Phase 1: The Manuscript

The Proposal

If we agree that we would like to work together, respecting confidentiality, we take the book idea to one or several writers who might fit. Based on subject matter, timeline, scope of the book project, and the book’s length, the writer commits a fixed price to SVP to supply their best work. The writers base their cost on the proposed length of the manuscript, how flexible they are, how much of their time it will take and if there is research and or interviews to be done. We usually offer several writers, and you make the choice.

We will also get a proposal from a qualified editor. Depending on the author and the project scope, SVP may suggest use of a research assistant to dig up facts, interview thought contributors, find anecdotes, validate opinions, or conduct surveys as needed.  Once we have all of the team members identified and costed out, SVP generates a proposal.


SVP designs the actual process of working with you to generate the manuscript based on your work style and availability. There are many options:

  • The writer generates the text, based on interviews with the author
  • You bring in notes or rough drafts for parts of the book as raw material
  • You draft key bullet points for each chapter
  • If you would rather talk than write, notes or drafts may be generated on a voice recorder, either in a live conversation, or you working solo
  • And other variations; the point is, the process is designed to best suit your life, working in ways you find most productive and comfortable

The Table of Contents (TOC) or Outline is essential to a joint understanding and scoping of the project.


Another element of the proposal and a crucial part of SVP’s process is project management. We are very rigorous and disciplined in our work style. While it is adaptable to any professional's availability, we simply do not rest until all the pieces of the puzzle are complete, and the manuscript is ready for publication. The project manager brings order and rigor to the process, including keeping all documents labeled and in the correct order, keeping track of the schedule, as well as who is responsible for what and when.


How much do you need to be involved in the process?

You need to be involved in the process from start to finish. You are the subject matter expert. The ideas need to come from you. The writer will take those ideas and turn them into a compelling, relevant and accessible book. The arc of the book and the flow and transitions and the connective tissue from chapter to chapter, those are the work of the writing team.

It’s crucial for you to stipulate the essential takeaways and points to be made in each chapter, in order to serve your purpose of your book.

SVP’s process involves you in the on-going work of chapter generation, and in a series of revisions and edits, typically two to three cycles.

Here’s an example of an edit/review cycle: you write out the main ideas, the take-aways and examples or anecdotes for a chapter. From that the writer creates a 1,500 or so word chapter, which is sent to SVP for review, and then back to you for input and feedback. The idea is for you to approve each chapter for content, tone, style, cadence… and determine if we have we captured your thoughts correctly. Once you sign off on a chapter it will then go to our professional editor for his/her refinement and back to you for comment. This is one typical cycle.

The total cost for Phase 1 is quoted as a fixed price, based on an estimated word count of the finished manuscript.