Manual How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal

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And, most important: Does my idea actually appeal to readers? Sethi, whose nonfiction personal finance book started as a blog with the same title, was able to amass hundreds of thousands of readers before he landed a book deal. Many aspiring authors assume that getting started means cranking out tens of thousands of words before you approach an agent or publisher, but it might depend on the book.

Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal

Doing so will give you a deeper sense of what your book is about and what the rest of the writing process will be like — and this will also help you firm up your ideas of what the rest of the book will be like. If those publishers like your idea, they could make you an offer. If multiple publishers like your idea your book might even go to auction, which could help you secure a more lucrative deal. If a publisher buys your book, your advance from the publisher will likely be paid out in installments typically two or three. How those payments are broken up varies widely, but one possible combination is a third paid on contract signing, another third on manuscript delivery, and the final third upon publication.

Though sometimes the advance is paid out in two sums, and, in some instances, four or more. Self-publishing means publishing your book on your own, or with the help of a self-publishing platform like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or CreateSpace , which is also owned by Amazon. Harvey said, whereas with a publisher, you may have to bend to their ideas for your book title, cover and content.

On the other hand, an agent and publisher might be able to help increase your reach to make those sales. Self-publishing also means your book will be available on only the platform you publish with, and it likely will never get on shelves in physical bookstores or libraries. If you opt to self-publish, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing , an online publishing platform for digital books and paperbacks, is an ideal place to start.

Book Proposal Template | Nonfiction Authors Association

The site includes manuscript templates you can download and follow. Self-publishing means you have to do all of the work, like designing a cover and proofreading, yourself or hire people to help. While an agent will likely want to see the completed manuscript of a novel, a nonfiction book typically requires a proposal, which is a detailed outline of what your book is and why it matters.

You can find downloadable book proposal templates online. The literary agent Ted Weinstein shares a simple nonfiction template on his website. Friedman said. Publishers also like to see numbers. Try to quantify your platform using metrics like your combined social media followers, newsletter subscribers or monthly page views on your blog. A lower-tech option: Look in the back of similar books to see who the author thanks in the acknowledgments. You may have to query multiple agents about your idea.

Ideally, one of them will bite and want to represent you. The agent will pitch your book proposal or manuscript to publishers, which can lead to getting-to-know-you meetings with publishers and editors, or both. If a publisher loves your idea, your agent will then negotiate the contract and terms with input from you as needed. It sounds simple, but this can take much more time than many writers expect. Start by establishing your writing habit.

One way to structure this type of working: make micro-progress, or the smallest units of progress. Perhach said she gave herself a small goal to write for one hour per day, then shared that goal with loved ones. Also, once I started editing the proposal with my agent, she added a photo of me above the About the Author section so I highly suggest adding a photo ahead of time. Detail your plan of what you will do not might do to market the book. This came in at just under 1, words for me which was cut considerably in editing with my agent because I was way too detailed.

Give away the goods but not all of them! This is the Table of Contents breakdown. Write a one-two paragraph synopsis for each chapter of the book. Be creative and compelling, have fun, bring your voice.

Your tone throughout the entire proposal needs to get those reading excited, especially as they get closer to the sample chapters. This is self explanatory. Have fun coming up with the titles and possibly subtitles for each chapter! I highly suggest studying the TOC of similar books to see how those books are structured.

Finally, once I wrote and revised the proposal, a few CPs took a look multiple times and gave me notes until it was query ready, as some agents want you to submit the full proposal when querying. I had to make sure that every part of the proposal was clear, concise and engaging. Bringing your passion and voice to the page is a must as well. Your proposal must be just as strong as your sample chapters.

How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Proposal (with Template)

And your sample chapters need to have the same amount of energy and excitement and voice as your proposal. Have fun with it. Show off! I can only speak to my experience of putting my proposal together, every proposal has the same overall content but no proposal will look the same. Thank you for this post! Like Like. Thank you so much for reading!

All the best with your proposal, Sharon! Your post was very helpful, and it encouraged me to sit down and begin my own proposal.

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You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. The Market Detail your demographic. Competitive Titles Mention books from the last three years that are successful comp titles. About the Author Your credentials are crucial for non-fiction. Marketing and Promotion Detail your plan of what you will do not might do to market the book.

Table of Contents This is self explanatory. Sample Chapters The first chapters of the book. I included the Introduction and Chapter One. Like this: Like Loading Next Post The Non-fiction Query. Thank you so much! So glad you found it useful!