Blog to Book Deal- Part 3

Life sticks the knife in you and twist’s it slowly sometimes..

I’m pretty good with slapping a band-aid on those kind of wounds and raising a middle finger to adversity while hollering something about “stomping on it’s spuds”  if it dares to chuck me yet another stone to attach to the cord around my neck..

But the past few months have been sapping my life force, my mojo, my British stiff upper lip, my fighting spirit and on occasions, I have been succumbing to self-pity and defeatism, two attitudes specifically abhorrent to me as normally they are alien to my psyche for more than a fleeting moment..

My literary agent, took a step back and gave me time to get through these difficult times and now she is back and we have a deadline for the book proposal… I have one month to deliver, I work well with tight deadlines and pressure, it becomes all consuming and a challenge and I think this is exactly what I need to distract me from the bigger issues and worries that we are currently facing.

Blog to Book Deal Part 1 – Click here

Blog to Book Deal Part 2 – Click here

I know there are many bloggers out there who are interested in “blog to book deals” or self publishing digitally through “Kindle Direct Publishing” via Amazon so I promised to keep you up to date of my own personal journey, whether I am successful or not, as I’m sure it will be of use to someone out there…

Here is part of the guidelines sent to me by my literary agent to assist me in putting together a “killer” book proposal.

Nonfiction book proposals should be divided into the following categories:

1. Overview/Introduction

2. Author Bio

3. Platform/Brand
4. Audience

5. Marketing

6. Format

7. Competitive and Comparative Titles Analysis

8. Chapter Breakdown

9. Sample Chapter


Writing a saleable proposal takes time and effort, and is probably the most important aspect of the book-writing process. An editor’s interest is based on the strength of your proposal and your platform; the more impressive the package, the more commercial the concept, in the editor’s eyes. Although these guidelines may seem daunting, they will help tremendously when you start writing your book and throughout the writing process. Your proposal should be approximately 30-40 pages.


From blog to book deal- part 2

As I type, the signed author agreement with the literary agency is finding it’s way to New York

I’ve been working on the proposal. This is what the literary agent sends out to publishers in the hope that one will bite… and offer that prized book deal.

When I say working on the proposal, I had been, until my latest life circumstances took over my thought process. Unfortunately dealing with current domestic issues has to take priority at this moment in time. I’m TERRIBLY excited though, knicker wettingly excited about the whole damn thing. OK so my book won’t have sex in it, or I won’t be whipping my cream into submission (or maybe I will??) BUT there will be food porn for sure…

I have this huge plan formulated for the book. It’s not just a wartime recipe book you see.  It’s a platform to talk about the whole reason for undertaking this experiment and the big problems we are facing today, obesity, economics, environmental issues, sustainability. In addition I’m thinking as well a good dose of nostalgia and of course the very personal weight loss diary I’ve been keeping…I’m REALLY excited that a professional food chef, writer and photographer (she’s done Betty Crocker – not literally but you know what I mean) is going to re-create my favourite WW2 recipes and make the smell of the food waft from the page. Tonight I am sending her a list of 5-10 recipes for the book proposal.


At this moment in time I wish I could take a month, without any distractions, to finish this proposal. You only get one shot and I do so want to show any potential publishers that there is a market for the 1940s Experiment. Luckily I have an obsession with social media and website traffic statistics and every book proposal now, especially for non-fiction in a niche market, needs to be backed up with proof that people ARE interested in the subject matter and there is already an established platform to promote the book when it hits the stores.

I’ve always said to my children and anyone who will listen, if you have a passion and you need a voice, take up blogging. It teaches you to commit to writing regularly and teaches you perseverance.  Anyone who has started a blog and it has fallen by the wayside, will know how difficult it is to write on a regular basis. I’ve been blogging for years prolifically because I can’t keep quiet … I feel this a good start, good training!

I’m just so excited about having this opportunity to try at least.

One must NEVER give up, if you fall down, dust yourself and get right up again!

C xxxxx

From blog to book deal – Part 1

I know very little about book publishing…infact I’d go as far as to say I probably could tell you more about subatomic particles than I could about getting a book in a high street store. However, for anyone who has ever dreamt of getting a book published (that includes me), I’d really like to share my personal experience with you, whether good or bad, as it evolves, so we can learn together.

