Reviewed by Chelsy Scherba for Reader Views (02/2021)
Carolyn Howard-Johnson helps writers tackle the most challenging step to becoming a published author: the book proposal. “The Great First Impressions Book Proposal: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Book to an Agent or Publisher in Thirty Minutes or Less” is a brief and to-the-point guide that teaches writers how to successfully market books, gain attention from literary agents, and kickstart their career into a lasting partnership with the publisher.
If you think writing a book proposal sounds tedious and bland, Carolyn Howard-Johnson will show you it doesn’t have to be. This guide is rich in valuable content and low on fluff. It’s also not boring! The author’s advice is catered to both fiction and nonfiction writers, and she also includes an example proposal.
The author really knows her craft and has published many different styles and genres. If I were writing a novel right now, I would find this guide an absolute necessity. She literally walks you through every step to create a proposal that will awaken the interest of the most jaded “Gatekeepers,” you know, those people that are paid to weed through all the submissions. She’ll tell you what to include, what to omit, what tense is best, the ideal font, spacing, and techniques to charm agents from the get-go and avoid every author’s worst nightmare: rejection.
In addition to sharing hyperlinks in the E-book to her own collection of published fiction and nonfiction, the author also provides links to books by other authors that she recommends for writers. Anyone who has read one of her books on writing will likely want to pick up another. I particularly enjoy how simple her instructions are to understand. She takes a daunting task and repackages it into a manageable formula for success. She also does it without bogging down readers with unnecessary jargon.
Concise, helpful, and informative from cover to cover, Carolyn Howard-Johnson makes becoming a published author a lot less painful for writers. After reading, you’ll know what editors expect a proposal to look like, have a model proposal to follow as you create your own, and gain valuable skills that you can use repeatedly to improve the art of selling your books.
“The Great First Impression Book Proposal” by Carolyn Howard-Johnson