In the bad old days, when the only way to get your book published and distributed was to get a contract from a traditional publisher, an author would have to write a detailed pitch and synopsis to sell their book to an agent or publisher. Not much has changed if you’re after a traditional publishing contract: once you’ve identified appropriate publishers for your book, you should check out the submission guidelines on their websites and follow them to the letter.

If, though, you’re going to keep control of your own book and self-publish or use a hybrid publisher like Rethink Press, you don’t have to make an elaborate financial case for your business or self-help book. But it is a good exercise and really useful to write a “Book Pitch” as part of the preparation for writing your book. Creating this document will give you a clear overview of and clarify your aims in writing your book. And when anyone asks for more information about your up-coming book, you’ve got it all summarised and ready to shoot off to them.

So what makes a great book pitch?

First, keep it pithy: 1,000 words is enough. Although you need to tell the reader about your credentials as the author, and your professional expertise, make sure the pitch is all about The Book and what is going to be in the book, rather than what you or your business do outside the book. Mention the title of the book (as opposed to referring to it as “this/the/my book”) as often as possible.

As soon as you have your front cover designed (and a good reason to do this as early in the publishing process as possible), include it in your Book Pitch document.

To keep it simple, follow these guidelines. I’ve given an example based on the pitch for Joe’s and my book below each heading:

What?

Start with your book’s title and subtitle (see How To Write Your Book… for ways to create your killer title) and your name.

How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss – the definitive guide to planning, writing and publishing your business or self-help book

Lucy McCarraher & Joe Gregory

Why?

Open the book pitch with a short (200-word) summary of your core market and its problem – their “Central Question” – and the solution – “Big Promise” – that your book is offering that market.

In the age of the entrepreneur, business owners face a lot of competition in making their brand stand out and attracting ideal clients to their business. In any industry you will find Key People of Influence; these authorities are the best known and most highly valued people in their fields. While their competitors are busy chasing clients, partners and opportunities, Key People of Influence get to pick and choose.

Something that almost every Key Person of Influence has achieved to put them in this position is that they have written and published a great book.

If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, coach or consultant with a message and you want to reach your best clients, raise your credibility as an expert and become any authority in your industry, then writing your book and getting it published is vital. Now it’s easier than ever to get published, it’s even more important that the book you write is not just good, but exceptional. How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss will show you exactly how to write for maximum impact, influence and income, and produce a top quality product, so that you will have a book that brings business.

Who?

Follow this with a snappy paragraph (200 words) about you, the author, and your credentials for writing this book.

If you want to do all this without the fuss, it makes sense to learn from people who have already done just that. Between us we have written eight self-help books and, through our Bookshaker and Rethink Press publishing houses, have published a further 300 written by other authors.

Lucy is an author, editor, writing coach and publisher, who started her first publishing company while she was still at university. She is the Managing Editor of Rethink Press and Publish Mentor for the Key Person of Influence programme in the UK and Singapore and has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs through writing and publishing their book. Joe is the Managing Publisher of Rethink Press. A graphic designer with a background in advertising and marketing, he is author and marketer who turned to publishing full-time in 2003 when he sold thousands of copies of his first self-published book (on marketing). Together we share a strong track record of success, have a good knowledge of and experience in the current writing and publishing industry, and a clear-eyed approach to the constantly-evolving market of self-development books.

How?

Multi-ethnic businesswomen reviewing information on tablet

Now you can expand on the content of your book. Engage the reader with some detail (400 words) on a summary of your books structure, the process or journey you will take the reader through, any models you share with them, examples or case studies that will intrigue them, and benefits and outcomes they will achieve.

Without question, a great book idea is the best starting point for business or self-help authors, but a good idea alone won’t get you very far. By the time you’ve finished reading you should be clear that your book idea is really good enough; be able to sum your book up well with a single sentence; know how your book is positioned; and ensure your book has a killer title.

The business and self-help markets are massive and varied, but very few authors can claim that their books sell to anyone and everyone looking for improvements in their life. The best way to get your message out there, sell a good number of books and get yourself known as an expert in your field is to find the niche readers who want and need your message. How To Write Your Book… will to make sure you are confident your book has a commercial (within your niche market) future and appeals to the people who need and want it.

We don’t subscribe to the belief that anyone can write a useful, well-written and professionally constructed book in a weekend, or even a week – although if you have the material at your fingertips, a fortnight isn’t impossible. A robust structure and detailed chapter breakdown of your business or self-help book will, however, make the actual writing a much quicker and easier task. So, once you’ve got your great idea defined and you know who you’re writing for, How To Write Your Book… takes you through our A.U.T.H.O.R. model that ensures that you map out your entire book before writing a single word, and have a useful chapter-by-chapter framework to help your book write itself. Our W.R.I.T.E.R. process makes writing three drafts of your book as quick, clear and painless as possible, and immunises you against writer’s block.

Finally in How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss, we help you to make the crucial decision about which route to publication is best for you and your book. Even if you think your goal is to get a contract from a mainstream publisher, or that self-publishing is the only way you’ll hang on to all the money from the sales of your book, you need to know all your options and the up-sides and down-sides of each one.

