A One-Woman Book Proposal
The Nation's Leading Book Proposal Writer
With a little luck,
Work with me and we’ll create a book proposal that draws the attention of the Big 5 book publishers—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan. With a little luck, we’ll get multiple offers.
Why aim for multiple offers?
Because to aim for any less is selling yourself short.
You’ve got a story to tell, and I’ve got the talent to package that story and get it in front of the people who matter: book publishers who crave new material for an insatiable market.
More than a decade ago, I learned a secret to writing book proposals that sell.
Early on, my job as an assistant editor was to look through the slush pile of book proposals and find a diamond in the rough. I reviewed hundreds of book proposals.
Sadly, I rarely read more than a page before deciding the proposal wasn’t good enough to pass along to my boss.
That process taught me the secret to writing a book proposal that sells. A formula, really, in that your proposal must reflect six elements: drive, positioning, structure, style, platform, and pitch.
Leave out just one element and it won’t make it past the first reader in a literary agency or publishing house. Leave out two, and that reader won’t get past the first page.
Book Proposal Writer
I’m Sally Collings, the nation’s leading book proposal writer.
I’d venture to say I know more about writing book proposals than just about any other writer in the nation.
I started as an assistant editor in Sydney, later landing an editor gig in London, followed by a stint as a digital publisher. After a few years, I moved across town to work for a book production company. By then, my role was to write book proposals—lots of them. The idea was to pre-sell a book concept to a publisher. Once sold, we’d produce the book. After writing more proposals than I can count, I'd become a master of the art.
Today, I live near San Francisco where I run my own one-woman firm, writing book proposals.
Who I Work With.
Anyone with a
I work with business owners, founders, adventurers, athletes and others: authors with a compelling story, who are searching out one of the top book proposal writers in the nation.
I’m most drawn to stories at the intersection of business, self-improvement, and memoir. These stories are about innovation, persistence, character, and connection, revealing the many forms “success” can take.
The Big 5 publishers
In the last few years, I’ve written a dozen or more successful book proposals—Bulletproof, Parenting With Soul, Identity Theft, Positive, and others. They have been acquired by world-leading publishers such as HarperCollins, as well as quality independent publishers such as Andrews McMeel and Post Hill Press.
Our goal, you and I, is to get multiple offers from several book publishers.
I know what you’re thinking. If the proposal is good enough to get a single agent or book publisher interested, well, that’s good enough.
Why? Because exceptional publishers demand exceptional proposals. They seek remarkable stories told in new ways using an inventive writing style and an original story structure, filled with notable characters striving for a nearly unattainable goal, from authors at the top of their game who have a magnetic appeal for readers.
My point: average won’t cut it.
Multiple offers is
easier than you think.
Getting the attention of an agent is hard. Finding a publisher willing to fork over tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars as an advance is even harder. Two or more publishers and two or more offers? Nearly unheard of in today’s publishing environment.
Nevertheless, that’s what you and I are shooting for.
Getting multiple offers isn’t as hard as it seems. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.
“I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER OUR COLLABORATION AS A WONDERFUL HIGHLIGHT OF MY WRITING CAREER."
---Pamela Williams, Journalist and Author
Your book will live or die
on the strength of your
In the last ten years, my clients and I have won a bunch of awards: 2013 Walkley Award for Killing Fairfax; 2011 Kibble Literary Award nomination for Parenting With Soul; 2008 ABIA Biography of the Year shortlist for Never Say Die; and bestsellers Sophie’s Journey; Fat Dad, Fat Kid; Bulletproof; and A Long Road to Overnight Success.
And for all that success, here’s what I’ve learned.
No matter how great your story, your name recognition, or your social media platform, your book will live or die on the strength of your book proposal.
Lucky for you, I’ve created a proposal writing process guaranteed to grab the attention of the top publishers in the country.
So what’s my process? Here it is.
Let me share the six fundamental elements that are at the heart of every successful book proposal.
