Book Proposal – Part Nine “Sample Chapter”

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

A false start is a learning experience, not a failure

Here we are at the final part of my book proposal, the sample chapter. Let’s review where this fits into the proposal:

– Overview

– Sales Objective

– Marketing / Promotion / Platform

– Competing or Reference Books

– About the Author

– List of Book’s Chapters

– Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

Sample Chapter

In the Overview, I hopefully have hooked the publisher in the first few lines of my proposal, and I gave him or her the big picture snapshot of what my book was about. Based on a great comment from blogger suzjones to an earlier post in this series, I now know that I should have had a social media “platform” in place by this point, as the first thing the publisher will do is Google my name or perhaps the title of my manuscript/book. I had no social media presence in 2010, other than a rarely used Facebook page.

In the next three sections, I tried to show that I understood that publishing is a business, and what the business aspects of my book were that would make the publisher want to choose it. Then came a brief summary of who I was as a person and an author. People like people.

The final three parts of the proposal demonstrated that I had actually thought about writing the book, and had planned an appropriate structure against which to write. In the last of these, I included a sample chapter. I’ve read that this should not be the Introduction or the first chapter. Probably shouldn’t be the final chapter either, but this is a guess on my part. If the publisher gets this far in your proposal, you obviously done well. Now it’s time to give the ultimate proof, which is that you can actually write well, and that the book will be interesting.

As there have been significant changes in the publishing industry in the last few years, there may be less importance to this part than in previous times. Not that it isn’t important, however. But for a first time author these days, odds are that you’ve already written your first book, built a social media platform (i.e., following), and have already demonstrated that you can write. If the publisher Googled you and hit your blog, hopefully they see that you’ve already had good feedback on your work, parts of your work, or your writing in some regard.

I’m not going to include the sample chapter here, as it is too long for a blog post. Anyone interested in reading what this proposal ultimately evolved into, please feel free to email me at No cost, no strings.

For everyone who followed along with this series of posts on the book proposal, thanks for your interest, support, and kind comments. Who knows? From this humble, first time attempt at a book proposal, a successful book may ultimately arise. I’ll know better as this year progresses, as the book should be out next month. The first galley proofs are due to me early next week, which is an exciting milestone.

I never seen an actual galley proof before, let alone having been responsible for the creation of one.

I’ll conclude by making a master list (hyperlinked) of the posts in the series. Cheers, everyone.

* * * * *

Part Zero – The Book Proposal

Part One – The Book Proposal

Part Two – Overview

Part Three – Sales Objective

Part Four – Marketing / Promotion / Platform

Part Five – Competing or Reference Books

Part Six – About the Author

Part Seven – List of Book’s Chapters

Part Eight – Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

Part Nine – Sample Chapter

Book One of my magnum opus

Book One of my magnum opus

28 Responses to “Book Proposal – Part Nine “Sample Chapter””

  1. KG January 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    This has been an interesting and exciting too…the process. Good luck Nav. Fingers crossed 🙂

    • navigator1965 January 20, 2014 at 5:16 am #

      Thanks KG. Hard to believe that the research for what will become The Mirror started in the summer of 2008. I think in the end it will have been worth it.

      • KG January 20, 2014 at 5:33 am #

        Adding to that, this documented process will help others too.

        • navigator1965 January 20, 2014 at 5:48 am #

          I hope so. There’s been so much flux in the past couple of years when it comes to publishing.

  2. LindaGHill January 19, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    I’ve enjoyed this series very much, thank you for writing it. 🙂
    Best of luck with it all, Nav. I’ll of course be right there at the front of the parade with pom-poms. 😉
    Just one question: which chapter did you send them?

    • navigator1965 January 20, 2014 at 5:19 am #

      I broke the rule and sent them the first one. I recall having an opportunity where a newspaper columnist friend was having lunch with a publishing executive, and was being the proposal to his attention.

      I didn’t have enough time, so I wrote the easiest part.

  3. Aussa Lorens January 20, 2014 at 1:54 am #

    Ah, good luck! I assume you’ll be updating us when you get the galley proofs?

    • navigator1965 January 20, 2014 at 5:23 am #

      Thanks, Aussa. I will most certainly be posting when the proofs arrive. Perhaps as importantly, I will also be posting my consolidated test reader feedback. I think this will explain why I and others here are excited about the book’s prospects.

      I wanted to write a book that would profoundly change how people think about society and be entertained in the process. It appears as if I got it right.

  4. idiotwriter January 20, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    You are so flexible in your writing. It is inspiring and challenging to watch and learn 😀
    (and now you have yoga for parts other than your brain to gain flexibility)

    • navigator1965 January 20, 2014 at 5:26 am #

      Thank you, Belinda. Flexibility is the key to Air Power, as the RCAF is fond of saying. Yoga too, apparently, but it’s more easily achieved in the former than the latter, in my experience.

  5. yakinamac January 20, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Very exciting – hope the proofs look good!

  6. bethbyrnes January 20, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    You clearly take this enterprise very seriously. If ever I were to seek a traditional publisher, I would now have the entire route mapped out for me. There are so many people who appreciate this aspect of your book, alone, via this blog Michael. A great service to future writers who follow you. I hope it is appropriate to say, ‘good luck’, with this entire endeavour.

    • navigator1965 January 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful words, Beth. At some point I may add some detail in a supplementary post regarding social media and establishing a “platform” from which to launch a book. Even with this admitted deficiency, I think it still may be helpful to first time writers to see another’s thoughts throughout the book proposal process. It can act as a reference starting point for their work.

      If nothing else, it should helpfully help new writers discipline their approach to writing, to some extent.

      I’ve benefitted tremendously from fellow bloggers who have acted as test readers. Thus, there is a bit of an obligation on my part to “pay it forward” to the WordPress community, and I am pleased to have been able to do so.

      It is indeed quite appropriate to wish me luck, and I do appreciate your support.

  7. Kim Saeed January 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Thank you for this informative post, Nav. I like knowing that if I decide to pursue traditional publishing, I can just come here to your blog and be all set 🙂

    • navigator1965 January 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      You’re quite welcome, Kim. With a little luck, in some months I may have some experience with traditional publishers, too.

  8. Sherri January 21, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Exciting stuff Nav, it’s been great reading these posts, you offer some great insight into the world of traditional publishing and share some great information with us, thanks so much. This is the route I hope to take (if I ever get my book written that is!!) and I am so very appreciative of the knowledge you share here with us. I really do wish you all the very best in this next stage of your publishing journey and very much looking forward to more updates 🙂

    • navigator1965 January 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      Thanks, Sherri. I’ll continue to share as I go forward and learn more. A small repayment to all that the WordPress community has given to me.

    • navigator1965 January 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

      Thanks, Sherri. I will continue to update as I learn / experience more. It’s the least I can do to repay the WordPress community for all it has given me.

  9. Gede Prama January 22, 2014 at 1:36 am #

    article is quite interesting and hopefully true happiness rays began to warm the hearts of us all, when we can share it with sincerity. Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

    • navigator1965 January 22, 2014 at 5:51 am #

      Thank you, Gede. Your heartfelt support is both encouraging and appreciated.

      The book exposes some of the wickedness of feminist officials who deliberately harmed my children. I hope some good will come from such exposure.

  10. The Hook January 27, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Your hard work and patience will pay off, I know it.
    I only wish I had your sense of pacing and brilliance.

  11. navigator1965 January 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    Thank you, Hook. Did I send you my manuscript, or are your very kind and complimentary comments related to my poem(s) or other posts?

    Yes, perseverance will overcome much in life.



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