Skip to main content

Book Proposals 101.: What Publishers Want


Lots of writers like to talk about writing books. You hear very few talking about writing book proposals. Maybe that's why it's easy to forget that a strong book proposal is the first step to getting a great deal for your non-fiction book. It's where you make the big pitch and tell the editor everything that's going to make him or her want to buy.

A book proposal is also a great time saver for you because you'll find in the course of researching your book proposal whether or not your idea is viable, or whether your category is already crowded with similar books.

Here are the parts that make up a book proposal, and a few tips on how to make it really stand out to a potential publisher.

Title Page

This is the first page of the book proposal. Your title should be centered and printed about two-thirds of the way down the page. In the bottom left hand corner you'll type in your name, address, phone number, email address and the name and contact information for your agent.

Overview

You'll want to have two to three pages explaining the overall premise of your book. You'll also want to include a Table of Contents that shows what points will be covered in each chapter.

Bio/Credentials

This isn't just your usual resume stuff, this is a big opportunity to sell yourself as THE person to write the book. Write it in the third person starting with your education and credentials. You'll want to point out any experience that specifically relates to the subject matter of the book. Have you written articles or previous books on the topic? Note those as well. List any public speaking that you have done and will do in the future, including television and radio interviews. Include a really nice photo. It doesn't have to be a glamour shot, but you do want to look interesting and engaging. A 5"x7" is fine.

Competition

The publisher will want to know if there are books similar to yours already out there. It will help them to see that there is a market for such books. At the same time, you'll want to point out how your book will be different, or better, than what's already out there. Do not trash someone else's work. It's bad form. It's enough to say a competitor's book left something out, or doesn't cover a certain aspect. If you don't know what competing books exist, you can look them up in Books in Print. Most libraries have it in the reference section.

Outline

This will be your chapter-by-chapter outline showing what you will cover, point-by-point, in each chapter. You can plan on allotting about half a page per chapter.

Sample Chapters

This is where you get to show that you really can write! You should submit at least three chapters of content. It doesn't have to be the first three chapters, but if you haven't written anything yet those may be the easiest to do. Then again, some writers like to start in the middle of a book! The main key here is to be good--no typos, no misspellings and no factual errors.

Marketing

The marketing section of your book proposal is so important that many publishers will often read it first. So make sure you spend the time to make this the best it can be. Lay out your whole marketing plan here. Explain who your target audience is, how big it is and why they will buy this book. How do you plan on reaching them? Are you buying your own advertising? If so, in what publications and what is their combined circulation? Will you be reaching out to book clubs, corporations or college classes where you book could be taught? How can you make your book stand out against the ones that are already out there? You want to make the case that there is a ready made audience out there and all the publisher has to do is reach out and grab them by signing you.

Promotion

Remember, a publisher wants to acquire you and your connections, so this is another important section of the proposal. How will you put yourself out there for your book? You'll want to explain if you'll be doing public speaking, or maybe you have a huge list you communicate with via newsletter every month. How many are on your list? If you plan to hire your own publicist, put that fact in as well. Do you have famous connections that will help you get great blurbs? Do you have a budget? If so, how much? Yes, they do want to know if you plan on spending some of your own money!

Publishing Details

Here you'll detail the length you propose for the book (in words) and whether the book will have any illustrations or photos. You'll also want to give an estimate for the time you'll need to turn in the finished manuscript.
And that's it. When your proposal is done you might want to hire an editor or a book consultant to go over it and give you some strong feedback. That way you'll know you have it in the best shape possible and you can feel confident when you're sending it out.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Discover What Good Writing Is All About

Writing is a form of preserved talk, talk that has been pinned down on paper so the words can be heard again. The basic principles of good writing, apart, from grammatical correctness, might be presented as follows:

1) written sentences should sound like natural speech;

2) the words we use must be exact, fresh, full of strength and vitality. Picture making words are better than vague, general words;

3) fresh point of view will give flavor to the style;

4) humor will lighten it.

