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Getting Published: How to Write a “Killer” Book Proposal

By Jed Diamond, Ph.D.


When I first began wrestling with my fear of failure and trying to decide whether I
should attempt writing a book, I talked to a friend who had recently gotten his first book
published. He said something that grabbed my attention and hooked me into writing.
“When you get a book published you earn royalties,” he told me. “Royalties, get it. You
begin to be treated like a royalty.” He also told me that while we were sitting there
talking, he was making money. Somewhere, someone was buying his book. I loved what
I was hearing and I wanted to get my own book published.

I had no idea where to start, but my friend told me I needed to write a book proposal.
I had no idea what that was, but I started writing. After a year of rejection notices I
finally had my first book published, Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man. I’ve now had
7 other books published, including international best-sellers, Male Menopause and The
Irritable Male Syndrome.

I learned that there was a protocol for book proposals and later found that there were
actually books on how to write a book proposal. One I found particularly helpful was
How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen. But just as every book is different,
every writer is different, and every book proposal is different.

I thought it would help people to actually see a book proposal that induced an editor to
buy the book. Here is my proposal for The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding
and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Aggression and Depression that was published by

I’ll enjoy hearing your comments and questions.


Book Proposal

The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of
Aggression and Depression

By Jed Diamond

Jed Diamond
34133 Shimmins Ridge Rd.
Willits, California, 95490

707 459-5505


One of the most consistent responses from men and women who read my books Male

Menopause and Surviving Male Menopause was agreement with what I said about men’s

irritability, anger, and sullen withdrawal . “It’s like he’s a different man,” one woman

wrote to me. “He had always been kind, considerate, and caring. Now he treats us all so

mean. I don’t understand it.”

“I love my wife, I really do,” a man in his 40s confided, “but she drives me up the

wall. She wonders why I get so angry all the time. What does she expect when she

keeps hitting me in the head with a two-by-four?” To which his wife replies in a voice of

hurt disbelief, “I don’t know what he’s talking about. I am always loving and kind and

he seems to act like he’s being attacked.”

I heard from women married to younger men who described similar symptoms, but

couldn’t understand it since the men were in their 30s—not the typical male menopause

time of life. I got calls and letters from parents who were seeing even more extreme

irritability exhibited by their teen-age sons. They wondered if this was normal teen-age

behavior or if something else was going on.

There has been recent research that offers a preliminary look at this phenomenon.

Gerald A. Lincoln, at the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Sciences

Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, recently coined the term “irritable male syndrome” (IMS) to

mirror the infamous PMS in women. Lincoln says these hormone imbalances go far

beyond the now recognized “male menopause” and can manifest in any time of life.

“Irritability-anxiety-depression syndromes associated with withdrawal of sex steroid

hormones are well recognized in the female,” Lincoln notes in his study, that appeared in

December, 2001 in the journal Reproduction, Fertility and Development. “The

occurrence of a potentially similar behavioral syndrome following withdrawal of

testosterone has received less attention.”

Professor James McBride Dabbs is head of the Social/Cognitive Psychology Program

at Georgia State University. He has been studying the effects of testosterone for the last

20 years and is one of the world’s experts in the field. Dabbs believes that the emotional

rollercoaster that we see in men may be due to the continual fluctuations in testosterone

levels that males experience. “Our average testosterone level is inherited from our

parents,” he says, “but physical and social conditions produce changes around this

average level. Testosterone falls with ill health and physical exhaustion. It rises when we

win important contests and falls when we lose. It changes with our status in life.”

The Irritable Male Syndrome may be responsible for a great deal of problems men

experience at certain times in their lives. We can look to the two major periods when

testosterone is shifting: During adolescence and early adulthood (ages 12 to 26) and

during the male menopause years (ages 40 to 55). IMS may be the tip of the iceberg of

other destructive male behaviors. On the one hand, IMS may lead to anger and

aggression. On the other hand, it can lead to depression and death by suicide.

