In an email the attached file name should be descriptive author name fiction or nonfiction proposal logline. Nonfiction book proposal outline here is a basic template for a book proposal, which many of our clients have used successfully. The following is an excerpt from write a book without lifting a finger by mahesh grossman, available at. I like this one because it contains ten reallife proposals that sold. Our nonfiction editors will get back to you within 1421 days. Thats a huge subject with an utterly enticing one word hook. Advice that i find myself giving out again and again as an agent is guidance on how to write a nonfiction book proposal.
How to write a book proposal that agents will love jericho. The core of the publishing process is the book proposal. How to write a nonfiction book proposal wolf literary services. If youre writing nonfiction, you wont normally write the whole thing first, but will sell the concept from a book proposal, a sales piece for the proposed bookto find out if publishers see a potential market for a book on a particular topic and think you have the chops to pull it off and can also attract a big enough audience for the book. I understand the importance of writing a sound book proposal for a nonfiction book. A one page cover letter or query letter is sufficient.
In a onesentence taglinehook sort of fashion, capture what the book is about in its entirety. It also subtly says im on twitter, which shows im building platform. Hints for a great cover letter the steve laube agency. This ones short and tothepoint, and the last time i. I found the book incredibly helpful and followed it closely. The hook those critical initial sentences of a query letter from an author, or the opening of the book proposal itself are the first and most important words that agents and acquiring editors read. Target audience who is your core audience, the most likely purchasers of this book. There are many types of leads, and writers can combine several of them into the same introduction.
In this blog post, youll find a description of the overview and introduction sections of my christian nonfiction book proposal, for blossom. In your manuscript the hook can be up to several paragraphs. Add a bio including a professional resume and platform, i. You are also welcome to listen to free audio recordings of teds book proposal bootcamp and other workshops and media appearances. Writers and editors agents and book proposals the art. It is up to the author working with the agent to prove that a sizeable target audience for the book exists, to sharply define this target market, and to evaluate competitive books if any in the marketplace. If you are writing a book proposal during write nonfiction in november, im posting this blog for you. In addition to your core target audience, who might be the next most interested targets. 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. Agents and editors dont want to see the finished book.
Online shopping from a great selection at books store. As with a book s table of contents toc listing the chapters, a nonfiction book proposal will have a toc. Fiction book proposal for literary agents literary agencies. Because entire books are written on how to write a book proposal, one short note from me wont be enough. Allude to the main plot or the issue at stakethe main conflict. Overview describe your book in two or three paragraphs 500 words or less. 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. The literary agents guide to writing a nonfiction book proposal by andy ross. The literary agents guide to writing a nonfiction book proposal will lead you through the steps to constructing a convincing book proposal that will make the best case possible for your project. A nonfiction book proposal outlines the basic elements including content, market. Nonfiction book proposal classes in nyc and online gotham.
Jul 29, 2011 there are several books available on writing book proposals. The hook those critical initial sentences of a query letter from an author, or the. Writing a proposal for a work of nonfiction may be intimidating and. It is by david sanford, a published author, editor, and literary agent for more than 300 books who now serves on the leadership team at corban university. Ive seen many authors confuse the two and create extra work for themselves. The overview is typically a page or two that gives, well, an overview of the book you plan. That reinforces the idea in your mind and in the mind of publishing agents that your book is different and in some ways better than similar titles in your genre. 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. Nonfiction book proposals anybody can write gave me the structure i needed to produce a coherent, organized proposal. And, its not just a strong book proposal that increases your chances of getting a publishing contract and a literary agent.
This is the shocking and inspirational memoir of a boy who survived the rwandan. The hook in your proposal should be one or two sentences. Opening hook of a book proposal by debut author lisa brackmann for. The author, andy ross, is a literary agent who has worked with authors and publishers in creating proposals that have led to book contracts. 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 book proposal that agents will love jericho writers. Think youve got a great nonfiction book that will delight, educate, or entertain readers. This year, i asked him to offer advice on writing a query letter. Its usually at least 20 pages long, often much longer. Thats top secret information until the book actually gets. Nonfiction book proposals small publishers, artists and.
And a lead is a short opening sentence pointing to the facts in a magazine or news story. A variety of factors need to line up for a writer to get a yes from agents, acquisition editors, and publishing hou. Plenty of writers also pitch memoirs with only a proposal and sample chapters. Dont try to use reason or logic to argue that it would be better a different way. Another good one is how to write a book proposal by michael larsen.
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. Leads are typically include at the start of a writing piece. Add the title andor subtitle separated by a colon or on a new. Nonfiction book proposal guide creative media agency, inc. Use strong activenever passiveverbs that convey the emotion or pressing need in your book. I offer a comprehensive course on book proposals that takes you through the research and writing process in 10 steps agent ted weinstein outlines the necessary parts of a book proposal, and also offers an audio recording of his 90minute workshop on proposals. That was a two book deal, admittedly, so you can divide the numbers by two to get a per book amount. Add the title andor subtitle separated by a colon or on a new line and a. Ideas for books are as varied as the books themselves. The literary agents guide to writing a nonfiction book. Lest you think that my bookwriting career has been naught but cakes and ale, here is a proposal for a nonfiction book i really wanted to write but that even my agent, sarah chalfant of the wylie agency.