A brief re-cap of the longest 5 weeks of my life… so far

  • Received a chatty e-mail from a major publishing house in New York through my blog via an article by local writer, Stephany Aulenback in The Awl
  • Ignored major publishing house in New York for a while, thinking someone was having a laugh
  • Googled major publishing house and it’s representative to make sure e-mail was not from some sadistic nerd who hated 1940s food and WordPress blogs
  • Responded to major publishing house’s e-mail pleasantly and inquisitively
  • Waited a few days then developed a rather worrying case of checking-my-e-mail-every-10-minutes for an additional 2.5 days until I heard back from major publishing house
  • Came over all dizzy and lost the power of speech momentarily when they still appeared to be interested.
  • Several e-mails back and forth with publishing house who were quite amazing answering my questions and explaining a little about the book publishing process
  • Publishing house sent a helpful list of what they would expect as a proposal for a non-fiction book
  • Publishing house said I would need to find a literary agent to represent my project and said they could put me in touch with some agents that maybe interested
  • Publishing house e-mailed me back today and had been discussing my project with a literary agent over “Organic salad” at lunch (oh yes!).
  • Literary agent will be in contact….

I’ll be truthful with you… I’m excited but wobbly and seriously doubting whether I can control my bodily fluids..

Of course this is merely the beginning, there are no guarantees and it’s going to be very hard work pulling together quite a large non-fiction book incorporating many components of the blog such as weight loss memoirs, 1940s recipes, nostalgic facts, and glueing it all together with something special..the magic fairy dust. I’ve given it lots of thought and I have a vision and now it’s time to put something together, a proposal, to sell this idea of mine….

Writing a proposal for a non-fiction book

It seems many publishers do indeed spend quite some time on the World Wide Web, watching blogs and reading articles to see what is happening on our little planet worth writing about. That’s rather comforting in a way… There are many people out there who love writing about their passions on blogging platforms, but most of us lack the confidence to go ahead and try publishing a book. We just don’t think anyone would find us or what we write about interesting enough. So when a publishing house expresses an interest in your blog and plants a little seed, asking you whether you have ever considered writing a book and holds your hand through the initial stages, it is enough to finally tip the psychological scale…… you finally think OK I’m going to do it!

In this time of the internet and social media, having an established presence in these areas definitely helps…or so it seems, reading between the lines of the proposal guidelines below from the publishing house

Hope this helps you too!


a) What would your suggestion be to me for starting to put things together? What would you like to see from me in the near future (i.e. a plan, a first chapter?)

Usually for nonfiction books, we like to see a proposal. A proposal consists of a number of things, including:
– A description of what you would like your book to be, including a detailed outline (does not have to be bulleted or numbered, but a heading and a paragraph or two would be nice) as well as a first chapter or sample of your writing
– A list of comparable titles (as well as their publisher and what year they were published), what they are, what they’re about, and how your book would differ and/or cater to the same audience)
– Some stats about your “platform”. In publishing, your platform is essentially a CV of why you’re qualified to write a book on this subject, and these days, it includes things like your online reach (website and social media stats, as well as some examples of writing, or other places where you are known to be an “expert”)

b) In what format do you require submission in?

PDF or .doc, but .doc is preferred.

c) What sort of time scales do you work to?

At this juncture I do not have any—I would like to see a proposal first and see where to go from there. I do not want to rush you, and would rather see a well thought out proposal rather than something submitted to be because you have an arbitrary deadline.

d) Where do we go from here?

At this point, I think you should start looking for representation for your project. We deal with literary agents 90% of the time, and I think it is in your best interest to find someone who understands your vision for what you want to write, can help you best execute a proposal, and can explain to you the ins and outs of publishing. I have a few agents I know who might be interested in a project like yours, and if you would like, I can make an introduction. Please bear in mind that an agent works in his/her author’s best interest, and that money always flows to the author. If an agent charges you money for representation (or indeed for anything other than the 15% of sales/royalties that s/he is due—due AFTER a sale), then s/he is not a reputable agent.


Articles I’ve found on “Blog to Book Deals”

It’s the first time I’ve googled “blog to book” and it seems there is hope for all us bloggers out there. Here are some of the articles I am finding on the web that have appeared in newspapers, magazines and for web only.. keep on blogging about your passion!

How my blog landed me a book deal  (this is my favourite- its practical and useful)

From blog to book deal

Rate of blog to book deals reaches past heights

From blog to book deal: How 6 authors did it

From blog to book deal in just two months 

How to blog a book