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Are You Writing Your Book Backwards?


When someone is going to write a book often their first step is to open a computer file and begin writing a manuscript. Day after day they write their book until they finish, then wonder how to get it published.


You aren't alone. Over 80% of people feel like they should write a book and get paid for it.


These authors are dismayed to learn that editors and literary agents do not read book manuscripts. They read a specialized document called a book proposal.

These unpublished writers do not understand how 80 to 90 percent of books are sold. Because of a lack of understanding, unpublished authors never sell their book manuscript to a publisher. Instead they gather some rejection slips and retire their book to a desk drawer or they plunge into self-publishing (more about this below.

If you want to sell your book idea, then you need this book. I wrote this book as a frustrated acquisitions editor. I was not receiving the types of submissions that I needed to convince my colleagues inside the publisher to give the writer a contract. Often they were missing a key element or didn't include the information we needed to make a decision.


Book Proposals That Sell has garnered over 130 Five Star Amazon reviews. Hundreds of people have used this book to:

  •  Find a Literary Agent 
  •  Get an advance for their book (sometimes thousands) 
  •  Get a traditional publisher 

But I'm going to self-publish, do I still need Book Proposals That Sell?


Yes. The average self-published book sells less than 200 copies. While it may sound simple to create a Kindle bok or CreateSpace or Lulu or any number of the 20+ Author Solutions companies, what people unskilled in publshing do not realize:

  • On average, these companies make over 50,000 titles a year 
  • Your book is only online and will not be sold ion bookstores 
  • You are 100% responsible for your content and marketing 
  • Most of these books are poorly produced and book reviewers and other in the media (in general) are not interested in these books 

Whether you are writing nonfiction, fiction or a children's book, this book will help you. Even if you self-publsh, you need to do the work to create a book proposal. Why?


  • The proposal is your game plan for your book. Through the creation, you will understand 
  • Who is your target audience 
  • What specific plans are you making to reach them? 
  • What else is in the market for your book and what is your competition for your book? 

This mysterious document includes many elements that will neveer appear in your manuscript--yet these elements are critical factors to publishing executives who will make a decision about whether to publish or reject your project.


From his years as a book acquisitions editor, Terry has often tried to convince the room of publishing executives (sales, marketing and editorial) to issue a book contract for an author's idea. Yet far too often the author has not given Terry the ammunition to successfully get these executives to give an enthusiastic "yes" to the author's idea.


The acquisitions editor is the first person to read tghe book proposals. This book contains his insight and experience regarding book proposals that sell. His stories and information will show you how to avoid the pitfalls of rejection.


Book Proposals That Sell has proven results. Numerous authors have used the information in this book to get a literary agent or a book contract. 


You need Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Thousands of authors have purchased Book Proposals That Sell for $15. In the last few weeks, I've purchased all of the remaining print copies of this book from my old publisher. Instead of the $15 retail price on the cover of this book, you can purchase this proven tool for only $8 plus shipping.


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Book Proposals That Sell


Here's other additions in Book Proposals That Sell: 

a real nonfiction book proposal that Terry wrote (and an agent sold) for a six-figure advance from a traditional publisher.

a book proposal checklist

an annotated list of other book proposal books

another example of how to write a book proposal by Michael Hyatt, former CEO at Thomas Nelson and now the founder of Platform University.

Strategies for a Six-Figure Advance 

a current list of literary agents.

Learn how to give the editor exactly what they need to champion your book idea.

Understand more about today's publishing environment.


Understand why editors barely have time to send a form rejection letter. 


Understand how to distinguish your submission from the dozens of other book proposals on an editor's desk. 


Understand how to track on the current trends in publishing and how you can beat this trend. 


Understand how to capture the editor's attention for your project. 


Understand despite the rejection--every editor and every literary agent is actively searching for new talent. The key is sending the right editor or the right agent the right book idea at the right time. 


Praise for the techniques in "Book Proposals That Sell" 


Here's what readers are saying about Book Proposals That Sell... 


