It happens. A relative or a friend or even some stranger approaches you, narrates his or her plight and asks you if you can connect them with a job. What kind of job? You ask. Any job. He or she replies. A personnel recruiter or human resource manager will definitely tell you that there is nothing like ‘any job’. That a job is specific – mechanic or accountant or messenger. Still, you are neither, and empathising with their plight – you’ve been there – you promise to ask around or refer them to your friend Zack who is running a start-up IT company and needs a versatile receptionist-cum-assistant.
And so it is with a publishing proposal. That it should be specific. What exactly does the particular project you need published require? Are you starting from scratch – say, you need a brand identity all the way to publishing. Or perhaps you already have a brand identity and only require to publish a report which reflects your brand. Or maybe, you have already designed your report and only requires printing services. Then again, what is your budget? Your timelines and which may be dictated by the launch date of your report? Quality? Quantities? The variables are many.
So, what goes into a publishing proposal? The answer to this is that templates vary. That there is no right or wrong way to do one provided that it clearly captures what you have in mind; and your supplier for the publishing services is also clear on what you need done. In fact, it may be a paragraph or two, or you can even request your publisher to write one after you have had a sit down with them as to your publishing requirements. Which you can then revise accordingly or request them to revise accordingly should it have left out some crucial information.
A standard template of your publishing proposal may run thus. First, the cover page and which has the title of the publishing project you require stated on it. Next, a paragraph or two that states who you – the client – are and what your mission is. This acts as a reference point for the publisher to ensure that whatever they publish for you encapsulates your mission. Then may follow a couple of paragraphs stating who the publisher is; perhaps, affirming their commitment to publish quality work for you.
From there, we delve into the meat of the proposal. First, the summary of the whole proposal and which captures, succinctly, what the publishing project is all about. Of course, depending on the complexity of the publishing project, it may range from a paragraph to two pages. Then follows the objectives of the publishing project; in a nutshell, what do you hope to achieve via this publishing project?
We then move into the project outline; the how of the unfolding of the publishing project. In short order, this lists the resources needed to undertake the publishing project. This includes content, images, timelines, design and publishing and so on. For instance, the publisher may require you to provide all or part of the content and images. The timelines ensure that the publishing project is on course and are integral to your publishing proposal. The proposal then ends with the term and conditions and which ensures that you are within your budget for the particular publishing project.
Of particular importance is that the publishing proposal acts as a point of reference should dispute arise between you and the publisher as pertains to the quality of work, the quantities of the project or costing of the project and settlement of accounts.