Preparing my book proposal

In preparation for submitting my book proposal I need to do some research on what type of thing I need to include in the proposal and in what detail.

The article from this website has already given me an idea of what type of information I need to include (https://blog.reedsy.com/how-to-write-a-book-proposal/)

The article stresses the importance of showing the need for the book: ‘In other words: why is your premise unique? How will it benefit people who read it? This is very important. If you can convince the publisher that readers will care enough about your book to buy it, you’re that much closer to securing a book deal.”

I really need to not only emphasise why I think the book is necessary, but why my audience would think it is necessary and how this would effect the audience: I should ask present my book idea to random people and ask them what their views are on this and whether they agree with my thoughts on why this is needed

Elements of a book proposal

I need to consider what layout the book proposal is going to be. This article ‘Creating a photo book proposal’ (https://www.photo.net/learn/creating-a-photo-book-proposal/) has a useful list of what to include in a phonebook proposal:

Title page

This needs to have the book title, my contact information, my name and any front cover artwork I am working on for the book. All needs to be clearly stated and easy to read.

Book title ideas:

  • Analogue dog – if I successfully produce analogue images which are of good enough standard to produce a whole book with just dogs in analogue then I really like this name due to the rhyming nature of it. – Do I want to add more to it to give a clearer description of the book eg ‘Analogue dogs- what can they teach us?’


Contents/overview

I need to have a very clear overview of what the book is going to have in it and what the message is going to be and convert this through my overview/contents of the book proposal.

On top of this I need to ensure the contents makes the readers very eager to learn and read what the book is going to have to say, and trust that my viewpoint is strong and is going to be succinct throughought the book.

‘I think it is a good idea to boil the project overview down into an elevator pitch: one to three sentences that summarize your project, and place it in an attractive light’ (https://www.photo.net/learn/creating-a-photo-book-proposal/)

Overview page ideas:

  • ‘This photography book aims to combine dog photography and research into human-dog bonds in a celebration of all the amazing things that dogs are. Because of the combination of photography, the content being dogs, and the research, the book will reach the interest of photography lovers, dog and animal lovers, and people wanting to learn more about dogs/animal emotions. Due to the nature of how many dogs and other animals are treated in the world, I believe it is essential to try and draw peoples empathy towards noticing the high emotional intelligence in animals. The goal is on one hand to celebrate dogs and teach people some facts they may have otherwise not known, but on the other hand as a back hand goal is to try and encourage people to think more emotionally about animals’

Book description

‘The book description should make it clear what the book is about, and what kind of book it is—unless you have thoroughly covered this ground in the project overview section. – You should also give some thought to the physical book that you hope to have published.’ (https://www.photo.net/learn/creating-a-photo-book-proposal/)

I need to start thinking about:

  • What dimensions I want the book to be
  • Approximately how many pages it will be
  • How many photos will be in it
  • The different sections of the book: eg the ‘case study/interview’ sections, the research sections, and my own writing sections

Audience

This is a very serious aspect of my book – I clearly have a vested interest in the book and its content…. but do other people? I need to make sure that my book has an audience otherwise the book will have no purpose other than for myself:

‘No publisher wants to publish a book that doesn’t have an audience, no matter how wonderful the book.’ (https://www.photo.net/learn/creating-a-photo-book-proposal/)

Audience proposal ideas:

It is intended to expand audiences knowledge of dog/animal emotions to increase appreciation for the wonders of dogs and increase the amount of empathy felt towards at the least dogs but hopefully all animals in general. The books audience should reach artists, art lovers, dog lovers, animal lovers.

‘It’s often a good tactic add statistics to the audience section of the proposal.’ (https://www.photo.net/learn/creating-a-photo-book-proposal/) – I feel in this case it is a very good idea for me to research some statistics about

1) How many people have dogs as pets in the UK

2) How many dogs are used in laboratories or are in mistreated

3) How many people are fighting against the cause

4) Animals not considered as ‘pets’ but show the same amount of emotional intelligence as dogs

Completion and delivery

Give an idea of how much longer until the project would be finished and what else needs to be done for this. So for example if I want do continue interviewing people, if I want to get in touch with more dog behaviourists, if I want to contact other people such as the groups who use dogs for therapy, or if I want to build my photography portfolio up more for the book. I need to think about this and estimate how much longer I would need for this.

Competition

‘First, with all the books out there in the universe, there is almost always competition. Second, agents and publishers would rightly be leery of a book without competition. They would think there is a reason that no one has tried to fill this publishing niche—and most of the time they would be right. In fact, one publisher I work with has told me that they prefer to work in areas where there is a great deal of competition—because it shows that there is real demand.

In short, stating that there is no competition, or even knocking the competition too much, is a mistake. What you want to do is use some subtlety to “distinguish” the competition from your title. Show that you know what the competition is, and show that it has had some success—so there is real interest in the area—and then show what you do better, or at least differently, and why this might have some appeal in the marketplace.’ (https://www.photo.net/learn/creating-a-photo-book-proposal/)

This article has given me some quite new insights into how to deal with the competition of my book sector. Initially I thought it wouldn’t be great if there were similar books to mine, however can see now how this wouldn’t be the best thing and what I really need to do is show how I am going to add to the sector in a beneficial way

I need to:

  • Find books in a similar field, explain why they are successful but explain how I am going to make my book different to these and potentially better

Already from looking, I cannot find any books that combine the arts of a photography book with research… this may be the main selling point of my proposal

Look at animal rights books – mine has a different stance as I am using dogs as a platform

Author qualifications

Here I explain why I think I am the right person to create this book:

  • Studying photography
  • I have been photographing dogs for many years
  • I have always had dogs and have always been interested in their behaviour and the commutation between dogs and their owners
  • I am an avid animal rights activist and have a vested interest into making people care more about how they are treated… within this I know that using a different platform to invest peoples interest and emotions is often needed.

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