Author-Entrepreneurs: Write Your Right Brain Book Proposal
Welcome to the Friday series on Creative Entrepreneurship. Also called: Artist Entrepreneurship. We’re also called Artpreneurs, Authorpreneurs, and Author Entrepreneurs! This week I have a guest post from the certified coach, writer, artist, yogini, and the founder of Artizen Coaching, Jennifer Lee, sharing about how she put her book proposal together for her recently released bestseller, The Right-Brain Business Plan. Enjoy! Let us know what you think!
When I set the goal to write a book, I had no idea that there was so much more involved than just writing the darn book! The whole publishing journey has been a tremendous learning process and I’m continuing to grow and learn even now that my book The Right-Brain Business Plan is out.
One of the first things I learned was that the book proposal is basically a “business plan” for your book. Besides outlining the book itself, you need to define your market of readers, you need to set yourself apart from similar books out there, and, you need to describe how you’ll get the word out. All of these are similar to the building blocks that go into a business plan. So the cool thing was, I got to use my Right-Brain Business Plan approach to help me craft my book proposal and ultimately to help me finish and now market the book.
Here are some of the creative, right-brain planning tools I’ve used throughout my publishing journey:
- I created several vision boards over the years that focused on writing a book. One of the most powerful ones was actually a “prototype” of one of my book ideas. I decorated my journal with a back book cover that included a description of the book, my picture and bio, and some glowing endorsements. Writing daily in this journal kept me connected to my dream of getting a book published.
- When thinking of target market for the book, I did what is now the Perfect Customer character sketch exercise in my book The Right-Brain Business Plan (pp.81-84). I wrote vignettes about who would read my book. I imagined a day in the life of the creative entrepreneurs who would benefit from taking a creative and visual approach to business. Then I used those insights to help me fill out the target market section in my book proposal.
- I used my Circa Levenger notebook to consolidate all of my existing materials (my notes, blog posts, e-mails to clients, and workshop materials) and organized it with tabs for each chapter. Seeing all the content in this format helped me imagine it closer to book form.
- I used sticky notes and index cards to first brain dump and then outline my ideas for chapters I was really stuck on. It gave me a place to start from before diving into a Word document.
- I used my sticky note project plan to map out the milestones leading up to my manuscript deadline. I jotted down tasks like “write chapter 5 draft,” “edit chapter 5 draft,” and “identify manuscript reviewers” on stickies and attached them to dates on a giant wall-sized calendar. It helped me plot out my work in a flexible and visual way. Plus it was so satisfying to put a big, fat check mark on each sticky when I completed the task.
Writing a book is a major undertaking. So do what you can to make it fun and enjoyable. For me it was important to make the process colorful, visual, and tactile wherever possible. How can you infuse more fun into your writing process? What tools and creative practices will inspire and empower you on your publishing journey? I’d love to hear!
Jennifer Lee, the founder of Artizen Coaching and author of The Right-Brain Business Plan, spent a decade climbing the corporate ladder before pursuing her creative dreams. Through her popular workshops, coaching practice, and writing, she empowers others to follow their passions. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.