How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal


You have decided to write a book. You have an idea. You are excited about it. You even have a title … or at least a tentative one. You pull up a blank Word document on your screen and type the title and your name. Your first sentence tumbles onto the page. It’s a heady moment. What comes next may range from words pouring forth to utter blankness as you wait for inspiration to … [Read more...]

Writing Your First Book Proposal


The moment my first publisher said “Yes” she was interested in seeing more about my book with a view to possible publication was the moment I knew I’d have to learn to write a dynamite book proposal. I’d done enough research by then to know that I’d need to have that “pitch” to send before anyone would agree to publish my first non-fiction book. Now I needed to learn the … [Read more...]

The Bulletproof Book Proposal


Publishers ask five key questions about every project they consider. Here's how to make sure your proposal gives all the answers. You have a great idea for a nonfiction book. Your wife thinks it's a great idea. Your parents think it's a great idea. Even your neighbor who hates to read thinks it's a great idea. But will a publisher think it's a great idea-enough to pay … [Read more...]

The Making of a Winning Book Proposal


A successful book proposal contains these sections: Title Page A cover sheet. The book's title and the name of the author are centered in the middle of the page. In the upper left corner, type Book Proposal. In the bottom right, type your name, address and phone number (or, if you have one, your agent's). Overview Summarize what your book is about: the topic, who will … [Read more...]

How to Write a Book Proposal – And Why You Should Even if You Plan to Self-Publish


A book proposal is required when pitching a manuscript to literary agents or editors in pursuit of landing a traditional book deal. Similar to a business plan for an entrepreneur, writing a book proposal forces the author to dig in and do some important research while also planning the details of the book. Though you can certainly self-publish a book without a proposal, this … [Read more...]

Writing Book Proposals

null Most nonfiction books are sold before they are written, based on book proposals. A book proposal is a document that shows a publisher why your book is a great idea and why you are the perfect person to write it. Your proposal says, in effect: "I have an idea for a book that lots of people will want to buy, and here is why I am qualified to write it. Do you want to … [Read more...]

Dealing with Publishing Company Personnel


The publishing process may seem mechanical. As you move through the publishing process, it's important not to overlook an often-undervalued part of the process: the people or personnel of the publishing company. Since the corporate imprint and the need to be profitable dominate most publishing companies, the unique nature of most publishing company personnel often gets … [Read more...]

How to Write a Query Letter

query letter

The query letter is a concise, compelling statement of the overall idea or central purpose of your book, a brief description of your target audience, and the benefit(s) your audience will gain from having read your book. It must convincingly describe why your book is unique or superior to others written on the subject and why you are the one person most qualified to write … [Read more...]

Agent Query Review


When agents receive a written submission from a potential client, their first thoughts are, "Is this a book that I want to handle and can I sell it?" Despite instructions on their Web sites etc., a large majority of the contacts agents receive are surprisingly not about books or subjects they handle. "For all authors, first time or established, what it all comes down to … [Read more...]

Writing a Proposal for Your Non-Fiction Book


When I started writing Marines in the Garden of Eden, my goal was to have it published by a traditional publishing house and stocked in every major bookstore in the United States. I signed a publishing contract with Berkley Publishing Group, part of the Putnam/Penguin global publishing giant. Marines in the Garden of Eden appeared on bookshelves throughout the U.S. on June 6th, … [Read more...]