industry leaders. These types of articles allow readers to learn who did what, when, how, and, why from others in their profession, and possibly find ideas to apply to their own business ventures.

    • Answering frequently asked questions and consumer inquiries.  Business readers want to learn about the best and most efficient way to be successful in whatever business ventures they attempt. They want to draw in customers and provide excellent customer relations. These types of articles help teach better consumer relations that lead to more sales down the road for the business owner. Success is the key! Becoming successful is why they read these magazines.

    • "List" articles. Articles written in list formats are readers' favorites. Whether it's the top 10 ways to sell a particular item, or to list must-have products, lists can pack a lot of punch in a small article and tend to be remembered more later on because of its simplicity.

    This is a brief letter written to an editor accompanying a completed manuscript or book proposal. Address the letter to a specific person, simply address the appropriate agent. Every proposal will cross the desk of the designated agent eventually.

    Don’t waste your time or theirs. Do your homework! If you are submitting to an agent, visit their web site and follow their guidelines!!! I cannot emphasize this enough!

    Make certain to spell the person’s name right. It's insulting and will land your work in the garbage real fast.

    If you use a market guide book or some online database listing of agents or editors, make sure you have the most current information because addresses do change (go to the web site). Many offices change its mailing address…and nothing is worse than seeing mail go to their old address. This shows you didn't do your research!

    You would be astounded by the number of calls or inquiries publishers and agents receive from writers who have not done their research.

    Whatever you do, do not say your book is the next Purpose Driven Life, Eat Pray Love, Left Behind, or The Shack, or that it will sell better than The Da Vinci CodeTwilightHarry Potter, or The Chronicles of Narnia. That shows an ignorance of the market that is best left alone.

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