In its extreme form IMS may affect 30% of adolescent and “middlescent” males. In

its milder forms 70% to 80% of males may be affected. But the pain and destruction go

beyond the males themselves. When males are in pain so, too, are the women, children,

community, and the world at large.

A letter I just received (one of hundreds I have gotten), perfectly describes IMS and its


I have felt my husband of 22 years pulling away for me and our family. He has

gradually become more sullen, angry, moody, lower sex drive etc. Recently he has

begun venting to anyone who will listen about how horrible his kids are, they are

lazy (our son is 19 and works full time 6:30 am to 4:30 pm everyday), unmotivated

and anything else he can think of. I am the one who raised them to be this way of


He blames me for everything these days. If his socks or underwear go missing, I

must have put them somewhere or done something with them to piss him off. (I'm

not kidding!). The thing that bothers me the most is how non affectionate he is.

Not even a hug or a little touch or anything!

My husband used to be the most positive, upbeat, funny person I knew. Now it's

like living with an angry brick!

The Irritable Male Syndrome will be the first book to describe this new phenomenon

in men and offer a program for prevention and treatment. It will help millions of men

and their partners to understand what the men are going through and how best to treat this

emerging problem. It will help parents understand the anger that plagues so many of

their young sons. It will contain 350 pages and be completed 1 year after signing the


Word of this new male syndrome is just beginning to spread throughout the world. On

February 27, 2002 the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) reported on Lincoln’s work

and also on supporting research. David Abbott of the Wisconsin Regional Primate

Research Center in Madison said: "Testosterone effects have been missed. When a bloke

gets grumpy and irritable, [researchers] try and explain it only in terms of cortisol levels

and depression. They ignore the fact that testosterone levels are probably falling too."

The Guardian in London did a follow-up story the next day. The London Observer

and the Sydney Morning Herald also did stories. The first mention in a U.S. paper was in

an on-line version of the Washington Post on March 14, 2002. The Irritable Male

Syndrome is at the same level of understanding that male menopause was when I began

research for my book in 1994. When Male Menopause was published in 1997 people

were hungry for answers to what was happening to men. The book gave them what they

needed, continues to sell well, and has now been translated into 15 languages.

Like male menopause when I began research for that book in 1994, there is little

information about IMS at this time. There will be a great deal of controversy about

whether this is “real” or another manufactured disease to sell books or induce people to

get testosterone. Like male menopause I believe research will show that IMS is a true

syndrome and that preventive and treatment efforts can help millions.

In writing Male Menopause I wanted to have the most comprehensive, well

researched, and most readable book on the market. The fact that it has sold so well, has

spread world-wide, and continues to sell well five years after it was published, indicates

to me that I succeeded.

Although similar in some ways to male menopause, IMS is more specific and can

affect men of all ages. What often triggers IMS is acute or chronic stress. This book will

have a greater emphasis on understanding stress, the relationship to hormonal changes,

effects on a man’s mood, and how it undermines his relationships with those closest to


The Irritable Male Syndrome will focus on two crucial times of life when male

hormones are shifting rapidly—adolescence/young adulthood and mid-life. It will

describe IMS and also its deeper and more violent manifestations in anger, aggression,

depression, and suicide. It will also show the relationship of IMS and Attention Deficit

Disorder that is so common in young males and also increasingly common in adult men.

There was a time when we laughed at and ridiculed women who said they had

emotional changes associated with hormonal fluctuations. Most now accept that PMS is

real and can be treated. Columnist Liz Langley writing for the Orlando Weekly feels this

same understanding will soon be extended to men.

“Just as men have had to concede that there’s a real, scientific reason for our moody

silences and sharp behavior and it’s PMS, not RBS (raving bitch syndrome), we might be

able to take comfort in the fact that they have to confront this crap, too. It might just be

IMS rather than IBS (insensitive butt-hole syndrome) that makes them as dumbfounding

as they can be.”


