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Accidental Pilgrim - Travels with a Celtic Saint  

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Proposal for publication

Walking through a bookshop, you'd be tempted to think that books appear fully-formed and bound, and ready for sale. The gap between an idea you might have for a book, and the nicely typeset and produced objects on the shelves can seem so great that you don't know where to start.

Publication is a long process, but you've got to start somewhere, and a crucial step is getting in touch with publishers or agents. In the hope that it might be of some use or interest, here I include a .pdf version of the proposal I sent out that got me the publishing deal.

I've tidied up a few things for the web, but otherwise it's exactly what was sent out many times (complete with a covering letter), including early drafts of the first two chapters (so literary critics among you can compare with the finished versions in the book to see how much editing work went on). You'll also notice the book was originally called 'The Agnostic Pilgrim' (well, it was originally called 'Bangor to Bobbio', but that's another story) - a title I was never really happy with. Fortunately, we came up with something better before publication.

A few points to bear in mind:
- feel free to borrow any elements you might fancy, but remember that just because it (eventually) worked for me, doesn't mean it will work for you
- don't pitch the idea of following a medieval monk to Europe on a bike, because someone's already done that
- pitching even a great travel book to a publisher that doesn't publish travel books is wasting everyone's time, so do your homework first. In the UK and Ireland, I recommend the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook for all the addresses you're ever likely to need
- ultimately it's the quality of the idea and of the writing that will determine whether or not you're successful, not whether the proposal is set in Times New Roman or Rotis Semi Sans

AP Proposal (pdf)That said, here's the proposal (.pdf format, 108K)



accidental pilgrim cover

ISBN: 0340832282
Trade Paperback - Hodder Headline
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