Book Proposals That Sellis your road map for bypassing the long, winding route that  gets you nowhere and shows you the shortcuts for learning what publishers are really looking  for.  

--Heather Ivester, Georgia 


Before you even think about writing a book, you need to read Terry's book. Finally, in helpful  detail, we have an insider explaining what goes on in those mysterious caverns called publishing  offices.  

--Jeanne Zornes, Wentachee, Washington 


Whalin uses his vast experience in the publishing business to lay out a step-by-step plan to write a proposal that will get your foot in the door. Even the fiction writer can gain much from Whalin's insight in this book.  

--Ronald Estrada, Oxford, Michigan 


Book Proposals That Sell would have saved me years of heartache and rejection. Whether you're an aspiring author or already published, this book will help fast-track your next proposal to an acceptance letter.  

--Sean Young, Johannesburg, South Africa 


I learned more about crafting a non-fiction proposal from Terry Whalin's book than I did from the three writers' conferences I've attended--and received huge dividends. By using the wealth of 

information in Book Proposals That Sell, I was able to write a powerful proposal that, to borrow Terry's term, "snagged" an agent. Three months later I signed a contract for my first 

non-fiction book!  

--Sharon L. Fawcett, New Brunswick, Canada 


I'm a fiction writer and my copy is marked and dog-eared. Terry covers the publishing business, submissions process, how editorial decisions are made, the editors and authors jobs, and a whole host of things that every writer needs to know! No writer should be without this valuable resource! 

--Bonnie Calhoun, New York 



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Normally my products comes with a money back guarantee but the stock is limited for this proven tool. At this link, you can see the guarantees and bonuses for my Ebook.


Book Proposals That $ell comes with a series of unique bonuses:

  1. This book has been out several years and the computer links in the printed book are out of date. Because you've purchased the book directly from the author, you will receive a 33 page PDF with active weblinks to every resource in the book via email. 
  2. Since August 2012, I've been writing a column called Book Proposal Boot Camp for Southern Writer magazine. A year of these columns have been compiled into a 24-page ebook called Book Proposal Essentials. It's available exclusively when you purchase this book. 
  3. As additional teaching about proposals, I answered critical questions about proposal in a course called Proposal Secrets Course. The course contains answers to 50 common questions. When you purchase this book, you will receive three of these PDF answers which arrive in three separate emails. 

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If you already have a copy of this book, here's several suggestions:

1. Buy a copy for a friend. The price for this proven tool has never been so inexpensive and make a terrific gift.

2. Enroll in Terry's Write A Book Proposal Membership Course. It is his latest teaching on book proposal creation.

3. Buy a box of these books then sell them at your own conference or event for full price and make money on it.


About W. Terry Whalin  
Terry Whalin 


W. Terry Whalin has been a book acquisitions editor for over five years. The acquisitions editor is the first person to read the submissions to a publishing house then champions the author's project in front of a room of publishing executives. Terry knows the inside scoop on what publishers want in a book proposal.  


As a writer, Terry has published more than 60 books with traditional publishers such as Zondervan, St. Martins Press, Tyndale and others. A traditional publisher pays you to write the book. Twice in his career, he has written book proposals which received a six-figure advance. One of these proposals is included in Book Proposals That Sell. A popular speaker at conferences, Terry often teaches about book proposals. 


What Others Say About  

Book Proposals That Sell




"With practical know-how and tons of proven tips, this book is like that wise friend who’s been in the business, knows what works and why. Step-by-step, Terry Whalin guides and inspires both beginners and even experienced writers to doing better, successful, meaningful work." 

--Jeanette Thomason, former Editorial Director Waterbrook/ Random House 




"Traditional publishing is shrouded with mystery. Terry Whalin peels back the curtain to give authors an inside look at what a writer needs to provide a publisher. Following his advice will give you the edge you need to create a slam dunk proposal!" 

--Michael S. Hyatt, former Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers & Founder of Platform




"Terry Whalin has written an informative book to help people navigate the treacherous waters of getting published. An indispensable tool for new authors." 