Determine what drives your story. What is your book about, who is it for, why are you writing it?
Decide how best to position your story. Choose a compelling title and subtitle. Include a list of comparative titles and describe your ideal reader.
Select the structure for your book, an organizing principle that is both innovative and unique to your story. Include a table of contents and a description of each chapter.
Choose an inventive, quirky, and engaging writer’s voice, a voice that inspires readers to keep reading. Use this voice as the basis of the book proposal. Show off. Dazzle an editor with your writing style.
Highlight your author platform, a description of how you connect with readers. Together, we’ll identify media opportunities, speaking engagements, articles, blogs, podcasts, influencers, allied organizations, and testimonials; we'll also set a strategy to get book blurbs from leaders in your field.
Here’s where we put it all together. I’ll help you communicate the highlights of your story in a matter of seconds—what we generally think of as the pitch. We will use this pitch to attract decision-makers at some of the country’s most well-respected agencies and publishers.
How We Work Together.
Together, you and I will
create a book proposal that is unputdownable.
First, we'll talk on the phone—or if you're in the Bay Area, we can meet at my favorite local cafe (or yours!). We’ll work through my process—drive, positioning, structure, and so on. We’ll talk about talents you bring to the table that set you apart from every other author in your market.
Our plan, you and I, is to craft a proposal that gets a publisher’s attention within the first page, first paragraph, even the first sentence.
After a series of phone calls, email exchanges, and maybe a few text messages, I’ll gather up all that information and work my magic.
I’ll transform this jumble of notes on concept, genre, organizing principles, and so on into an eighty-page book proposal so good it’s unputdownable.
Next, I’ll have subject matter experts review the proposal, then send it off to no less than two line editors and a couple of proofreaders. In a matter of weeks, I’ll send you a polished proposal.
For the next eight weeks, you get the full attention of the nation's leading book proposal writer. All for a simple flat rate of $20,000.
Choose me to write your book proposal and here’s what you get.
One-on-one collaboration with a full-time professional book proposal writer.
As many conversations as it takes to create a rare and exceptional proposal. Not to mention unlimited email and text communications.
Access to some of the finest line editors and proofreaders in the industry, professionals I have personally vetted and culled from the thousands hawking their wares on the internet.
Weekly updates on our progress.
And I’ll connect you with a handful of agent and editor contacts I have gathered over the years working with some of the best traditional book publishers in the industry.
All this for a simple flat fee of $20,000.
Perhaps best of all, I’ll put it all together, and deliver a dazzling book proposal in exactly eight weeks.
Call me now and let’s get started.
The Nation’s Leading Book Proposal Writer
P.S. You won't find another writer with my passion for
Earlier in this invitation, I shared an inkling of my career in Sydney and London and San Francisco, years in which I read hundreds of book proposals and selected only the best to place on an editor’s desk.
What I didn’t tell you was that with each proposal I read, I had an intense desire to fix things.
If only I could offer a change here, a fuller explanation there, a tweak in the writer’s voice, something as simple as rewording an author bio, emphasizing experience and talents so unique they might inspire an editor to make an offer to publish.
At the time, I did no such thing.
Today, however, I get to do just that. I get to use all my experience and passion and channel it into your story and your book proposal.
Work with me, and together we’ll get your story in front of the right editor.
“WE BEGAN AS COLLABORATORS, BUT I ENDED UP A FAN OF SALLY'S INCREDIBLE TALENT."
---Shane Jacobson, Actor, Presenter & Entertainer
Book Proposal Writer
1750 Meridian Ave #6141
San Jose CA 95150
I live and work not far from San Francisco. In fact, I consider myself a Bay Area local. If you're in the area, give me a shout and let's meet for coffee.
I know of a cafe in Menlo Park that makes the best latte in town. Or my local cafe in Willow Glen serves up fresh scones that are to die for. Better, you choose the spot.
If you don't have time for a face to face, just pick up the phone and let's have a chat or fill out the contact form below. Really, what do you have to lose?