Writing a compelling chapter proposition is like crafting the perfect pickup line! Intriguing, a tad audacious, but always true to your (book’s) character.
Put simply, it is a statement that outlines what the chapter promises to deliver to the reader. It’s what makes the chapter enticing, valuable, and distinctive.
What makes a proposition enticing? It’s a careful balance of disclosure and concealment. For example, you don’t want “This chapter discusses the impact of climate change.” An enticing proposition might be “This chapter uncovers the dreadful and often underestimated ways in which climate change is rewriting our future.”
A valuable proposition suggests more than information, it suggests significance and meaning for the reader. A solution to a problem. A new perspective or challenge to an established myth. An insight that can guide their actions. Words like practical, strategic, or shortcut convey value (depending on the reader). Use your proposition to declare to the reader that it is worth their investment of time to read your chapter.
Give a sense of individuality and differentiation to create a distinctive chapter proposition. Show your reader that this chapter offers something novel that the reader won’t find elsewhere. It doesn’t have to be a huge distinction. An expansion of an established idea, or a new way of looking at an old model. Both can make a chapter distinctive.
But you do not want your chapter proposition to be the equivalent of “Hey, haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”
I include my chapter propositions under the title of each chapter in my book, “Overnight Authority: How to win respect, command attention and earn more money by writing a book in 90 days.”
For example, in my “Chapter One: Start with Who” I include the proposition: Overcome the number one reason you can’t write your book.”