More World’s Worst Book Proposals

Today, I’m going to share another installment of our popular column, World’s Worst Book Proposals. Yes, we can learn from others’ mistakes! Featured below are real quotes from book proposals submitted to me over the past few months.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried…


The book’s description:

“It is a story of a women who has never been able to develop healthy relationships. After a near death experience, she discovers that the richness is found in money and not in desighner bags. She buileds a relationship with her family and God.”


We don’t think providing children with fresh, error-laden books is a good idea…

“Fresh childrens writing should be available to all and new authors need and avenue from which to provide it.”


Second sentence of chapter 1:

“…was a least at foot taller than he was but that didn’t stop the wood-be explorer.”


After I sent him a professional rejection letter, he wrote:

“Full marks for unhelpfullness, and an extra credit for the implied rudeness. For the record, I checked every page for gaps, typos, spaces etc, then ran the spelling and grammar checker, and then asked a friend to have a look at it. Your standards are laudably high, no doubt. Shame about your people skills.”

My response:

Hi Tim,

I am shocked by your response. Your “friend” is obviously not a professional editor.

Here are just a few examples of the numerous errors found in your book –

From the very first line of your book:

moon-lit garden
should be moonlit

The first page (as well as the entire book) also contains numerous punctuation errors.

little asian man
should be Asian

slim firm body
there should be a comma after slim

In the bar earlier he’d had just two moments of doubt, the first was,
should be – doubt. The first was

And so Tsuba bought bought a motorbike.
should delete second “bought”

should be foot pump

I refused to publish your book because it contains so many errors that it would be an embarrassment to you and to us. There are many companies out there that would be happy to take your money, not caring about future embarrassment.

Angela Hoy


This one left me speechless:

“She losses her family at a young age. Without them she makes some mistake. Now at seventeen she gets a change to start over.”


This one also left me speechless:

“am writing my first book. About my life i don t know how edited a book
How do I get register with the U.S copyright office, can you put own picture on the front cover, I just want to write a book about my life I am not skilled enough to Publish one, How much it cost for the full package and will there be hidden cost.”


Honest copyright infringer

“My concern is whether I have unknowingly entered/used quotations that others might regard as copyright material.”


In the marketing statement:

“Literary agents have said my book is not saleable.”


For more, see the previous installment of World’s Worst Book Proposals HERE.

Angela Hoy is the co-owner of and is the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, is: “As close to perfection as you’re going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I’ve ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can’t go wrong here. Plus, they’re selective and won’t publish any manuscript just because it’s accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors’ books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know.”

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