Author Platform:

Since my book, Male Menopause, was published in 1997 and became an international

best-seller, translated into 20 foreign languages, I have been a sought-after expert on

health-related issues facing men and women today. I have appeared on major media


The View/ABC-T.V. w/ Barbara Walters

Good Morning America with Charles Gibson

Today Show

CBS Early Show

NBC, The Doctors

PBS one hour program on Male Menopause with Jed Diamond

CBS-Up-To-The Minute

CNN News

CNN Anderson Cooper 360

CNN with Glenn Beck


The Wall Street Journal

The New York Times


USA Today

My two websites, and reach people

throughout the world. I send a regular newsletter to an expanding list (presently 20,000)

and am the Men’s Health Expert for a number of popular websites including:

• (The most popular site for men and women over 40.)

• (The National Association of Baby Boomer Women).

• (International site for women over 40.)

About the Author

I have been a health-care professional for 44 years and hold a Ph.D.

as an international health practitioner. Since its inception in 1992, I have been on the

Board of Advisors of the Men’s Health Network, an organization of men and women

dedicated to improving the health and well-being of men, boys, and families. I am also a

member of the International Scientific Board of the World Congress on Men’s Health and


My seven previous books include:

• The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and

Aggression, Rodale, (2004).

• The Whole Man Program: Reinvigorating Your Body, Mind, and Spirit After 40,

John Wiley & Sons, (2002).

• Surviving Male Menopause, Sourcebooks (1999).


• Male Menopause Sourcebooks, (1997).

• The Warrior’s Journey Home: Healing Men, Healing the Planet, New Harbinger,

• Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places: Overcoming Romantic

and Sexual Addictions G.P. Putnam, (1988).

• Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man, Fifth Wave Press, (1983).

I have also written a number of book chapters including “Male Menopause,” in the

Encyclopedia on Men and Masculinities, ABC-Clio Press, 2006. My books have

received world-wide attention and have been translated into more than 20 foreign

languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek,

Polish, Dutch, Indonesian, Czech, Turkish, Slovak, Bulgarian, Korean, Malaysian, and


I am skilled in helping people heal their relationships to themselves, their partners,

their communities. My work has been praised by health-practitioners and social

scientists throughout the world.

Chapter-By-Chapter Outline

Part 1-- The Problem

Chapter 1—What Is The Irritable Male Syndrome?

Definition: A behavioral state of nervousness, irritability, lethargy, depression and

low libido that occurs in adult male mammals that is associated with stress,

ego vulnerability, and hormonal fluctuations.

IMS and PMS—Do Men Have Hormonal Cycles Too?

IMS—Fact for Fiction?


Like Male Menopause or Andropause (and even Menopause when it was first

discovered) many will say that IMS doesn’t exist. Some will say it’s a ploy to sell

books or drugs. Others will say it’s an excuse men will use to justify their bad

behavior. Dr. John McKinley, Director of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study said,

“Male Menopause, Andropause, Viropause, or bullshit, it’s all the same. It doesn’t


I will be presenting preliminary, but well-grounded evidence that IMS is real and

needs to be treated. I will draw on the work of “hard scientists” like Dr. Gerald A.

Lincoln who coined the term and has been working in the field and publishing articles

for more than 20 years.

I will demonstrate that IMS is a problem that is inherent in all male mammals by

looking at the way it manifests in such animals as rams, reindeer, and apes.

I will present information from my own work over the last 38 years as a

psychotherapist specializing in men’s health.

Finally, I will offer information from the hundreds of men and women who wrote

me and shared their stories about IMS following the publication of my books on Male


Chapter 2—Am I Suffering From IMS/Am I Living With An IMS Male?

Symptoms of IMS (An in-depth questionnaire will be developed.)

