Writing a Nonfiction Book Proposal: What to Include

According to Mollie Glick in the a course in miracles the essential five elements that agents and publishers are seeking when they read your proposal are:

An original idea. What fresh, original and engaging idea will your book present.But not too original. What published books share the same audience as your book? Why were those books successful, and why will your book appeal to the same readers?

A clear sense of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there. What’s the scope of your book? How are you going to set about gathering and presenting your information?

4) Why is this an important book? How is your book different (and better than) other similar books? Why is now the time to publish a book on your chosen subject?

The go-to-guy (or gal) to write a book on this subject? You may have heard the word “platform” floating around and wondered what it means. Put simply, there are two kinds of platforms, and ideally you want to demonstrate that you’ve got both. First: What makes you an expert and clear choice to write the book you’re proposing? Second: What media connections do you have that will help you reach your intended audience with your message?

It must be said that writing a book proposal is a project in itself! The proposal is not short – typically up to 30 pages, demonstrating that you have carried out a wealth of research and have lots of ideas about how to market the product and get readers to buy it.

You will need sections as follows – the exact number of sections and the weight given to each one will be dependent upon the kind of book (eg self-help, special-interest human story, travel, ‘how-to’ etc.):

This is the ‘big picture’ of your book. It must be clear, concise, and set out the premise of the book from your original idea to full scope, why it has importance, and why you are the perfect person to write it. Keep to one page maximum and make certain that every word counts. If you can’t write a succinct, interesting and punchy abstract, you’re lost from the word go!

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