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I Did a Big Thing!
It's kind of scary, y'all.
I did a big thing. I set my sights on something HUGE, something that has always intimidated me. I put on my big girl panties (at 42, there a bit larger thanks to my mid-life curves) and I wrote a book proposal. Let’s shout that out.
I WROTE A BOOK PROPOSAL!
A book proposal is a pitch to sell your book idea and who you are as a writer and potential author. That includes your book synopsis and hook, your target audience and competition, your social media stats and writing credits (if you have any), and even press clips. If you have famous and/or influential friends that can help you promote your book (ie. endorsements), throw them in there STAT!
Because getting a literary agent’s attention ain’t just about the story. Agents receive thousands of proposals in their inboxes daily so, as a writer, you have to stand out. With a quick read of your query letter (the intro email that often includes pages of your book) and a glance at your book proposal (if your query impressed them enough that they respond and ask to read your proposal), plus, your platform as an author (do you have fans?!), they decide if you and your work are worthy of representation. Then they get publishers on board.
It’s a lot, and a major step for me as professional writer. If you follow my journey on social media or we connected in the comments section of MiGente, the Latinx dating site turned digital platform where I published my first online column, you know how much writing means to me. What you may not know is that I am terrified to write and publish fiction.
My first book, Love Trips, is a collection of personal essays. I self-published the book for many reasons, one being that I didn’t want to conform to traditional publishing rules. I didn’t believe I could stray from the writing that I knew and that made me feel safe. Personal essay helped built my career. What if I wasn’t any good at writing anything else? What if my writing was shredded and critiqued to death? A year after self-publishing, I did hire a publicist to get me press and connect me with agents. After 3 months of working together, I was left with a large bill (PR is expensive) and a stack of books sitting in a box in my bedroom.
So, this time, I have nothing to lose. As proud as I am to have self-published Love Trips, I’ve dreamt of publishing books with a mega publishing house since 12 years old. I close my eyes and visualize my life as an author who’s books sit in the romance section of Barnes and Nobles. I, Sujeiry Gonzalez, lover of writing about her failed relationships and shamefully putting her business on blast, am ready to be a romance author.
The stories are flowing. I am creating dynamic Latinx characters and writing about their business.
Regardless of the outcome, today I celebrate finishing my book proposal. And as I wait for a response, I close my eyes and envision my name on a book cover. I feel the plastic ridges of a black-point pen as I sign my name inside the pages. I walk over to the romance section in Barnes and Nobles and count my books one by one. There are many. Because I’ve worked hard for this. Because I didn’t give up. Because I was scared and did a big thing anyway.