--Scott Waxman, Literary Agent and Co-Founder of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency, New York 




"With years of experience as an author and an editor, Terry Whalin has written a book that can help any writer. Book Proposals That Sell offers great advice on building the nonfiction proposal and also explains the inner workings of the editor's and publication board's role in acquiring a new book. Novelists, too, will find this background information very helpful. All authors need to understand the uphill battle they face in selling a book before they can be fully prepared to submit their absolute best proposal or manuscript. Whalin's book lays out what they'll face--and then shows them how to win the battle." 

--Brandilyn Collins, best-selling novelist 




"As a successful author and acquisitions editor, Terry Whalin knows why some proposals bring publishers to attention and why others put publishers to sleep. Heed his advice and your next proposal just may be your break-through." 

--Dan Benson, former Editorial Director, NavPress 




"Many beginning book writers complain that it’s harder to write the proposal than the book itself. Until they know how, that’s probably true. Terry Whalin knows the secrets of good book proposals. As a writer, he’s composed many book proposals; as an editor, he’s read hundreds of them."  

--Cecil Murphey, writer, co-writer, or ghostwriter of more than 100 books including 90 Minutes in Heaven. 




"In the often bewildering world of book publishing, aspiring authors need more than desire, creative skill, and something worthwhile to say. They also need a road map. My friend Terry Whalin offers a map even Rand-McNally couldn’t top. If you have any inclination toward getting a book published, you’ll do well by studying this book first." 

--Larry Libby, Senior Editor, Multnomah Publishers 




"If every proposal I received followed the rules of Book Proposals That Sell, my job would be a lot easier! Whalin has produced an indispensable tool that is both practical and powerful." 

--Kyle Duncan, Publisher, David C. Cook






  "A tremendous book with crisp, concise and insightful advice that make this an invaluable resource for every writer! Ignore his counsel at your peril." 

--Steve Laube, Literary Agent and President, The Steve Laube Agency 




"How does one get a foot in the editorial door?  Publishers want to see a clear, direct, and well organized book proposal. Without one, most will not get a second chance to make a good first impression." 

--Leonard G. Goss, Book Editor, 




"Writers who are serious about getting published need more than talent. They need the inside scoop on what really goes on in publishing. Terry Whalin offers insider information for writers at every level in Book Proposals That Sell. This book is bursting with real life examples and bottom-line advise to create professional proposals that will make editors sit up and take notice."

--Vicki Caruana, teacher and author of the best-selling Apples & Chalkdust. 





Terry Whalin has written scores of book proposals. And, as an acquisitions editor at two publishing houses, he’s read his fair share of proposals. Now he shares his wealth of knowledge in succinct chapters brimming with pointers.

--Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent, Books & Such Literary Agency




This is a valuable step-by-step guide to doing a book proposal. It tells would-be authors what agents and editors look for in book proposals, with advice on how you can tailor your book proposal for the market at which you’re aiming. 

--Timothy Harper, editor, the ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing 




 As an agent, I’ve read Terry’s nonfiction proposals and have always been impressed.  He knows how to put together a winning presentation to capture a potential editor’s attention and get a decision.  In Book Proposals That Sell, Terry combines his compassion for writers with his considerable publishing experience to create a must-have book for anyone preparing a nonfiction proposal. 

-- Claudia Cross, Literary Agent, Folio Literary Management, New York City 




Selling a book may be one of the most intimidating challenges you will ever face. However, an intimate knowledge of the process helps make it easier. Terry Whalin offers his broad knowledge of this business—from both sides of the editor’s desk—make him the perfect resource for helping you develop a proposal that sells.   

-- Sally E. Stuart, author, the founder of the Christian Writer’s Market Guide 




 A well-written book proposal gains attention, piques interest, and provides the information an editor--and later the publicity department--needs to convince not only his editorial staff but the whole publishing team. Terry Whalin provides the know-how to add sales appeal to any book proposal.  

--Les Stobbe, Literary Agent