Have a great idea for a non-fiction book? Great! Now, sell that idea to a literary agent. To do that, you need a comprehensive, compelling book proposal.
What goes into a book proposal?
- Short summary
- Longer, detailed overview of the book
- Chapter outline
- Detailed explanation of chapters
- 1-3 chapters
- Marketplace research
- Publicity and marketing plan
I’m going to share a secret with you that top literary agents have shared with me. The proposal is not about you. It’s about the reader. Use the book proposal to convince a literary agent that readers will buy your book. How?
5 Questions To Answer With Your Book Proposal
- Who are your target readers? Describe them.
- What problem are you solving for readers? What are you teaching them?
- With what marketing platform – publicity, social media, speaking engagements, mailings – will you reach them?
- What features and benefits will readers learn from your book that they haven’t in others?
- Can you get endorsements that will entice readers to buy the book?
Yes, it is a lot of work. But that’s what separates the manuscripts sitting in desk drawers from the books sitting on store shelves.
Smart Author Tip: Agents and publishers look for authors who can market themselves. Detail your plans for pitching print, TV, radio and bloggers. Mention specific stations, writers and websites.