Getting Started – The Author Proposal
You’ve passed by that “Local Interest” section in your favorite bookstore for years. Folks you know are amazed at the knowledge you have about your town, sports team, college, or some other local topic. You’re ready to do this!
Or are you?
The Author Proposal is the process by which you decide. It’s not difficult to work with, but it is detailed. You need the answers to a number of questions about your project. This is where you make the decision to go forward. Let’s start the process with some general things you need to answer, if you want to write a history book. While we’re working within the context of writing a book for Arcadia or The History Press, the things you need to work through apply to submitting a book proposal for other imprints as well. While the details in specific proposal packages vary, the basics are common.
What do you know?
It’s one thing to think you know a particular subject. Actually knowing enough to write a book is another. Friends, neighbors, and colleagues help with this discernment. If folks really tell you, you should write a book, that’s a good start. Many history books tell their story chronogically. So, start your timeline. Turn it into an outline. Run it past your friends.
Don’t worry about credentials
You don’t need to have a doctorate to write a history book! You don’t even need a college degree. This is important – you do need to be able to write. Maybe not perfectly, but you have to get in front of a keyboard. So, if you can write a 1500-word introduction and a lot of 20 to 50-word captions, you’re up to the challenge. If you want to tell a longer story, write a thousand words. Get friends and colleagues to look it over. Be ready to accept their critiques.
Just because your writing needs work doesn’t mean you can’t write a book! Using an editor may be the route you take.
Get to work – go to our Author Proposal page to learn more about the process.