Text reading "Bulk Upload Sheets for Beginners" above an example of a bulk upload spreadsheet

Bulk Upload Sheets for Beginners

Are you starting a social media campaign for your book? You should create a bulk upload sheet to help manage your posts! Bulk upload sheets, also known as BUSes, house the numerous social media post materials for a social media marketing campaign, keep the campaign organized, and streamline the uploading process to your scheduling platform. If you’re curious about BUS file types, layout, creating your own BUS, and keeping a BUS organized, keep reading!

What does a BUS look like?

BUSes for social media are less technical and scary than they sound; they’re really just spreadsheets that are specially formatted to organize your social media content in an easy-to-track way. Each column of the spreadsheet is given a title as a header such as “Date and Time,” “Copy,” and “Link,” and your various post materials and the timing information go in the rows below. BUSes usually also have multiple tabs within the spreadsheet to separate your materials by their intended social media platform.

At Ooligan Press, we have several additional columns to the right of the first three columns that are designated as “Notes,” “Design Approval,” and “Copy Chief Approval” sections. These extra columns help the press communicate about which posts have been approved by Ooligan’s current design manager and copy chief, about if revisions are needed (via the Google Sheets “comment” and “assign” functions), and about which posts are ready to be scheduled. However, your extra columns should be tailored to the size of your campaign, the length, and the size of your marketing team. For example, if your social media campaign includes plans for fifty social media posts per platform, across three separate social platforms, with a campaign duration of three months, you might want additional columns for second and third editing passes over your post captions and media.

How do I make a BUS?

Making a BUS for your social media campaign is easy! Just open Google Sheets (free with a Gmail account and suggested for BUSes) and fill out the first row of cells with the headings “Date and Time (mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm),” “Copy,” and “Link.” I recommend bolding these and coloring the first row’s cells so the titles of each column are obvious. I also suggest adding an extra column or two for editing passes and reminders/notes like mentioned, but otherwise, you’ve built your first BUS! Now your BUS is ready for your social media post materials.

How do I use the BUS and keep it organized?

To start using your BUS, just copy and paste the social media post captions and media you’ve created under the corresponding columns (captions under “Copy,” Google Drive links to media under “Links”—remember to change share settings on media files to “anyone with the link can view”). Then select the date and time for each post to publish and record it in the first column following the heading’s suggested format. As you finalize the materials for each post, I suggest using a highlighting system to keep track of which posts have been scheduled. At Ooligan, we keep it simple. When a row of the spreadsheet’s cells are filled yellow, it means the post materials have been reviewed and are ready to schedule. Green rows mean that the post has been uploaded to your social media scheduling platform. Red rows mean a post hasn’t been scheduled yet and is on a time crunch.

How do I schedule posts in advance?

To schedule posts in advance, you need a third party scheduling platform like Hootsuite or Later. Both platforms offer a free plan to schedule a small number of posts at a time across two to three social media platforms. Other scheduling platforms offer similar free scheduling plans with their own set of restrictions, but if both Hootsuite’s and Later’s free plans don’t fit your BUS needs, you may need to look into a paid scheduling plan. Luckily, these are fairly inexpensive, with Later’s plans starting at $8/month and Hootsuite’s starting a bit pricier at $49/month, as of February 2022. BUS posts can be scheduled individually on platforms like Hootsuite and Later, or with a few minor layout edits, you can upload your BUS posts in batches by downloading the BUS as a CSV file and uploading it directly to your scheduling platform.

Happy bulk uploading!

Four people interacting with the internet

Metadata from Publisher to Reader

Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you know what metadata is and use it often. Every time you looked for books by an author’s name on a library’s website or searched for a title on a retailer website or looked up when that upcoming release was finally coming out, you were using metadata.

Metadata is made up of all the individual data points about the thing you’re looking for. For books, it includes many things ranging from:

  • title
  • author
  • book cover
  • price
  • format (hardcover/paperback)
  • keywords to help with searching
  • and a lot more!

It’s the publisher’s responsibility to enter their metadata into whatever distribution system they’re using and to ensure that, when it goes out to all the places it needs to be online, it goes there without any errors. (If you’ve ever seen a whole bunch of random characters in a book’s description instead of punctuation, that’s a sign that something in the metadata isn’t working.)

