A Non-Fiction Book Proposal: Pet Rocks and their effect on the modern American Psyche

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction about a non-fiction book proposal. So is it fiction or non-fiction? Hmmm. If you think this outline is “just perfect” for niche market Self-Publishing, then add a comment below and save us the trauma of going to Agents. Or pay us and you can have it Rock, Stock and Barrel.

The outline for the Non-Fiction Proposal comes from here: http://www.rusoffagency.com/non_fiction_book_proposal.htm, which happened to be the first hit on Google, arrived at after months of careful research (Disclaimer: the aforementioned Agency had NOTHING to do with the production of this proposal).

1. Overview and Description

The proposal will generally open with a two-to three-page introduction. This is essentially an abstract, providing a thesis statement and delineating the concept of the book. Make a strong case for yourself here: Tell us how you came to this idea and why you think it is important.

Why is it Important? Are you Kidding?!!!? Millions and millions of people are suffering from the trauma of Pet Rocks.

Pet Rocks were the defining moment of the Baby Boomer generation (and now BB’s have money) – what could be more important?

Our idea is an extremely abstract thesis that delineates that thin line between fact and fiction backed up by nothing less than rock solid evidence. Not since Shoemaker-Levy have Rocks been so important.

You can bet your Benz on this one Baby.

2. Outline

Provide a table of contents followed by a detailed chapter-by-chapter description of the book. For each proposed chapter, write at least a paragraph–more if you like–summing up the major points of this chapter. How will your book be organized? Will you provide case studies?

Our book will be organized on Pages. Under Chapter headings. It will read from front to back, I think, actually you can dip in anywhere you like, it’s that kind of book – It rocks. Case Studies galore, more Case Studies than you can imagine, a veritable Mountain of Case Studies.

Detailed Chapter-by-Chapter description follows.

Pet Rocks and their effect on the Modern American Psyche – a non-fiction novel by Arthur Hazlostiz Marbles and Sandy Stones LoztdePlot

Chapter 1. The Origin of the Rock by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Rocks in the Struggle for, er, Life

Rocks have been around for about 66 million years (slightly less than the number of Tamagotchi that have been sold, but we digress, but that’s OK we’re Talking Heads and we’re allowed to digress right? Where were we? Oh yeah – ) which Rocks. I mean think about it – we live on a Rock. And this Rock has spawned other rocks which in turn spawned Rock Music, and then Pet Rocks.

The authors tie together, seemingly unrelated events in the history of mankind, to show how Pet Rocks were an inevitable link in the chain of rock evolution. Thus laying the bedrock for Pet Rocks.

Chapter 2. The Origin of the Pet Rock

Dreamed up in bar by an advertising executive and his drunken buddies, Pet Rocks come of Age. But who was dreaming up whom? The authors delve into the existentialist notion that maybe, just maybe we are the Pets of Rocks and it was Rocks that got us to take special care of them… think about that.

Returning from the existentialist realm (we ran out of Kush), and focusing on the impact of the materialistic consequences of forking over $3.99 for a rock, the authors explain how this led to the economic collapses of the seventies, eighties, nineties and 21st Century (in essence rocks and economic collapses are intertwined through a cosmic relationship spanning eons between fund managers, accountants and rocks – said relationship giving rise to the expression “blood out of a stone”).

Not only did this genius get on the cover of Time Magazine (actually the rocks did) he got people to take care of rocks. The Japanese have been doing this for a while (the authors explain here how that relationship gave rise to the Sony Walkman), and thus were deservedly pissed off aggravated that it was an American who figured out how to Monetize rocks.

This monetization laid the foundation for the modern American Psyche, not to mention psychosis, of the ultimate perversion of the American Dream.

Chapter 3. Plymouth Rock ~ The birth of Rock Culture in America

Rocks arrive in America. Well technically rocks had always been in America, including the Plymouth Rock, but the Plymouth Rock represents the first time that Rocks were adopted by Americans and implanted in the communal psyche. The authors visited Plymouth Rock and interviewed it. The interview is transcribed in full in this, brief, chapter.

