When it comes to publishing a book, there’s one thing that is just as important as the book itself: your book proposal. If you’re an aspiring nonfiction author with a solid book idea, this is your ticket to get your book idea in front of publishers. Not sure what a book proposal is or how to create one? We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide on how to create a book proposal that lands you a book deal.
1. Write Your Book Proposal Overview
Your book proposal overview is like the back of the book, but for an agent or publisher to better understand you as an author and your book idea at a glance. Your overview should summarize your book idea, share why it’s relevant, and clarify why you are the person qualified to write it.
2. What Makes Your Book Different
What makes your book different? Why should the agent or publisher keep reading your book proposal? Make a case for why your book is better, different, or unique compared to other books in your industry. In this section, you should also touch on why YOU are the best person to write this book given your knowledge, experience, or expertise on the subject matter. What transformation can you provide to your readers?
3. Target Market
List out your target market in this section and why your book idea applies to this certain group of people. Who will benefit from reading your book? What are the demographics of your target audience and why?
4. Chapter Outline
This is where you will map out the book without actually fully writing it. Outline your chapters with one paragraph per chapter explaining its premise. This gives the agent and publisher an idea of the flow of your book and general takeaways included in each chapter.
5. Chapter Samples
A common misconception when it comes to traditional publishing is that you have to write the entire book before landing a book deal. False! All you need to write are 2-3 sample chapters included in your book proposal to give the publisher a glimpse into your writing style, tone, and clarity. Include your BEST stories in these sample chapters to wow your agent and potential publisher.
6. Your Contact Information
This one might be obvious, but it’s the most important section to include in your book proposal! Include your email address, phone number, and any relevant links to your website. In the future, this will most likely be updated with your agent’s information.
Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Your proposal should include even more details about your marketing strategy, a comparative title analysis, and manuscript timeline. If you’re ready to craft your full nonfiction book proposal, tune into our free workshop and we’ll email you a detailed step-by-step book proposal checklist afterwards.