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. How to write a nonfiction book proposal writers digest. Sample book proposal from a professional literary agency. That said, i found a blog that has a terse report, as well as recommendations for books on the subject of book proposals. A nonfiction book proposal is the key document that allows an agent or publisher to determine the viability of a project. Find out what agents look for in a hook choose the opening that fits your book see examples of successful openings and hooks. How to write a query letter for nonfiction tck publishing. Ive seen many authors confuse the two and create extra work for. Nonfiction and story leads hooks the purpose of a lead, sometimes called a hook, is to get the reader interested enough to want to continue to read. Aug 11, 2017 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.
Matilda butler, and i write about and talk with women memoir writers. They arise in all sorts of different situations, but generally a book concept is written down into a proposal form. Most book agents call this section of a nonfiction book proposal the competition section, but i prefer to call is the competitive advantages section. Everything my agent wanted to see in my proposal was there because of elizabeths book. They started out rather small and independent but now they are much larger and have excellent distribution through penguinrandom house. Jan 17, 2010 i cant help smiling when i read a good hook. Your nonfiction proposal should include the following items and should be attached as a single file to an email with submission.
The 8 essential elements of a nonfiction book proposal 1. Nonfiction book proposal guide ask yourself these questions and as you write your answers, your proposal will develop before your eyes. While fiction writers can simply write their book, and turn in a synopsis. In a onesentence tagline hook sort of fashion, capture what the book is about in its entirety. There are a couple instances of being able to sell a fiction book on proposal. Nonfiction book proposal consulting in todays competitive publishing industry, it is more challenging than ever to successfully pitch a nonfiction book. Writing a nonfiction book proposal by scott mendel. Most nonfiction is sold via a book proposal a structured outline of the book you intend to write. How to write a nonfiction book proposal with template. After all, without a good query letter no agent or acquisition editor will ever ask to read a proposal. Your nonfiction proposal should include the following items. However, if you create a proposal thats divided into the following four sections, in the following order, every agent or publisher that you submit fiction book proposal to will be happy. A marketing plan is a vital element of every nonfiction book proposal. In an email the attached file name should be descriptive author name fiction or nonfiction proposal logli.
I also sold a book off the back of a nonfiction book proposal that had multiple publishers bidding for the rights, and ended up being sold to harpercollins for. Nonfiction book proposal outline ted weinstein literary. This is pretty much the authoritative book on writing a book proposal. For the nonfiction writer wanting to find an agent and have their book published by a traditional publisher, this document represents a necessary evil. Check out blogs, websites, and other information by or about your favorite authors. Prepare a query letter include a book overview, target audience, usp, writing cv, and motivation for writing. How to write a nonfiction book proposal nathan bransford. Who is the target audience and what makes your book unique and worthwhile for them. Mar 17, 2014 how to write a good nonfiction book proposal for submission 17 mar 2014 christian jennings, who is currently writing a book about the last year of wwii in northern italy, entitled if i live to see the dawn at war on the gothic line 194445.
Most nonfiction submissions require a book proposal that identifies the key selling points of the proposed book, including evidence of need. Speakup15 5 secondary audiences who, in addition to the target audience, might read or purchase this book. Your book proposaloften required by publishers and agentsserves as a business plan for your book that proves why your book will sell when published. Nonfiction book proposal outline for sounds true i. In contrast to conference or, to a lesser degree, chapter proposals, a book proposal introduces your qualifications for writing it and compares your work to what others have done or failed to address in the past. Start by simply giving a brief description of your book, including its title.
Andy warhol, saint apollonia suite 1984 for all of these reasons, quite a mouthful will make a perfect gift for any general interest nonfiction reader. This form contains a summary of the book, its aims, its goals and main features. How to write a good nonfiction book proposal for submission. This is the hook of your bookthe key message we discussed earlier. Addressed to the appropriate agent with titlegenreword count and appropriate contact information in the letter, this letter should interest us in reading your proposal. Elements of a nonfiction book proposal greenleaf book group. Nonfiction book proposal classes in nyc and online. Your opening and hook from how to write a book proposal, 4th edition by michael larsen, youll. Writing a winning nonfiction book proposal 32 30 from my experience, a great book proposal needs to include five distinct elements see fig. How does it differ from a standard magazine article query. What is the accepted way of preparing and submitting a proposal for a nonfiction picture book, say for the middle grade market. A short list of books that helped me write my proposal. Finding hope and healing for your heart after loss. How to write a nonfiction book proposal wolf literary.
How to hook a literary agent to represent writing and get. Nonfiction book proposal literary agents and literary agencies. Writing a nonfiction book proposal by scott mendel updated. The truth is that getting a literary agent and signing a book contract doesnt usually happen that fast. 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. Sample new book proposal below is a sample of a complete and exhaustive book proposal for a christian nonfiction manuscript. Jun 09, 2010 what ive got ready, a completed manuscript with word count and a proposal. When it happens, its a rush, a little like falling in love. North atlantic books is a publisher located in california. How to write a book proposal that agents will love. Submitting an already written nonfiction book as a proposal is a great way to almost guarantee you will not get a book deal. I was able to send my proposal within a week, and three months later, my agent was responding to bids from four large publishing houses. My contact information makes it easy to get in touch with me and check me out online.566 952 965 358 602 1413 158 1104 1124 1291 312 1307 946 1497 469 23 768 51 873 127 322 616 1453 427 44 1401 963 966 453 165