How to write a nonfiction book proposal wolf literary. The literary agents guide to writing a nonfiction book proposal by andy ross. How to write a good nonfiction book proposal for submission. Contains the title, author byline, and contact information proposal contents. Ive seen many authors confuse the two and create extra work for. How to write a memoir book proposal memoirs are just getting more and more popular in what i call this age of the business celebrity. How to write a nonfiction book proposal writers write. Use the proposal to sell your book to potential literary agents, editors, and publishers. You will likely be emailing your proposal in this format or as a pdf document. Since we recently discussed the role of a synopsis in a fiction proposal i thought it important that we address what the nonfiction author needs to provide. Writing a winning book proposal a communications program. To write a book proposal, provide an overview that describes the books themes, content, and organization.
Last week, we discussed what a fiction book proposal is, and why you need one. There are several books available on writing book proposals. It acts as a business case or business plan for your book that persuades a publisher to make an investment. Next, include sample chapters to highlight your writing style and overall aesthetic. This week, well look at the form and function of a standard fiction book proposal in more detail. Addressed to the appropriate agent with titlegenreword count and appropriate contact information in the letter, this letter should interest us in reading your proposal. Unlike fiction, where an author must have a completed manuscript ready before they approach a publisher or agent, a nonfiction author only needs to develop a proposal to submit to publishers andor agents. Nonfiction book proposal guide ask yourself these questions and as you write your answers, your proposal will develop before your eyes. You are also welcome to listen to free audio recordings of teds book proposal bootcamp and other workshops and media appearances. Try to choose a title that describes the book as much as possible. In this post, ill cover the critical elements of an average but thorough proposal. A nonfiction book proposal is the key document that allows an agent or publisher to determine the viability of a project. Writing a nonfiction book proposal a primer for the firsttime.
In that sense, a memoir is not a typical nonfiction book, such as a how to book, or other forms of nonfiction. Nonfiction book proposal guide creative media agency, inc. A medical history textbook was proposed by robin anderson to prenticehall in january 2003. Although this is an academic textbook, the proposal demonstrates the basic requirements of a successful pitch for any nonfiction book, including an excellent chapterbychapter summary. Nonfiction book proposals can top out around 5075 pages, not including sample chapters. Platform is a crucial part of nonfiction book proposals. They contain everything a prospective publisher needs to know about a book, including its contents, target market, how it will be promoted, and commercial potential.
Remember, youre trying to sell a book, so its all in the writing. In this comprehensive yet accessible guide, you will learn exactly what a proposal is, what it must contain, and how to pull yours together into an informative, persuasive selling package. A book proposal samples will explain the purposes and objectives for creating a book. I like this one because it contains ten reallife proposals that sold. In this blog post, youll find a description of the overview and introduction sections of my christian nonfiction book proposal, for blossom. Writing a proposal for a work of nonfiction may be intimidating and sometimes frustrating, especially if youre unsure about the information you. A good nonfiction book proposal should include the following things. A great nonfiction book proposal will show that you have thought through your idea, and more importantly, it will show that you know how to turn this idea into a book.
If you have the time and want more detailed guidelines, get one of the many excellent books on writing proposals from the writers shelf at your library or local bookstore. Sample nonfiction book proposal structure below are the main parts of the average book proposal. Finding hope and healing for your heart after loss. Speakup15 5 secondary audiences who, in addition to the target audience, might read or purchase this book. Nonfiction book proposal outline here is a basic template for a book proposal, which many of our clients have used successfully.
In addition to your core target audience, who might be the next most interested targets. This page will direct you to some examples of book proposal sections so that you can put together a winning book proposal. Have you got a nonfiction book idea and dream of securing a milliondollar deal all before writing the. Writing a book proposal once you have an idea for a book, the next step is to begin work on a proposal. Add in those samples, and youll have a complete proposal ready to be considered by a literary agent. Nonfiction book proposals in the digital age to sell an agent or publisher on your nonfiction idea, its more important. Elements of a successful nonfiction book proposal dummies. Writing a nonfiction book proposal a primer for the firsttime nonfiction book writer by scott mendel updated february 2018 it will probably seem obvious to you that the nonfiction book proposal is a tool your agent will use to sell your work at the best possible terms, and to secure the strongest possible. Its a perk of nonfiction that you can sell a book on proposal before sitting down to the write the whole shebang, and often receiving an advance will. The good news is that almost every nonfiction book published is sold by a proposal. A one page cover letter or query letter is sufficient. Once the book proposal has hopefully passed first muster with andrew lownie, he will ask for a synopsis of each chapter in the book, usually written at about half a page of a4 each, or a page maximum. My suggestion, however, is to take time to prepare a thorough and wellthought out proposal. This ones short and tothepoint, and the last time i.
