Coffee heat rising

WooHOO! Proposal: GONE!

Finally DONE! The proposal for the Overprescription book is written, finished, and winging its way to Canada! GONE!

What a project. Every time I looked at the copy, more things to change would pop up. I rewrote an entire chapter. Revised the chapter organization twice (or was it three times?). The proposal finally ended up with eight sections…

  1. The pitch itself (6 pages, single-spaced; 2100 words)
  2. Table of contents
  3. Detailed chapter outline (18 chapters & introduction)
  4. Introduction (1400 words, exclusive of references)
  5. Chapter 1 (3520 words)
  6. Chapter 2 (2120 words)
  7. Chapter 3 (2375 words)
  8. Curriculum vitae, much shortened and bowdlerized to hide dates (3½ single-spaced pages)

{chortle!} One thing you have to say: when I pull out all the stops, I’m damned impressive! Polish that ego! 😀

It’s highly unlikely that the first publisher who sees this thing will buy it. (Although it’s happened before: twice, come to think of it…) But I wanted to give Toronto first shot at it, because the Canadians seem to be a great deal more alert to the problem — and the Canadian government is far more assertive about combatting it. The U.S. government…well, one hesitates to use the term “corrupt”…but when agencies are in the pocket of mega-corporations, it’s hard to think of a more accurate term. Let’s leave it at “laissez-faire.” Yeah.

Presuming the first foray will be repelled, this week I need to run over to a college or university library and raid Literary Marketplace — whether in database or electronic format. Compile about a dozen potential publishers — these days names and email addresses of acquisitions editors can usually be found at publishers’ websites….but first you have to identify the likely markets. I suspect LMP is still the go-to reference for that purpose.

So with 12 or 18 likely publishers — companies that expresssly state they publish the kind of thing you’re writing — you start sending out proposals, six at a time.

Editors hate that, of course: they don’t want to compete for your book, and they certainly (and reasonably) wish not to spend a lot of time and effort evaluating a manuscript, only to be told you’re going somewhere else. However, the “do we want it” process can take so long that if you have to go to several publishers, you may not see a printed book in your lifetime.

So what I’ve done in the past — and probably will do this time, too — is always to have a half-dozen proposals in circulation. When one comes back, rejected you simply turn it around and send it to the next publisher on the list. I’ve never had to send a proposal out to that many houses…but one does have to be prepared for rejection, and to keep the process moving steadily.

It will be interesting to see what transpires this time.