The “Perfect” Book Proposal: Featured on Home Page

There is no such thing as a perfect book proposal. However, not long ago I received one that captured my attention immmediately, despite its somewhat repetitive title. It was called:

NICE GUY STRATEGIES: NICE IS NOT ENOUGH-NICE GUY STRATEGIES FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS by Edelman, Hiltabiddle, and Manz (which sounded more like a law firm than an author team).

The proposal started with this:

“Myth or reality…Do nice guys really “finish last”? Can nice guys succeed in business? Must one surrender one’s “niceness” in order to secure the coveted corner office and a rich compensation package? What does “nice” really mean? More pointedly, does success in business come at the cost of being nice?”

Those first few sentences resonated with me immediately, since I always wondered if my being too nice made me a less effective manager. Did I avoid confrontation at the cost of performance? Did I let some people get away with things I shouldn’t have? Did I run a tight enough ship?

But it wasn’t the subject matter that made this such a terrific proposal, although that helped. It was the way the authors had thought out the entire book, and, like a skilled courtroom litigator, had laid out the case for the book step by step.

Since so many people ask me how to write a really good book proposal I thought it important to have a model that prospective authors could refer to whenever they wanted. To view it, go to the home page of this site and scroll down, and click on the “Stand Out” button.

Take some time to see how the authors put it together. This is a lengthy one so keep in mind that yours does not have to be nearly as long. To find out exactly what we did when we received this proposal-come back Wednesday. That’s when you will find out:

  • If we won the publishing rights to the book,
  • What the final title turned out to be,
  • And when the book is going to be published.


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