The Working Experience Book Proposal: You Have to Sell the Book
Matty Kerr is co-creator with John Brancaccio of The Working Experience. He is also a filmmaker and published author. Listen to full episodes on iTunes and Spotify and visit our website: theworkingexperience.com for videos, merchandise and more. You can also find us on Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, and Twitter.
Writing the book is just the beginning. The next step is trying to get it published. You have to write up a proposal that will sell your book to agents or publishers. After rather extensive research, I have unearthed some essential facts (Note- this book is nonfiction so the proposal is geared to that):
- Publishers want you to be able to sell the book. They want you to market it from a social media platform. So you need some sort of built in audience.
- They want to know who is going to buy this book, so you have to be specific about your audience.
- They want you to have support from other authors or high profile people. This comes in form of blurbs.
- They want your credentials. Why should you be writing this book? (We started the podcast and it has grown; my cohost and coproducer, John, owns a media company; I’ve been published and do short films.)
Do they want to know what’s in the book? Yes, but it seems that the content of the book is not as important as your ability to sell it. Publishing is a business and they want to make money.
The working world has been thrown onto its head because of the pandemic. Like never before, people are searching for new careers. People are more open to possibilities, exploring new career opportunities, and new ways to make money. People want to start businesses, run for office, make films, try things they never thought they could do. It has been a seismic shift.
This is why our book, The Working Experience: A Work in Progress, is so timely.
I never thought I could do a podcast, didn’t know the first thing about it. But here we are with an audience of over 500,000 in the U.S., the UK, India, Canada and Japan, bringing us into the Top 5% of podcasts on iTunes and Spotify after starting from nothing. Here we are with a guest list that includes entrepreneurs, filmmakers, politicians, authors, professors, and musicians. The book contains their valuable insight into how to break into what could be a wonderful and fulfilling new career.
And these are not pie in sky, “Go pursue your dreams” manifestos. These are filled with clear advice and hard facts.
Many people think that they can’t do something because they lack some special talent or don’t know the secret. We are here to tell them that they are wrong. We have no special talents and I have yet to discover any secret. If you are willing to dedicate your time, your effort, and your passion to something, there is nothing you can’t do.
Blurbs from our guests:
“I loved being a guest on The Working Experience podcast and talking about what I do and how I do it!” Drew Ackerman (known to his fans as Dearest Scooter) creator and host of the acclaimed podcast Sleep With Me. With over 2.3 million downloads, Drew has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker Magazine, is the winner of the People’s Choice Award for Best Health Podcast and ranked one of the Top 50 Most Popular Podcasts.
That endorsement, from someone as successful as Drew, really makes the podcast worthwhile. For anyone who has ever wanted to do anything creative, Drew’s section in this book is invaluable.
“You know, I’ve done thirty to forty interviews about the book and no one ever asks me about this stuff. And I love talking about it.” Tom O’Neill, best-selling author of Chaos: Charles Manson, The CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties.
This quote really encapsulates what The Working Experience Podcast is all about. It is why I love doing the podcast! Tom O’Neill was a fascinating guest and when he said that it clarified for me the direction of the podcast. People who are passionate about their work love to talk about how they do it. Tom had been asked about the subject matter of the book, Charles Manson and the killing of Sharon Tate and the others by the Manson Family. But he had not been asked how he conducted interviews, dug through old files, and put the book together.
That stuff fascinates us.
“Had a great time on The Working Experience, talking about creativity, trying new ideas and seeing what works. Glad to offer my insights!” Pat Quinn, one of the creators of Life of Dad. They have a podcast, videos, a book, and a huge audience. They went viral with the Cheerio challenge and even got President Obama doing it! As Pat said, you just got to keep trying new things and see what sticks.
Our podcast description on Spotify, iTunes and Apple reads: The Working Experience Podcast: A weekly podcast that dives deep into the love/hate relationship with Work! Hosted by Matt Kerr, an educator, writer and filmmaker, and John Brancaccio, a producer, director and content creator, this star duo research and interview thought leaders, global workers, authors and celebs to help our listeners better navigate the world of work.
“Star duo” might be a stretch but hey, everyone is a star in their own mind.
What started as a project about funny work stories, The Working Experience Podcast has grown beyond any of our expectations. Our guest list includes Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Former Deputy Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Unit Philip Mudd, both of whom are regular contributors to news outlets such as CNN and Meet the Press. We have had guests from the hit Netflix series, Last Chance U: Coach John Beam and Brittaney Wagner. We have interviewed best-selling authors from MIT and Harvard. We have interviewed entrepreneurs, filmmakers, musicians and a professional witch.
It has been a long journey and we have come a long way.
But we still have a long way to go.