This book by michael hyatt is exactly what the title says it is. An elevator pitch tell us what your book is about in a single sentence. Its usually at least 20 pages long, often much longer. Make sure your proposal is as polished as possible by including the following. To get your nonfiction book published, put together a strong proposal. Writing a nonfiction book proposal by scott mendel. How to write a winning book proposal publishing talk. The sample chapter ought to be the crown jewel of the nonfiction book proposal.
Download the sastrugi press nonfiction book proposal pdf template here. Michael clearly and concisely states what creates a nonfiction book proposal that will get noticed by agents. Book proposals are information packs used by authors to pitch their nonfiction books to publishers and agents. Nonfiction book proposal classes in nyc and online. Book proposals are used to sell nonfiction books to publishers. The purpose of a book proposal is to capture a publishing editors interest so that he or she will agree to publish your book. As mentioned in my discussion on how to get published, if youre interested in writing a booklength work of nonfiction, you dont need to write the entire manuscript before you make the sale. Advice that i find myself giving out again and again as an agent is guidance on how to write a nonfiction book proposal. It will probably seem obvious to you that the nonfiction book proposal is a tool your.
Your nonfiction proposal should include the following items. Nonfiction book proposals anybody can write, elizabeth lyon perigee. Give the child a name the title on your proposal wont necessarily follow your work into book form, but its a great starting point. So you want to write a nonfiction book the washington post. In any book submission process the competition will be immense and the turndown rate high, so it is worth taking the time to. Anticipate the editors needs by using the proposal writing process to learn a.
Your nonfiction proposal should include the following items and should be attached as a single file to an email with submission. Five basics of nonfiction book proposals fresh ink book. He even clearly tells the reader how to avoid the slush pile. In an email the attached file name should be descriptive author name fiction or nonfiction proposal logline. Book proposal a business plan for your book and how you plan to ensure sales success keys to a great synopsis the steve laube agency july 27, 2016 i posted my ideas on some keys to a great book proposal, a few writers said they were challenged to write a synopsis. Start by creating a table of contents, a formal outline, and a brief description of specific chapters. This is an updated version of a story that was previously published.
Instead, you write the proposal that describes what the book is about, why its interesting, and why it has an audience. This is one of the main differences between the fiction and the nonfiction book proposal. Thats top secret information until the book actually gets. A book proposal argues why your book idea is a salable, marketable product. Nonfiction book proposal outline ted weinstein literary. Writing a winning nonfiction book proposal 32 30 from my experience, a great book proposal needs to include five distinct elements see fig. So you want to write a nonfiction book a few tips for those writers intimidated by the idea of writing something that contains many pages and a spine. Create a compelling author bio and chapter outline. Build a strong marketing plan and endorsements list. Writing a winning book proposal shorenstein center. Unlike a work of fiction, which must be completed before you send the query, a proposal is the correct way to approach a publisher for a nonfiction book.
Writing resources and reading lists nonfiction book. Nonfiction book proposal is open to writers of any level. Even seasoned authors and experienced journalists may not have written a book proposal previously. How to write a book proposal and what exactly it needs to include are two of the questions i am asked most frequently as a literary agent and not just by new writers. This can potentially save you time and frustration, so that you dont develop a book proposal for a concept thats not likely to be viable or salable. Its this time that allows those of us who have achieved a level of success in our chosen field of practice to accelerate our success on. Writing quality counts in nonfiction book proposals. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure theyre useful for our readers. Many, if not most nonfiction books are sold to publishers as book proposals. A book proposal is created by a person who loves to read books, composing books, do research proposals or engaged into business of selling books.
The proposal also provides a description that could be used on the books back cover and in marketing materials. A standard proposal includes a title page, overview, description of the audience for the book, an analysis of competitive titles, a plan for how the author will promote the book, an author bio, the table of contents for the book, short summaries of each chapter, and three sample chapters. Instead of writing the entire book, then trying to interest an editor or agent which is how it works with novels, you write the proposal first. The book proposal is both a sales document and a plan. Some agents and editors do request full proposals for memoirs, but even if they. As suggested in the video, if you are planning on sending a proposal through to a publisher, be sure to check their speci. Dear pamela, memoir advice about your book proposal.419 1187 581 496 1117 245 1600 647 28 1303 118 826 951 850 1435 634 1613 27 32 1327 667 1465 677 1231 366 365 653 568 197 1401 599 1159 806 249 165 1197