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Sample Book Outline (Brief) by Michael A. Banks

This is a sample "brief" book outline. This is the exact format I've used to sell more than 30 non-fiction books. I typically send this level of outline, along with an extended outline and a proposal.

Copyright 1998 Michael A. Banks

Michael A. Banks
P.O. Box 312
Milford, ZX 93423
(555) 555-1212

Surviving as a Writer:
How to Become a Full-Time Freelance Writer
(or Make it On the Side)

by Michael A. Banks

Introduction - Are You Sure You Want to Do
                    Why I wrote this book
                    What's in It for You
                    What You'll Find in this Book
                    How to use this book

Part I: Previews

Chapter 1 - Writing as a Career?
                    How I did it
                    Why not?

Chapter 2 - This Book is for You--but is Writing
    Full-Time for You?
                    What I expect of you, and what
                        success expects of you
                    "If I can do it ..." 
                    Why not everyone can write full-time
                    What it takes to write full-time ((brief
                    The two paragraphs in this book
                        you'll hate most
                    Building toward a full-time career by
                        writing part-time
                    A few words on success
                    What is success?
                    Why writers write
                    Success goals for the full-time writer

Chapter 3 - What It's Really Like
                    Gloom and doom, or riches and
                    The "ideal" writing life
                    The real writing life: typical and
                        atypical writers' lives
                    From one extreme to the other
                    What to expect if you're still
                    A moderately happy medium

Part II: Preparations and Going for It

Chapter 4 - What it Takes, Part I: Self-Management for the Writer
                    Getting organized
                    Scheduling your time
                    Project management
                    Project-management aids
                    Strategy and tactics for full-time
                    When bad things happen to good
                        writers: dealing with adversity
                    Dealing with success

Chapter 5 - What it Takes, Part II: Getting Yourself to Write
                    Dealing with adversity, revisited
                    Self esteem and writing
                    Is money success?

Chapter 6 - Are You Ready?
                    Measuring your professional
                    How to know when you're ready

Chapter 7 - Getting Ready, Part I: Your
    Professional Life
                    Your workplace
                    Tools of the trade
                    Expanding and enhancing
                        professional contacts
                    Finding and developing new markets
                        for your work
                    Establishing regular markets for your

Chapter 8 - Getting Ready, Part II: Putting Your
    Affairs in Order
                    Cold cash and hard realities:
                        financial preparation
                    Personal factors
                    Financial supplements
                    Spouses/partners and the Medieval
                        concept of patronage
                    Keeping your hand in the working

Chapter 9 - Making the Break
                    Decision or Delusion?
                    Sharing the Decision
                    Trading your job for a career
                    "Banking and finance and
                        benefits--oh my!"

Part III: Now that You're On Your Own ...

Chapter 10 - Staying Alive
                    Your first few weeks on the job
                    Transitional problems

Chapter 11 - Getting Down to Business
                    Cash flow
                    Acting like a business

Chapter 12 - Marketing for the Full-Time Writer
                    The importance of marketing your
                        work properly
                    Market information: the writer's
                    Marketing professionally
                    A short course in contracts and
                    Do you need an agent?

Chapter 13 - A Little on the Side: Extra Income
    for Writers
                    Writing is more than writing
                    Hands-on methods for turning your
                        writing talents into cash

Afterword: Final Words of Advice
                    It's your life, but don't blame it on me
                    How to know if you should quit
                    A new start: turning your writing
                        experience into a new job
                    "Still crazy after all these years ..."

Appendix A: Resources
                    Writers' Organizations
                    Organizations for the Self-Employed
                    Online Special-Interest Groups for

Appendix B: Bibliography

"About the Author"

(End of Outline)

Click here for Michael's homepage.



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