When and Where?

Set out your plans (in about 200 words) for publishing, marketing, promoting and selling your book; end with a call to action, which may simply be to contact you for more information. Don’t forget to include your name, company and contact details.

How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss will be published in September 2015 by Rethink Press Ltd. It will be available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats, and an audiobook will be recorded and published on Audible and i-tunes.

A Foreword will be written by Daniel Priestley.

The book will be promoted on the Rethink Press website and social media. An Amazon launch (with Kindle special offer) is planned for October 2015 and promoted through our own lists and followers as well as through international Key Person of Influence channels. Reviews will be solicited in advance of the launch and high profile contacts with substantial lists and social media followings have agreed to promote the launch of the book.

For more information, please contact:

Lucy McCarraher, Managing Publisher, Rethink Press, at lucy@rethinkpress.com

Joe Gregory, Managing Editor, Rethink Press, at joe@rethinkpress.com

And just to show you what the final pitch looked like:

How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss – the definitive guide to planning, writing and publishing your business or self-help book

By Lucy McCarraher & Joe Gregory

In the age of the entrepreneur, business owners face a lot of competition in making their brand stand out and attracting ideal clients to their business. In any industry you will find Key People of Influence: these authorities are the best known and most highly valued people in their fields. While their competitors are busy chasing clients, partners and opportunities, Key People of Influence get to pick and choose.

Something that almost every Key Person of Influence has achieved to put them in this position is that they have written and published a great book.

If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, coach or consultant with a message and you want to reach your best clients, raise your credibility as an expert and become any authority in your industry, then writing your book and getting it published is vital. Now it’s easier than ever to get published, it’s even more important that the book you write is not just good, but exceptional. How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss will show you exactly how to write for maximum impact, influence and income, and produce a top quality product so that you will have a book that brings business.

If you want to do all this without the fuss, it makes sense to learn from people who have already done just that. Between us we have written eight self-help books and, through our Bookshaker and Rethink Press publishing houses, have published a further 300 written by other authors.

Lucy is an author, editor, writing coach and publisher, who started her first publishing company while she was still at university. She is the Managing Editor of Rethink Press and Publish Mentor for the Key Person of Influence programme in the UK and Singapore and has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs through writing and publishing their book. Joe is the Managing Publisher of Rethink Press. A graphic designer with a background in advertising and marketing, he is author and marketer who turned to publishing full-time in 2003 when he sold thousands of copies of his first self-published book (on marketing). Together we share a strong track record of success, have a good knowledge of and experience in the current writing and publishing industry, and a clear-eyed approach to the constantly-evolving market of self-development books.

Without question, a great book idea is the best starting point for business or self-help authors, but a good idea alone won’t get you very far. By the time you’ve finished reading How To Write Your Book… you should be clear that your book idea is really good enough; be able to sum your book up well with a single sentence; know how your book is positioned; and ensure your book has a killer title.

The business and self-help markets are massive and varied, but very few authors can claim that their books sell to anyone and everyone looking for improvements in their life. The best way to get your message out there, sell a good number of books and get yourself known as an expert in your field is to find the niche readers who want and need your message. How To Write Your Book… will to make sure you are confident your book has a commercial (within your niche market) future and appeals to the people who need and want it.

How To Write Your Book Without The FussWe don’t subscribe to the belief that anyone can write a useful, well-written and professionally constructed book in a weekend, or even a week – although if you have the material at your fingertips, a fortnight isn’t impossible. A robust structure and detailed chapter breakdown of your business or self-help book will, however, make the actual writing a much quicker and easier task. So, once you’ve got your great idea defined and you know who you’re writing for, How To Write Your Book… takes you through our A.U.T.H.O.R. model that ensures that you map out your entire book before writing a single word, and have a useful chapter-by-chapter framework to help your book write itself. Our W.R.I.T.E.R. process makes writing three drafts of your book as quick, clear and painless as possible, and immunises you against writer’s block.

Finally in How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss, we help you to make the crucial decision about which route to publication is best for you and your book. Even if you think your goal is to get a contract from a mainstream publisher, or that self-publishing is the only way you’ll hang on to all the money from the sales of your book, you need to know all your options and the up-sides and down-sides of each one.

How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss will be published in September 2015 by Rethink Press Ltd. It will be available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats, and an audiobook will be recorded and published on Audible and i-tunes.

A Foreword will be written by Daniel Priestley.

The book will be promoted on the Rethink Press website and social media. An Amazon launch (with Kindle special offer) is planned for October 2015 and promoted through our own lists and followers as well as through international Key Person of Influence channels. Reviews will be solicited in advance of the launch and high profile contacts with substantial lists and social media followings have agreed to promote the launch of the book.

For more information, please contact:

Lucy McCarraher, Managing Publisher, Rethink Press, at lucy@rethinkpress.com

Joe Gregory, Managing Editor, Rethink Press, at joe@rethinkpress.com

Website: www.rethinkpress.com

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