Book Proposal – Part Three “Sales Objective”

3 Jan
A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

Right, then. I have an amazing true story. I want to write a book about it, which is something that I have never done before. My internet research suggests that I have to write a book proposal to get a publisher’s attention (self publishing wasn’t on my radar screen at the time). I learn what the general format is for one of these things. I write an “Overview” that was my best guess as to what might interest a publisher. As I put it in my last post in this series, I went “big game hunting” in terms of suggesting that my book would combine the attributes of three mega best sellers.

So what to write for the sales objective? Do include what I want to achieve, what I think I can achieve, or what I think the publisher wants to see?

What I want (and wanted then) is to maximize sales. Not profit, but sales. I want to effect positive social change. I want to expose an inherently corrupt and out-of-control family “justice” system. I want to destroy the Matriarchy, much like Neo wanted to defeat The Matrix. To do this I need to achieve sales, and lots of them.

The best sellers that I was aiming to emulate in terms of success were:

The Tipping Point;
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus; and
The Celestine Prophesy.

When last I checked, these books (and their subsequent franchises where applicable) sold in the millions or tens of millions of books. I went with the lesser figure of one million, and then reduced it by an order of magnitude to allow for the fact that it was unlikely that a new author could hit a #1 run away best seller on his or her first book.

100,000 books is not a figure to sneer at, obviously, and I would be very pleased to eventually get there. Odds are against it. But, with 30 years in the military, I am not afraid of a challenge. Hunting nuclear attack submarines is surely more difficult that writing a best seller, isn’t it?

Remembering that less is more, here is what I wrote:

* * * * *

Sales Objectives

The sales objective for ONE is to exceed 100,000 copies, with a formal desire to surpass this figure by an order of magnitude. Ideally, it will rival or even surpass any of the bestsellers identified in the first paragraph of this proposal.

* * * * *

Was I dreaming in technicolour, or setting an ambitious but attainable goal? Time, I suppose, will tell. But unless I am deluding myself, test reader feedback consistently suggests that I am still in the game, so to speak. The book seems to resonate with people, for multiple reasons and on different levels.

So, until life informs me otherwise, I continue to hunt big game on the NY Times best seller safari.

18 Responses to “Book Proposal – Part Three “Sales Objective””

  1. KG January 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    Just a doubt, if I may ask. How is the promotion going to be handled. By you or by the publisher? How do you decide the target audience and what demographics are to be covered & how?

    • navigator1965 January 4, 2014 at 8:12 am #

      In self-publishing, one normally does their own marketing. offers extra services, such as sales tracking, listing with all major online sellers, and an author’s website.

      My target audience is expansive: women AND men.

  2. idiotwriter January 4, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    One prominent thought, and I think it is similar to KG’s:
    Marketing; marketing;marketing.

    You could have written a book as fundamental and influential as The Bible (no chance but you get the idea) – and it will remain covered in dust and unread – if we don’t market it.
    Don’t you love the we part? 😉 But I am serious there you see – it does take ‘we’ –
    Thinking caps ON fellow Navigator Harem – how do we back this project for this wonderful man and his goal of world domination?

    If ALL your followers plugged you on every platform they have access to for a month – would that be enough? Possibly not. SOunding like a Debbie downer – but – the easy part is over – the hard work is now. and I wish I had some amazing trick up my sleeve to –

    • navigator1965 January 4, 2014 at 8:25 am #


      Exactly right! You can build a better mousetrap, but the world won’t beat a path to your door. It’s all about marketing. I’ve been doing a little reading on marketing books, and have a target list of book reviewers, newspaper columnists, radio talk show hosts, etc.

      Fellow bloggers would be, of course, a most welcome addition to that list.

      Unless one is highly adept at e-marketing and has a ton of resources, what appears to be happening as far as I can determine is that self-published books that generate a bit of buzz and sales tend to get picked up by traditional publishers.

      Appreciate the support with this. Very kind of you. Yes, a core of tens or even hundreds of bloggers supporting the book’s launch would be a strong start.

      • idiotwriter January 4, 2014 at 10:56 am #

        It would be 😉 Hmmm – caps on peeps – lets get the show on the road for our Chief 😀

        • navigator1965 January 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

          You’re fantastic!

        • idiotwriter January 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

          Oh – I know 😉 Excuse me – I have half a bottle of wine in me!!! Expect lots of poetry later ——–or not 😀 😛 I am psyched!! (too much)

  3. Mich-in-French January 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    I agree with B _ we need to support you in every way we can! I do believe that you can do this and that this is but a challenge that can and will be overcome with valour! Go honourary sister go!

    • navigator1965 January 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      Thank you, Mich. You and B are a great pair to have in my corner.

      • Mich-in-French January 6, 2014 at 7:33 am #

        And we can be scary if we need to hey!

        • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

          What do you mean, “if we need to”? };-))>

        • Mich-in-French January 8, 2014 at 8:44 am #

          Well when the need arises to throw our ‘said’ weight around….

    • navigator1965 January 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      Did I ever send you the manuscript? Have we had that discussion?

      • Mich-in-French January 6, 2014 at 7:34 am #

        No we didn’t but I would love to read it…if I can be so bold!

        • navigator1965 January 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

          Should be in your inbox. Enjoy.

  4. suzjones January 19, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Marketing is the hard part. It is about building your platform. On my to do list my friend is for me to pull out my notes and information gleaned from my workshop and put them into some sort of order and send them to you. Not sure how much they will help but you never know.

    • navigator1965 January 19, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      I agree, Sue. Build a better mousetrap, and the world won’t necessarily beat a path to your front door.

      I appreciate any good info that you may have. Thanks. The more we support one another, the stronger we become.


  1. Book Proposal – Part Nine “Sample Chapter” | The Mirror - January 19, 2014

    […] Part Three – Sales Objective […]

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