It goes without saying that making sure a book has correct and detailed metadata is extremely important to book publishing. How else will a future reader find your book online in the sea of thousands of texts that exist and are published all the time?

Here at Ooligan Press, our metadata is stored by CoreSource, which is run by our distribution partner, Ingram. When a book is acquired, the acquisitions and book project teams work to develop all the information that needs to be reported out into the world. Once the information is gathered, some of it goes through the Marketing and Copy Chief departments, and then it’s back to the project manager. The project manager enters the approved text and information into the CoreSource Tipsheet, also known as the Ingestion Document.

The CS Tipsheet is a living document that holds the most current information about the book. As the book project develops, information is updated in this document so it’s all in one place, and each book gets its own tipsheet. After the project manager puts the new information into the CS tipsheet, they tag the Operations Publisher’s Assistant, and they in turn enter that information into CoreSource.

At Ooligan, the Ops PA (currently, that’s me!) takes care of the press’s metadata in CoreSource. This means updating individual data points as they change, troubleshooting problems as they occur, making sure information is updated in line with publishing schedules, and entering/ingesting new books into the system. When the Ops PA ingests a book for the first time, it can take anywhere from three to four hours—that should tell you how much information is tied to a book even when the project is brand new! Even after a book has been published, the CS Tipsheet is still important to the book’s success. Author interviews, book tour stops, articles or reviews about the book, and awards the book has won go into the tipsheet and into the metadata.

Our lives are more and more online, especially after the big shutdowns and during the continuing pandemic, so it follows that making sure your book is represented well online is more important than ever. As it becomes even more clear how important metadata is, the best practices and conventions adapt to match what people need to know about a book. As more data points are added to each book’s metadata, it will be even easier to reach readers trying to find a book that’s perfect for them.

The cover of SHORT, VIGOROUS ROOTS, a 2022 anthology published by Ooligan Press, centered over an image of a colorful foreign city taken from the sky

Designing Basic Social Media Images for Your Book

Are you lost when it comes to designing social media images for your upcoming book? This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of creating basic social media images to promote your book, including the preferred image dimensions for several social media platforms.

  1. Determine Your Platform(s) and Dimensions
  2. What social media platforms do you want to promote your book on? Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have different suggested image dimensions that are their “best fit.” Because you want your book’s online promotion to be professional, you should follow these suggested dimensions. According to Sprout Social, the suggested dimensions for visual content on each platform are:

    • 1200 x 630 pixels for Facebook
    • 1080 x 1080 pixels for Instagram
    • 1200 x 675 pixels for tweets sharing a single image on Twitter

  3. Choose a Design Software
  4. Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard for graphic designers, but because social media posts are more ephemeral in nature, it’s perfectly acceptable to make your designs using free software like Canva. If you don’t have access to an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription or are worried about being overwhelmed by Adobe’s software, Canva is a free and easy design software that I recommend.

  5. Set Your Dimensions and Upload Your Cover
  6. The dimensions of your design should be based on the social media platform(s) outlined in step one. Social media posts aimed at promoting your book should incorporate the book’s cover, so you’ll want to upload it to the design software you’re using or have the file ready to incorporate into your design later.

  7. Find and Download a Copyright-Free Image that Complements Your Cover
  8. You want a copyright-free image that emphasizes the cover without being too busy or distracting, but you also want to stay away from images that are obviously meant to be “background” rather than the focal point of your design. If your book has a cover design brief, try selecting simple images that follow the tone and color scheme outlined in the cover design brief. Images like these will naturally go well with your cover because both designs are working from the same brief. If you’re unsure where to look for copyright-free images, websites like Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels are safe, user-friendly platforms to start your search. Although these websites offer copyright-free images, double-check each website’s search settings to ensure that “copyright-free” isn’t a search feature that you need to turn on before starting your image search.

  9. Upload and Position Your Image
  10. Check that the image isn’t blurry at the size you need to fill your design’s dimensions. If it’s blurry and you’re familiar with Photoshop, you can try sharpening the image there, but a blurry image most likely means you should choose a different copyright-free image for the background. Position the image over the dimensions of your design in a way that gives the design the best crop lines possible. In other words, make sure that the dimensions of your design don’t cut off the background image in a way that’s distracting.