Chapter 4. Pet Rocks and the rise of Disco

Investigates how Pet Rocks did not like sharing the word Rock with any other sub-culture and supported the rise of flared jeans, sparkly shirts and stiff turned up collars which culminated in Disco and thus began the degradation of ALL TASTE FOREVER. As well as killing off Rock Music, Disco killed Pet Rocks, the two unable to co-exist as each occupied the same mental space.

Chapter 5. The Backlash – Punk Rock

By the eighties, and before digital pet rocks came along, Pet Rocks were abandoned in their millions. Unlike “live” pets, Rocks tend to hang around a while, 66,000,000 years or so, thus when owners got bored with the interaction between their “selves” and pet rocks they began, first, to ignore them. When that didn’t work and they realized that their new pets would outlive them, thus eroding their own self-worth. They threw them out.

This abandonment caused the sub-culture widely known as Punk Rock. Punk Rock was to music as rocks were to Pets. The authors draw together, using unfailing logic and incredible insight, a vast cornucopia of events from the Big Bang  to Head Bang to demonstrate this linkage and how it appealed to the base instinct of “the caveman inside us all.” (cautionary note: This chapter can cause relapse unless you’re stone cold sober when you read it).

Chapter 6. Rocks in Religion

The Ten Commandments were written in Stone (another word for rocks, carefully perpetuated by rocks to make you think there are less of them, pebbles and boulders, especially boulders are other sneaky derivatives to watch out for) and according to the Bible; these got smashed. We question were these really the Ten Commandments or were they Mose’s Pet Rocks, thus giving rise to the notion of the first pet rock and the intense competition between rocks as to what came first: the stone or the rock? Also mentioned because it’s so fucking obvious staggeringly insightful, Rock of Ages.

Chapter 7. Rocks from Outer Space

In 1969 Neil Armstrong brought back Rocks from outer space (as if we didn’t have enough of our own). These rocks joined with their compatriots including remnants of the Big One that took out Dinosaurs. This knowledge has led to massive insecurity not just to the American Psyche, but universally, globally, and has irrevocably, formed a bedrock of opinion that says, “Any moment a HUGE Rock could take us out.”

This is the Pet Rock Anti-Culture operating deep down at the core-level of our most primitive fears. We spent thousands of millions of dollars to go to the moon and bring rocks back. Rocks KNOW they are important.

Chapter 8. Guilt Trips and the real meaning of inane comments like “You Rock Girl” and “Rock On.”

Many of todays 40+ year olds had Pet Rocks (they will deny it, this is normal, it’s known by the medical term, denial). They have washed their conscious minds of this fact through subliminal transfer of guilt through the “throwing away” of their Pet Rocks into speech patterns.

This guilt, buried as it is in the collective sub-conscious mind of the communal entity and hypertrophied in that sub-conscious mind to the extent that it lurks only just beneath the surface of the modern psyche somewhere to the left of the Hippocampus (cautionary note: we use LOTS of BIG words in this Chapter to offset the impact of the Chapter Heading and to make it look as if we know what we’re talking about – but even that last one, about colleges for Hippos, floored us).

Chapters 9. Tamagotchi – The Pet Rock enters the Digital Age

Rocks are cannier than your average publisher. They understand the Internet and what it can do. Transformation from one generation to the next has led to the USB Pet Rock. Passing through, Tamagotchi on the way, Pet rocks realized the power of the Internet.

Pet Rocks via this medium have by this time got into Social Networking. Niche communities of these rocks; Rockbook, Rockspace (mostly for early mover creative rock types), and Search Engines such as Stongle, Rocking, Rockoo, are perpetuating the rock culture myth by integrating with human social networks. An experiment: type Rock into Google and see how many hits you get (About 465,000,000 results (0.26 seconds)).

Chapter 10 – 375  DIY Ink Blot Pages (This is discussed in The Package provided)

Here the authors invite readers to make an ink blot a day, for a year, and write about the rocks they see in the resulting images. This is a well documented (somewhere someone must have documented it because everything has already been written), procedure of catharsis.

