There’s a time and place for everything—even proposals for fiction submissions. Two such scenarios: 1) You’re previously published, proving you’ve got the stick-to-itiveness to finish what you start and the skills to realize what you promise; it helps if you come with confidence-inspiring credentials like significant awards, a solid platform, and strong sales. 2) Your proposal offers something irresistible enough to make the editors take a chance on something that’s not yet written, such as with a celebrity connection or a hot, timely topic. Generally, though, fiction editors require query letters instead of proposals, and they expect to buy completed manuscripts.
Nancy Sanderson is friends with some of my writer friends. She sends out proposals all the time for ideas for fiction and nonfiction books. She’s had so much experience and so many books published that she gets enough work to make a living at writing. And she doesn’t write the manuscripts until a publisher says yes. You might want to check out her website. She’s a real go-getter, from what I’ve heard. So talk about being confidence-inspiring credentials, I’d say she’s a perfect example!