  11. Place Your Cover
  12. Since your cover is the focal point of the image, I recommend centering it in your design. Canva and Adobe both have guides to help with this. However, if your background image has a unique border, some type of visual element on one side, or if the dimensions make the cover look “off” when centered, try aligning the cover within the background image using the rule of thirds or aligning the book cover to something in the background image. The goal is to have the placement of the cover within the design appear natural. The goal of centering or aligning the cover within the background image is to keep the cover from appearing as though it “floats” in the design.

  13. Download and Preview Your Design
  14. For this last step, simply download your design (I recommend downloading it as a PNG file) and review your work! Double-check that your cover is positioned the way you intended and that nothing shifted during the download process. Be critical of your work and ask yourself if the focal point of the design is the book cover. Once you’re pleased with your design, you’re ready to write a caption for your image and post.

Congratulations, you’ve designed a basic social media image for your book!

FROM KNOWLEDGE TO POWER Summer Update

The November 2021 publication date for From Knowledge to Power: The Comprehensive Handbook to Climate Science and Advocacy is rapidly approaching, and we are busier than ever trying to get everything planned for a successful launch. We’ve made great progress since our spring update, and we are thrilled with the pace we’ve set.

Since our last update in May, we’ve reached out to professionals who might be interested in reading the book and writing a review. We’ve received several notable endorsements for the book, ranging from climate change experts to professors and even executive directors. Some of the praise we’ve received will be used as blurbs for the cover, and others will be used in the metadata for the book. We are continually reaching out for more reviewers, and we’re delighted with the praise we’ve already received.

You have probably noticed that Ooligan’s social media pages have been posting content about the book as well. Although the publication date is still months away, we hope to engage our audiences with the book’s content and get people excited about the launch. Because we want to ensure that the book illustrates the most recent and important information, we’ve also conducted more proofreads of the book and have been busy double-checking our references. The book is meant to serve as a tool for education and advocacy for various audiences, so our goal is to make the information as accessible as possible.

Our most noteworthy update is that the website for the book has launched. The author created the website to further discuss climate science and advocacy and to go more in-depth into the topics in the book. It’s a great place to educate yourself about climate change and what you can do for the environment. The website features excerpts and a glossary section that can be referenced when reading the book.

Recently our team has been working on social media promotion and marketing outreach. We will continue to work on these materials until the book’s publication date. Our curation of social media content and promotion will extend past the book’s publication date in hopes that readers and potential readers will remain excited about the book’s content. Our social media content is aimed towards various national environmental awareness days, and we hope to continue connecting these occasions with the relevant content of the book.

Our focus for the summer is to continue curating social media content and marketing materials. In the coming weeks, we will be discussing and planning the book launch, which we’re very excited about. The possibility of having an in-person book launch is exciting, and we’re more than eager to plan one that’s safe for everyone.

Overall, we’re making great progress and we’re counting down the days until the book launches. We hope that this book reaches climate scientists, advocates, and those who want to educate themselves about climate change. We couldn’t be more excited to share this book with the world.

Navigating the Publicist-Author Relationship

Book publishing is one big group project. Learning how to navigate relationships with authors is an essential part of being in the industry. There is bound to be some disagreement with the way the book is being edited, designed, marketed, and publicized. As the publicity manager for Ooligan Press, I have been in delicate situations with authors where everyone’s feelings must be taken into account. And the most important thing I’ve learned from going through these slightly awkward situations is that communication is king. Below, I will give some advice on how to coach your authors and clearly lay out what is needed and what they can expect when their book is ready for publicity.

Preparation

The first thing a publicist should do when preparing an author for their book launch is to get with the author and listen to their elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a thirty-to-sixty-second spiel on what the book is about and why someone should read it. It is called an elevator pitch because it should take the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator. Now, some authors may have already come up with a pitch like this when they were looking for publishing houses to publish their manuscripts. The difference between that pitch and this one is that this one should be slightly different to better sell the book to readers instead of publishing houses. It is also important you and the author are on the same page with how you want to sell the book. Working with marketing is a great way to do this because they have already come up with selling points and buyer personas for the book. Similar to the elevator pitch, it is also helpful for publicists to help authors come up with key talking points for interviews. This way, the interview stays on track and the author doesn’t feel lost or nervous.

Communication

Throughout the process of publishing an author’s book, there are bound to be disagreements between the press and the author. The most important thing to remember is that both you and the author want the same thing—to get their book read by people who will enjoy it. Always listen to and respect the author’s point of view. But remember that the author does not always know what will best sell and publicize their book. Clearly explain why you and the press are doing what you are doing so the author can understand where you are coming from. Sometimes you will want to compromise, and other times you will need to put your foot down.