Chapter 376 – 665 Rock’s Wiki entries

Here the authors copy all the Wikipedia entries related to Rocks (we understand you can do that nowadays).

Chapter 666 Conclusion

Rocks are heavy… man.

3. The Package

Include an estimated length of the manuscript and a projected delivery date. Also, if there will be artwork, mention how many pieces of art there will be and whether it will be color or black-and-white. Please list the sources, and if you know the details, provide information on how the art will be licensed and what reprint permissions might cost.

Estimated length of the manuscript: Probably eight inches give or take an inch

Pieces of Art: 1. color or black and white. Ours are Transparent. Do the pages we include for DIY ink-blotting count as art?

Sources: Planet earth, common license. Reprints cost the earth


1. Audience
Whom do you think will read your book? How will they use it, and how will it help them? Be as specific as possible. The more narrowly you focus on your audience, the greater the chance you have of attracting an editor and, eventually, reaching your readers. In other words, “everyone who likes to read will read this book” is a less useful description than “this is a book for people who like to garden.

Millions of people bought pet rocks. This has fucked them up altered their psyche in ways that they could never have imagined. This book is their salvation. It will remove the trauma created by hearing the word ROCK, and lead them to a better life. Think for a second how insidiously Rock and Pet has become ingrained in our culture. Well OK, maybe they haven’t, but they could, and that’s where this book has its audience, we think.

A Sequel is planned which will reach the 70,000,000 people who bought Tamagotchi (which should more appropriately have been named HAHAIGotcha, but we digress, sort of, again); it is a well known, closely guarded secret, by Shrinks, (yes!!! This book also works as a Conspiracy thriller) that are making millions from all this fuckuppedness trauma that the digital derivative of the Pet Rock, the aforementioned Tamagotchi is set to unleash it’s hidden psychoses at some point in the not too distant future. Right around the time you start getting returns.

2. Competition
What other books exist in this subject area? It is your responsibility to know. Go to bookstores, the library; check Books in Print (available in the reference section of most libraries). An editor reading your proposal may or may not know the market for this specific area; nonetheless, she will depend on you to describe the competition. Then explain briefly what each competing book tries to do, and describe how yours is different. (In the case of many competitive books, stick to only those three or four that you consider to be the most important and the best.) If there is little or no competition, explain how your book fills a gap in the market.

We have checked extensively all national, international, and the International Space Station, and we are confident we have NO competition. There are many children’s books about Pet Rocks; ours is the first Adult (nude photo of a rock on the front cover) book that really looks at Rocks, and gets inside not only their inner emotions but that of the modern American.

About the author
Why are you the right person to write this book? What are your relevant experiences? Tell us about your background and your present occupation. Mention anything interesting about yourself that is relevant to this book. Have you written any previous books? (If so, you should collect all information about sales, subsidiary rights, reviews, etc., and submit that to me.) Do you have any media experience? The prospective publisher will want to know this. Press clips and videotapes should be included. You can also attach a CV if you have one.

Whilst neither geologists nor psychiatrists, the co-authors, Arthur Hazlostiz Marbles and Sandy Stone LoztdePlot are experts on being modern, and pet rocks. Arthur’s also spent a lot of time talking with Shrinks in their professional capacity, and in such sessions chats, has learnt that staying sane is expensive. So he’s broke, and while Rocks make great pets, you can’t eat them. Hunger is a serious motivator. Well, actually, regarding the sentence before the last sentence, that’s not quite true, technically you can (size of rock is a factor), but then you have to pay for more sessions chats not to mention dental bills.

All in all the authors are raving lunatics but then who else is better qualified? If YOU answered, “I am,” to that rhetorical question; write the author: imealsoalooney@gmail.com, who is intensely, stalkingly so, interested in collaborative projects (especially if you have money and you’re into bridges, not the Madison County kind, that’s a plus).

Recommended Retail Price: US$300-00 Ebook, US$600-00 Hardcover Suggested Tagline: It’s cheaper than a Shrink on a Saturday


About Simon Royle

Thinking about the future, and how to affect positive change for that future.
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