Though, it is true that written sentences should sound like natural speech, they fully present an image of the natural speech. The reasons for this are fairly obvious: natural speech is a great deal more than words; it is also tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, and even the speaker’s appearance.

The whole point of writing is to create something better than we really talk – something more interesting, more thoughtful, and more effective in every way, for “effectiveness is what matters, and if an expres…

Article Submissions - Pointing You in the Right Direction

All of you who have been thinking of publishing articles probably seem to be noticing a lot more ads showing up when you search Google for article submission sites. So what does this all mean for you?

Well it leaves you the choice of where you wish to submit your article to. Lately new software is out that can let people get an article directory up and running in just a couple of hours and it seems every little fish wants a piece of the action.

So how do you choose the correct article directory for your article submission?

Here are a few tips to get you in the right direction:

Design - You probably are asking yourself why the design of the article directory has anything to do with how good this directory is for you. Well it is, it shows how serious the owners of the site are taking it - the more professional and maintained it looks the longer the site will be online and the more popularity it will gain.

RSS Feeds - Make sure the article directory you are submitting your article to h…

Write About Something That Will Change Your Life!

It's been said that you should "write about what you know". It's also been said that doing that condemns you to a life of boredom as you'll never grow beyond your current limitations.

Not very helpful, is it?

It's also been said that you should write about what you're passionate about, interested in or otherwise taken by, as you'll spend so much time researching it, writing it and rewriting it, that it had better light your fire, or it will drive you insane. And then again, others say don't tackle a topic you know nothing about, you should write what you know....

And so we go around in ever decreasing circles.

I actually subscribe to the "write what you know" line of thought, but with a bit of a twist. I encourage writers to write about what they know on an emotional level.

Try writing a story that heals YOU. Emotions are the universal language. We all feel the same feelings, we may just experience them in different ways. We all recogni…

How to Write Your Op-Ed Piece

Op-ed articles, also known as opinion/editorial articles, are a great way for aspiring writers to publicize their work and, in exchange, receive an amazing amount of publicity for free. You can write an op-ed piece and get it publicized provided you follow these simple rules.

Before you begin to write, you need to target which newspaper you would like your article to appear in. You stand a greater chance of getting into your local paper than in a national publication like  New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. Still, if one of the national publications appeals to you, then give it a try.

1. Follow the rules. Every newspaper has guidelines on what their specific requirements are. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines and stringently hold yourself to their requirements. Failure to do so will mean you will be rejected.

2. Write with precision. Newspapers do not like verbose writers, unless it is for a feature piece and it is for a high end publication, such as The …

FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD META-THEATER OR THE GOLDEN FLEECE OF POETRY BY KHALIL-GHIBRAN

(P R I C E L E S S) META-THEATER OR THE GOLDEN FLEECE OF POETRY BY KHALIL-GHIBRAN SEPARATED INTO ACTS CONTAINS EDITED, REVISED MATERIAL INCLUDES WORK FROM PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED KHEOPS AND THE CHAMBER CHOIR FOR TEARS, JOY, AMAZEMENT, FULFILLMENT, WONDER COPYRIGHT 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Download here


After Fire Comes The Rain by Khalil-Ghibran Act 1: You Don't Have To Wait For Heaven

After Fire Comes The Rain by Khalil-Ghibran Act 1: To Love or To Die Full Audiobook

Books: https://www.khalil-ghibran.com/p/books.html?m=1

KHGH Store: https://teespring.com/stores/khgh-store

https://www.amazon.com/After-Fire-Comes-Khalil-Ghibran-ebook/dp/B01GNFW8FU

Khalil-Ghibran is back to revive the genre of Poetry for the 21st Century with 'After Fire Comes The Rain'.

Previously featured in Eber & Wein Publishing's 8th Anniversary Edition of 'Where The Mind Dwells', Khalil-Ghibran mixes his affinity for classic poetry with his own mystical, modern and philosophical style.

From start to finish, his writing flows and keeps the reader mesmerized, unable to exit the poetic labyrinth until the very end.