Professionalism

Above all else, you are helping to run a business, so being professional is important. Clear communication, active listening, and compassion are important in professionalism. A publicist’s job is to make sure an author is knowledgeable about the publicity process. This may mean anything from making sure they are comfortable with interviews or author meet-ups to explaining to them how everything works. Again, remember you and the author have the same goal: to get their book to the right audience. Hopefully these tips will help you to have a successful relationship with your author.

For more tips from book publicists to authors check out: 33 Tips From Book Publicists For Self Published Authors or What to Look for in a Book Publicist.

FAULTLAND Shakes Up Social Media

Ooligan Press is in a flurry of excitement over all the new projects coming out in the next few months, and the Faultland team is busy at the frontlines of it all. Ooligan’s newest speculative fiction novel is the next book on our release schedule and is due to hit shelves on March 30, 2021! Behind the scenes, the team is working hard developing new ways to promote the novel online and coming up with original ideas for how to get more readers to engage with the book through the Ooligan social media channels.

Faultland is set in a near-future Portland that is rocked by a major earthquake. While not Ooligan’s first foray into speculative fiction, Faultland is unlike anything we’ve published before. Author Suzy Vitello masterfully combines future-tech and family drama to bring her “what if” landscape of a not-so-distant Portland to life before razing it to the ground. When the city is hit by the Portland Hills Fault earthquake, siblings Morgan, Olivia, and Sherman are faced with keeping their family alive following one of the worst natural disasters in living memory. Once separated by secrets and resentment, the Sparrow family realize they are now united by survival.

Right now, the Sparrow family’s survival is at the forefront of the book’s online presence as Faultland moves into the all-important social media phase of our production cycle. While each step of a title’s development helps Oolies hone their publishing skills, there are few moments in a book’s lifecycle that allow us to be as creative as social media, so our team is using this moment to put all of our creativity to good use. We knew early on that Faultland was the kind of book that could carry a strong and unconventional social media presence, and our Oolies are busily working away to demonstrate just how accurate that prediction was. The whole team is committing their efforts to creating engaging copy and images to generate interest in the book, and all the while they’re sprinkling in their favorite quotes and excerpts from our fantastic early reviewers to make their posts really pop.

While there are few specific parameters around what topics the team members are able to talk about in their posts, most have been focusing on the landscapes that the author, Portland local Vitello, creates in the book. We see the city both before and after the earthquake shatters it, filtered through the eyes of the narrators in quotes and in images created by the team. Another focus has been on the subject of emergency preparedness, with many early readers of the book internalizing the warning at the heart of the novel—that being ready for this kind of emergency can lessen the physical, emotional, and mental toll that just such an event takes on all of us. Several posts link to preparedness guidelines through the CDC, Red Cross, and other emergency agencies in order to guide readers to resources that the Sparrow siblings don’t have access to in the novel.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this social media initiative is our advanced planning for an upcoming scavenger hunt to get readers even more excited when the book launches. That’s right, the Faultland team is busy working on an emergency preparedness–themed scavenger hunt that will allow fans in the Portland area to follow along with Olivia’s journey after the book officially hits shelves. While the specific details for this initiative will remain a secret until we get closer to the book launch, the Faultland team will be centralizing Ooligan social media channels to get it off the ground and get readers engaged.

Stay tuned into Ooligan’s social media at @ooliganpress on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the latest news about what’s on the horizon for Faultland and to see some of the incredible work the team has put together there.

The LAUREL EVERYWHERE Virtual Launch Party

There was a time back in March of 2020 when we imagined an in-person book launch for Laurel Everywhere. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other plans, and we pivoted to a virtual event and a virtual reading tour. Though in-person book events have a magical quality to them, my team and I worked extremely hard to bring that magic online.

On Tuesday, November 10, at 6:30 p.m. PST, Ooligan Press hosted Erin Moynihan, author of Laurel Everywhere, on Zoom for the virtual launch of her book. We invited editors and designers from the press to join Moynihan in conversation about the publishing process, and we dove into topics like developmental editing and cover design.

Moynihan also took over the Ooligan Instagram on Friday, November 6, to introduce her book and offer a space for anyone to ask questions about her writing process, character development, and what she’s currently working on. She also answered some of these questions during the Zoom launch party.

