Selling your book: can you sum up your book in ONE sentence?

You’ve started writing your book, so it’s time to sell it.

Selling your book on a partial (three chapters and an outline) is common practice whether you’re writing fiction, or nonfiction. However, if you haven’t published a novel before, be aware that you’re unlikely to get a contract until you’ve completed the novel. Publishers aren’t as picky with nonfiction — you should be able to get a contract even if you’re unpublished.

Your primary sales tool is your query letter, which you send out to publishers and to agents. You’re hoping for interest: for a request to read your partial. The ONE sentence describing your book is the most important part of your query letter.

If you can’t sum up your book in a sentence, it’s unlikely you’ll make a sale.

So what does that ONE sentence look like?

Here’s an example from Publisher’s Marketplace, New Deals for March 19, 2010.

Edgar Nominee Pat Rushford’s ARTISTIC LICENSE, in which a woman working to turn an old northwest mining town into an artist’s colony discovers a murderer intent on staving off development at all costs, to Susan Downs at Summerside Press, in a nice deal, for publication in 2011, by Sandra Bishop at MacGregor Literary (World).

(By the way, in Publisher’s Marketplace’s terms, a “nice” deal is one in which the advance against royalties is somewhere between one dollar and $49,000.)

Write your ONE sentence NOW

Can you sum up your book in a sentence like: “a woman working to turn an old northwest mining town into an artist’s colony discovers a murderer intent on staving off development at all costs”?

If you can’t, keep thinking about your book until you can. Not only is that one sentence vital in selling your book, if you can’t summarize it, you’ll have trouble writing it.

Practice summarizing — summarize five books which you’ve read recently, similar to the one you’re writing, into one sentence.

Write more – become a pro writer

Yes, you can write more and become an expert writer – even if you’re a world-class procrastinator.

Did you know that when you write more, your writing improves? Many of my writing students experience this. They find that when they write more, writing is easier for them – they’re not dominated by their inner editor.

My new writing class, “Write More And Make More Money From Your Writing: Develop A Fast, Fun Productive Writing Process” is based on lessons I developed for my private coaching students to help them to write more, improve their writing, and make more money writing.

If you’re struggling with your writing, the class will help. The techniques you’ll learn in class with help you write fiction, nonfiction, and copy for business.

Discover how you can write more, improve your writing, and sell more of your writing to higher-paying markets.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.