Are you becoming more: angry, annoyed, bad-tempered, bothered, crabby, cross,

crotchety, crusty, depressed, displeased, edgy, exasperated, flustered, fretful,

harassed, hasty, hypersensitive, ill-humored, impatient, irascible, irritable,

lethargic, loveless, , nettled, peevish, piqued, put out, prickly, riled, ruffled,

snappy, snarling, sore, tense, testy, thin-skinned, tired, touchy, uptight?

IMS In My Teen-Age Son—Normal Adolescence or IMS?

IMS in My Mid-Life Mate—IMS, Mid-Life Crisis, Male Menopause, or Just a

Grumpy Old Man?

IMS or Stress of Life?

Chapter 3—Acting “Out” IMS: Irritability, Anger, and Violence

IMS and The Couple: We Are Always Fighting

IMS and Domestic Violence: A Problem on the Rise

IMS Fathers With Teen-Age Daughters: Why Does Daddy Hate Me?

IMS Fathers and Teen-Age Sons: Double Duty IMS

IMS in Our Communities: Why It’s The Boys Who Do the School Shootings

And Not the Girls

IMS on The World Scene: IMS Leaders Square Off with Weapons of Mass

Destruction. IMS and Terrorism in the World

Chapter 4—Acting “In” IMS: Irritability, Unhappiness, Depression and Suicide

Why Men Live Sicker and Die Sooner

Blame and Shame: Why Males Are So Down on Themselves

Males Disrespect Themselves and Are Isolated From Others

Alcohol and Drugs: How Males Self-Medicate and Hide Their Unhappiness

Suicide Is on The Rise World-Wide, Particularly in Males

Teen-Aged Angst or Serious IMS?

Mid-life Crisis or a Suicide Waiting to Happen


Male Depression More Rampant Than Is Currently Realized

Why Doctors Miss the Diagnosis of Depression in Males 70% of the Time

IMS is the Tip of the Ice-berg of Male Depression

Down One Side of the Ice-berg is the Anger That Leads to Violence

Down the Other Side of the Ice-berg is the Self-Blame that Leads to


The Differences Between Female and Male Depression

Women Tend to Feel Sad. Men Tend to Become Irritable.

A Questionnaire Will Be Developed That Details The Differences Between

Female (or “Magnetic”) Depression and Male (or “Dynamic”) Depression

Examples will be offered from my 38 years of clinical experience showing the

Relationship between the Acting Out type of IMS, the Acting In Type of

IMS and a uniquely male form of depression.

Depression in the World

By the year 2020, according to a massive survey by the World Health

Organization and the Harvard School of Public Health, Acute Depression—

Not hunger, not global warming—will be the world’s second leading cause

Of death and disability, behind only heart disease.

Recent studies show that depression is a significant factor underlying heart

Disease, particularly in men.

Chapter 5—IMS, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the Hypersensitive Male

Relationship between IMS and ADD

The core of ADD is hypersensitivity


Why young adulthood and mid-life adulthood is a particularly sensitive time for males

Philip Kavanaugh, M.D. and the Male Hypersensitivity Questionnaire

Why Physical and Emotional Hypersensitivity Disorder (PEHD) may be the underlie

the “acting out” and “acting in” disorders

Link between heightened sensitivity and our hunter-gatherer ancestry

Neurobiology of PEHD

Part 2—Understanding the Irritable Male Syndrome

Chapter 6: Testosterone and IMS

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone and Estrogen: Why Men and Women Have Them Both

The History of Testosterone: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Ups and Downs of Testosterone Through the Life-Cycle

Fetal Testosterone and the Origin of Being Male

Testosterone and Adolescence

Danger, Adrenaline, and Young Male Testosterone Levels

Male Menopause, Mid-Life, and Testosterone

Too Much Testosterone and “Roid Rage”

Declining Testosterone and “Low-T Blues”

Chapter 7: Stress and IMS

What Is Stress?