One of the highlights of the event was the launch party book giveaway. We hosted the giveaway on our Instagram page, and anyone could enter by liking the informational post and tagging two friends. The winner had to attend the book launch, and received a signed copy of Laurel Everywhere for free! In addition to the giveaway, anyone who preordered the book up to a week after the launch received a signed bookplate to go along with their copy of the book.

While my team and I were brainstorming ways to bring joy and excitement to this virtual event, we came up with a couple of great ideas that I hope captured the attention of our wonderful audience. We researched different mock-tail and tea recipes that correlated with the personality and description of each sibling in the Summers family. We curated a playlist on Spotify and YouTube to help readers empathize with Laurel, and it’s mostly made up of cathartic songs that you can listen to for a good cry when you need it. We sent out a virtual care package to attendees with links to the playlist, drink recipes, even a couple paint-by-number pages so that they can participate in a self-care routine as they read Laurel Everywhere.

We promoted the event through our social media and we also reached out to others in the literary community to boost the event on their own social media pages. We reached out to the booksellers in our community as well as reviewers and other Portland authors to spread the word about the event. We also reached out to these community members to plan our virtual reading tour, and all the events of the launch party were hugely successful.

We had an incredible turnout for this event, and attendees thoroughly enjoyed listening to Erin talk about her writing process for the book. It was also wonderful to listen to her talk with Ooligan editors and designers about how the book came together, and it gave the audience a look into what it’s really like to publish a book. All in all, the publication of Laurel Everywhere was a joyful and memorable experience, even though it was all done remotely. It’s not impossible to recreate some of that in-person book launch magic, but it does take a little more work.

LAUREL EVERYWHERE Press Kit Prep

The Laurel Everywhere team members had their work cut out for them to compile and utilize Ooligan’s first-ever press kit. Our newly founded publicity department, led by the amazing Alex Gonzales, thankfully did the research for us and put a template together that we used to build the Laurel Everywhere press kit! A press kit is usually used by publishers as a prepackaged set of publicity materials that provides information about a book and is sent to members of the media for promotional use.

Ours includes a one-pager, which can be compared to a tipsheet or a fast-facts page, and a press release that has targeted and specific newsworthy copy to make it easy for a media reviewer or journalist to print it in their publication. Also included is a more in-depth about-the-book page, an about-the-author page, and an early reviews page which houses the blurbs we’ve received from distinguished authors as well as early reviews from Goodreads. On top of all that information, we also crafted discussion questions and an author Q&A formatted in AP style for a journalist to pull directly from our kit. To complete the kit, we included a simple page with information about Ooligan Press. In total, it’s about ten pages.

In the kit, we talk about Erin Moynihan’s debut YA fiction novel, Laurel Everywhere, and how it destigmatizes mental health with young readers by bringing taboo topics like death, grief, and suicidal ideation to light with a palatable narrative that encourages empathy and offers hope to readers.

Laurel Everywhere is a deeply moving, startlingly real examination of trauma, tragedy, and the indefatigable strength of the human spirit when confronted with a world that won’t stop turning in the face of loss.” —Ava Morgyn, author of Resurrection Girls

With Laurel Everywhere, we have committed to showing young readers that grief and caring for your mental health aren’t things you have to go through alone. You can even find life and love after extreme loss. Current events have taken a toll on people everywhere, and this novel opens the door for conversations we all need to have with ourselves and our loved ones about loss and healthy coping mechanisms.

Our goal with the press kit is to garner media attention for Laurel Everywhere locally and nationally. We plan to send this kit out to a list of media outlets and journalists that we think would be interested in covering the release of this novel. We would also love to partner with mental health organizations and charities to help talk about the book, the heavy themes of grief, and how we can find hope in our real-world situations.

For more information on Laurel Everywhere, or if you would like to receive a press kit or interview Erin Moynihan, please contact Grace Hansen at grace.hansen@ooliganpress.pdx.edu.

The How and Why of Mission Statements

With thousands upon thousands of publishing companies to choose from in the United States, it can be daunting for an author to know where to start. Who will provide them with the best experience? Who can devote the resources needed to create their product? Who has the expertise to make the book the best it can be? Who can most effectively reach the book’s target audience?

