How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larson

September 17, 2012
By knotted.cord SILVER, New Milford, Connecticut
knotted.cord SILVER, New Milford, Connecticut
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"I'm WET and I'm in pain...AND I'M STILL HYSTERICAL!!!!"
Friends are like potatos, if you eat them they die.

I am a writer and this is the story of why Michael Larson is dead to me.
Armed with a gift card to Barnes and Nobles, I went to see what books about books I could find. Like hundreds of other hopefuls, I have recently finished a manuscript for a fantasy story. The most promising book that caught my eye was entitled ‘How to Write a Book Proposal’ by Michael Larson. Flipping through it, it sounds like it contains all the secrets to a well-written proposal that would send editors into a frenzy.
At home, the pages seem to read differently. What looked like a tantalizing tell-all becomes a tangle of literary jargon I couldn’t understand with a dictionary in my hand. Furthermore, the text is heavy with incomprehensible metaphors and pointless ramblings! Battling through chapter after chapter gave me a headache. Speaking occasions, national platforms- what did this have to do with the actual format one needs to submit a book proposal to an agent? The answer promised to be revealed later.
At long last, I struggled to what I’d been waiting for: the outline. But wait- what was this? While Larson told me how to write an outline for a NONFICTION novel, he seemed singularly uninterested in fiction.
This had to be some sort of mistake. I flipped through to the introduction again. Then the cover.
At last on the back cover I discovered it: in miniscule, unassuming writing, the word nonfiction. This book was not for the fantasy writer at all. I had spent twenty dollars on a book that was no help to me whatsoever.
Now I’m not just bitter on account of my wasted gift card. So many people are interested in writing-for example, most of the people perusing this very website. Why doesn’t the word nonfiction appear anywhere else a potential buyer might see it?
I guess they want to teach readers not to judge a book by its cover.

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