It’s in The Mind

The Anatomy of Stress


The Biochemistry of Stress

Positive and Negative Stress

Why Men Are Stressed

Work Stresses

Couple Stresses

Family Stresses

Conflicts With Self

Stress in the World

Symptoms of Stress

Irritability and Cardiovascular disease

Male Obesity

Diabetes in Men

Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Abuse


Backaches and Headaches

Prostate Problems

Sexual Problems: Low Interest, Lack of erections, Compulsive Attraction to

Younger Women, Sexual Addiction

Mental Strain: Anxiety, Panic Disorders, Depression.

Work: Overwork, Fear of Failure, Loss of Jobs

Chapter 8: IMS and the Loss of Male Identity: Are Men an Endangered Species?

Where Have All The Young Men Gone? Our War Against Young Men

The Jekyll and Hyde Male: From Gentle Man to Mad Man

Why Men Are So Mad at Women: Is Misogyny a Universal Male Malady?

Male Identity Is Based on Being “Not A Woman” and Thus Always Shaky

Male Dependency and the Fear of Women

The Loss of Power, Passion, Potency, and Purpose in Men Over 40

The Loss of the Male Role

As Breadwinner

As Protector

As Father

As Teacher

As Mentor

Male Hunters in a Domesticated World: Why men are so sensitive, irritable,

depressed, and angry.

Part 3: Treating The Irritable Male Syndrome

Chapter 9: Men In Denial: What The Woman Must Do

How to Help Your Teen-Age Son

What Young Men Need to Develop Self-Esteem and Learn About Intimacy

Why The Guy Is the Last One to Know That He Has IMS

How to Deal With Him When He Says You’re The Problem

Listening to His Unhappiness Without Feeling Blamed

What To Do When He Says “I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You”

How To Handle Things When Your Sex Life Gets Weird

He Wants It All The Time


He Wants It, But Can’t Keep An Erection

He Never Wants It At All

He Wants You to Try Things That Are Distasteful

Why He Wants to Sleep After Sex and Why Fights Often Follow Love-


What To Do When There’s Another Woman Involved

What To Do When He Says There Isn’t Another Woman, But He Needs Time

Away To Sort Things Out

How To Take Care of Yourself Without Becoming A Basket Case or

Wanting to Kill Him

How To Help Him Engage In The Process of Healing

Chapter 10: Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men

The Male Hormone Revolution

Endocrine Hormones




Growth hormone

Thyroid Hormone


Why Estrogen Is Essential to Male Potency

Why Men Become More Feminine With Age


Paracrine Hormones



Releasing hormone

TRT: Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Injections, Pellets, Tablets, Patches, Creams, and Gels

Benefits and Risks

Balance Is Everything: How Much Is Too Much and How Much Is Too Little?

Chapter 11: Healing Depression, Aggression, and Stress

Treating Simple IMS (Type 1)

Treating IMS Men Who Have Become Significantly Depressed (Type 2)

Treating IMS Men Who Have Become Aggressive (Type 3)

Stress Reduction and Stress Management

Learning to Feel Again: From Emotional Numbness To Emotional Delight

Anger management

Learning Non-Violent Communication With Self And Others

Psychotherapy For All Three Types of IMS

Young Men’s Initiations

Marriage and Family Counseling

The IMS Diet: You’ll Love It and It Isn’t What You Think

Exercise For IMS

How An IMS Male Can Get More Sex So He Won’t Be So Irritable


Chapter 12: A Pathway to A New Male Identity

Developing A Positive Identity Based on Maleness

Learning to Forgive Our Fathers and The Men In Our Lives Who Have Hurt


Honoring The Father Who Left Us Behind

Healing The Mother Wound

Learning About Our Dream Lover and Where She Needs to Live

Developing True Friendships With Men

Learning to Recognize Our Dependency on Women and Our

Ambivalent Feelings Towards Them

Learning to be a Hunter in today’s world

Finding Our Lives Calling

Taking Responsibility for Initiating The Young

Taking Leadership in Ending Male Violence In the World

Learning to Love


Contact: Jed Diamond