Now flip this situation around. With millions upon millions of people in the United States who think they have the next New York Times best seller, how can a publishing company find the diamond in the rough? What can a publishing house do to ensure they are receiving submissions for books they actually can and want to publish?

The most effective way a publishing house can convey this information to an author is through the company’s mission statement. Mission statements are not by any means specific to publishing houses. Any organization, from a multibillion-dollar corporate conglomerate to your kid’s sidewalk lemonade stand, needs to have a compass guiding its decision-making process.

Within a publishing house, a mission statement typically addresses a few key topics. For example, Ooligan Press’s current mission statement falls under the title “Our Interests,” dictating that our press looks for books that are regionally significant works of literary, historical, and social value to the Pacific Northwest. In addition, Ooligan Press is concerned with comprehensive representation and with sustainability.

In three simple paragraphs, authors can now see what Ooligan Press is interested in publishing. Does your book talk about sustainable practices? We’re interested. Does it take place in the Pacific Northwest? We’re into it. Is the author from the PNW? We’ll check it out. Is your book actually a cookbook or children’s book? Sorry, we can’t help you.

By having a mission statement, a publishing house narrows its focus to become an expert in the field. If we tried to publish the several dozen different types of books out there in the world, we would be mediocre at all of them. But by focusing on what we can accomplish within our financial and staffing limitations as a teaching, trade publisher, we can ensure that each book we acquire will provide adequate learning opportunities for our students.

But our jobs aren’t done when the last period is added to that final draft of our mission statement. We must work as a press to uphold and apply those values, and we must make a conscious effort to revisit our values as the nature of the world—and of publishing—changes.

Publishing companies have an amazing power to facilitate change and to shed light into the dark corners of the human experience. And because of this, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help make the world a more enlightened place, one page at a time.

Proposals: The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction

Book proposals can be intimidating. Writing the book was hard enough, and now you have to get other people to like it too. The number of resources for writing query letters is infinite, with published authors, agents, and publishers all weighing in on what makes a good query letter. But what about the next step—the proposal package?

The internet has a myriad of sources detailing what goes inside a book proposal, but most of these sources are about fiction. Any time you’ve seen a book pitched in a movie or on television, it’s probably followed this format as well. For fiction, it’s pretty simple:

  • Cover letter
  • Manuscript (or part of it, depending on the agent or publisher)
  • Marketing info
  • Your published works, awards, and credentials
  • Comp titles
  • Page count

In a fiction proposal, the cover letter and marketing info are just as important as your manuscript. In these sections, you have the best chance at pitching your proposal to agents and publishers. So, in your cover letter, you should also include a brief summary of the book that reads similarly to the description found on the back covers of books: enough information to captivate the reader, but not enough to spoil the ending.

As the author, you are not technically responsible for marketing your book; but including any potential ideas for marketing is extremely helpful to the publisher. Not only could it help during the marketing planning, but it also shows your investment in the work and your understanding of the market. This is also a great time to mention any special events that your book may be able to be a part of. For instance, if your best friend is a best-selling author with a strong following, this would be a good time to mention it. Or if there is an upcoming event that the audience of your book will likely be attending, you should include that as well.

Pitching nonfiction can be incredibly different, but it also depends on the type of nonfiction. According to agent Jane Friedman, the proposal expectations can vary a lot for memoir: “Some agents don’t require a book proposal for memoir, while others want only the book proposal and the first few chapters.”

Proposals for other kinds of nonfiction can vary just as much as memoir proposals, depending on the publisher. But in general, they will include these items:

  • Cover letter
  • Target audience or market
  • Table of contents
  • Marketing plan
  • Author bio (What makes you an expert? Why do readers want to hear from you?)
  • Sample chapters
  • Comp titles

Nonfiction proposals often include more information about the author’s platform and expertise than about the quality of the writing. As Friedman writes, “While everyone expects the writing to be solid, they’re probably not expecting a literary masterpiece.” It’s also very common for nonfiction to have a ghostwriter, so keep in mind that while you may be the author, the writing may not be wholly your responsibility.

Proving a market for a book is much more important for nonfiction, especially in this technological age when most information is only a search away. Like in a fiction proposal, the marketing section is where you as the author can show the publisher your expertise and knowledge of the market and your audience. However, this section should also go deeper into why your audience cares about this specific topic. Being as specific as possible here is what will sell the proposal to an agent or publisher.