When you submit your book proposal to literary agents or publisher, convince these publishing professionals your blogged book constitutes a viable product worthy of publication by showing them your blog analytics. Although your book idea is, of course, important, how well received it has been over time—how many readers or many fans it has garnered—provides the most conclusive argument.
Author platform has become more and more important for all types of writers over the last decade or so, but nowhere is this more true than for bloggers who aspire to become authors. After all, bloggers are found by agents and publishers because of their huge readership or following. That constitutes an author platform.
Not only that, publishers see successful blogs as successfully test-marketed book ideas. Since you’ve actually blogged your book, it’s especially true in your case, assuming your blogged book has attracted many subscribers, unique visitors and page views.
What Do Bloggers Include in a Book Proposal?
This then begs the question: What should a blogged-book author include in a book proposal to attract the attention of an agent and publisher or to convince these publishing professionals a book is marketable?
Your book proposal should follow the format of any standard fiction or nonfiction book proposal. You can find information about that on this blog; I wrote many posts on the topic beginning with this one.
You can also learn about book proposals in The Author Training Manual and in The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified.
Every book proposal should have an author platform section. Here you describe the size of the built-in readership for your book. You develop this with visibility, reach, authority, and influence in your target market created via social networking, speaking, writing for publication, blogging, and traditional media appearances, as well as the audio or video you produce. When you write the author platform section of your proposal, it should include specific number related to:
- blog subscribers
- social media stats (how many followers/social media site)
- average monthly blog page views over time (6 months of data)
- average monthly blog unique visitors over time (6 months of data)
The numbers you need to impress agents and editors varies—especially if your idea and experience are tremendously compelling. For the big publishing houses, the numbers go way up of course. I’ve heard it said that a blog needs tens of thousands of monthly visitors (ex., 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, or more). On social media, a blogger needs to have a minimum of 10,000 “tweeple” on Twitter and at least as many on Instagram or Tumblr, if these are appropriate.
Remember, however, that each genre is different. Many booked blogs have been humorous, for example. These will have different requirements than a straight prescriptive nonfiction book. With that in mind, a publisher might be happy with 20-30,000 average monthly unique visitors for a lifestyle blog, but that might seem extremely low for blog that focuses on viral content or humor.
Regular writing big name in outlets, public speaking and media appearances could actually prove more impressive in some genres. A memoirist who blogs a book may have decent blog stats and phenomenal speaking stats—lots of gigs and large crowds as well as a huge mailing list created from those appearances—but low Instagram numbers because her readers doesn’t use Instagram.
Also include any specific mentions from newspapers or large websites, like Alltop.
Don’t Let Stats Stop You
If you’ve blogged your book, or you are blogging your book, and you feel ready to send a query off to an agent or a publisher, don’t let your blog statistics stop you from doing so. You may not yet have tens of thousands of unique visitors or subscribers. You may not even have this many people following you on Twitter or Facebook.
Let me tell you a secret: I didn’t either when I proposed How to Blog a Book to Writer’s Digest Books. Nor did I have anywhere near that many of anything when I landed an agent the first, second or third time. But I had good ideas and I was working hard on my author platform.
No arbitrary number exists in any genre when an agent or an acquisitions editor at a publishing house says, “That aspiring author or blogger is ready for publication. Let’s purchase his or her book.” An author’s potential can’t be measured in followers or subscribers.
That said, blog statistics do provide agents and editors with an indication of whether or not your idea has interest to your target market. Your social media metrics also provide an indication if you are popular with people in that same market and if you are doing anything to gain visibility, reach, authority, and influence with your potential readers.
That’s why you want to be sure to include these things in your book proposal. You might even mention them in passing in your query letter if they are impressive. After all, you blogged your book to build platform as you wrote your book. If that worked, the time to show off that fact is when you approach agents and publishers with a query letter or book proposal.
If you would like more information on how to write a book proposal for your blogged book (or any book) join me August 26-September 30 to learn How to Craft a Proposal for a Book that Sells.
How to Craft a Proposal for a Book that Sells
A 6-week course on how to write a
business plan for a successful book
Learn how to write a book proposal that convinces agents and acquisitions editors your book is a viable product and that you make a good business partner so they are eager to work with you and to help bring your book to market. Also, discover how to use the “proposal process” as a creative one that helps you produce a book that will sell to a publisher and to readers upon release. Find out how developing a proposal can help you craft a successful career as an author as well as a success book no matter what type of book you write or how you decide to publish.
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