Aug 29

The Great First Impression Book Proposal

Today, I have a review of an important book for authors. If you intend to submit your nonfiction book or novel to a publisher or literary agent, you need a book proposal. I found this book super-helpful.

The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Book to an Agent or Publisher in Thirty Minutes or Less
Author: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Publisher: Modern History Press; 2nd ed. edition (September 15, 2019)
ISBN 13: ‎ 978-1615994816
ISBN-10: 1615994815
Reviewed by: Karen Cioffi

While I first read Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s book, The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Book to an Agent or Publisher in Thirty Minutes or Less,” years ago, the author came out with it in an audiobook format – great for those who’d rather listen than read. As with the book, it has everything, plus even more tips, advice and insights you’ll need to write a book proposal that will do what it’s supposed to… get you in the gate.

The author starts by explaining that a book proposal is a cross between an outline, a resume, and a media kit. Then in six easy-to-follow chapters, Howard-Johnson explains exactly what to do and how to do it to create a proposal that will impress a gatekeeper.

The guesswork is gone, and without having to study a full-length book or take a class.

Along with how to write the proposal, this audiobook includes advice on formatting the proposal and what to add in the marketing section to let the publisher or agent know that you intend to help market your book and how you’ll go about doing that.

It also has examples and lots of resources. If you’re thinking of pitching a nonfiction book, “The Great First Impression Book Proposal” is a must.

About the Author

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s several careers prepared her for promoting her own and others’ books. She was the youngest person ever hired as a staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune-A Great Pulitzer Prize Winning Newspaper. Howard-Johnson’s experience in journalism and as a poet and author of fiction and nonfiction helped the multi award-winning author understand how different genres can be marketed more effectively. She was an instructor for UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program for nearly a decade and earned a certificate from that same school’s Instructor Development Program. She turned her knowledge toward helping other writers with her multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, including her flagship book The Frugal Book Promoter and her favorite, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. The Frugal Editor won the Next Generation Indie Best Book Award. Howard-Johnson was honored as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by California Legislature members Carol Liu, Dario Frommer, and Jack Scott. Carolyn is a popular presenter at tradeshows (retail and writing) and writers’ conferences and has lost count of her radio show guest spots. Born and raised in Utah, Howard-Johnson raised her own family in sunny Southern California.
To read Carolyn’s full bio and purchase the book or audio, visit:

The reviewer, Karen Cioffi, is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter. She is also an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on writing and Editor-in-Chief of Writers on the Move. You can check out Karen’s books at:


Whether you need help with ghostwriting, rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700.

Feb 07

How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book MBR Review

Book reviews help sell books.

They should be a part of every author’s marketing toolbox.

I’ve been fortunate to have a review of my book on Midwest Book Review Book Watch January 2021.

If you’re not familiar with them, they were established in 1976 and are committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. Their publications are specifically designed for community and academic librarians, booksellers, and the general reading public.

Okay, on to the MBR review.

How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book
Karen Cioffi
Privately Published
9780999294918 $14.95 paperback, 262 pages
B0891PHML4, $6.99 Kindle

Children’s books are more complicated to write than they first appear. This practical and well-organized book has explanations and formulas for writing them, with examples. There is an assignment for each of the eight sections. An entire book may be written by consulting this text. Children’s target audiences and genres are included. If you need story ideas, the first chapter covers that right away. Cioffi shares that character and dialogue are significant as these must be convincing to the child. Language must be authentic with age-appropriate words. Plot, theme, the craft of writing, hiring help, researching publishers, self-publishing, marketing, and working with editors are covered. An extensive list of resources is provided. Cioffi’s comprehensive book is a must for children’s book authors.

Carolyn Wilhelm, Reviewer
Wise Owl Factory LLC

Here’s another review.

This one by children’s author, Linda Wilson

A comprehensive guide that offers a step-by-step approach

Anyone wondering how to write for children and where to begin would benefit from Karen Cioffi’s book, How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book. A thorough reading of Cioffi’s book cover-to-cover would be an excellent way to begin the path to publication.

I started from scratch not knowing anything about writing for children and recently finished my first children’s book, the first in a series for young children. A lot of time—years—and effort would have been saved if I’d had this guide to follow.

Cioffi’s book begins with the most important aspects every children’s author needs to know, including how to choose your target audience, genre differences, and ten basic rules for writing for young children. The book then goes into detail, such as how to create a story, the use of dialogue, action, and imagery; and the all-important skill of showing vs. telling. Also, how to revise, edit and research; how to find a publisher; understanding contracts, and how to locate marketing resources.

The first draft of book two in my series is done, and even after studying children’s literature for many years, I have found that there’s no end to learning the craft. I made a major change in my draft due to advice I read in Cioffi’s book. So, even experienced authors can find reminders of the goals they’re striving for.

Cioffi’s book would be an excellent resource for any children’s author.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.