I offer a self-study course on nonfiction book proposals.
A book proposal argues why your book idea is a salable, marketable product. Instead of writing the entire book, then trying to interest an editor or agent which is how it works with novelsyou write the proposal first. If a publisher is article source by your argument, it contracts you and pay you to write the book. You may occasionally hear someone refer to novel proposals, which typically includes a query or cover letter, a synopsis, and a partial or complete manuscript.
This bears little to no relation to a nonfiction book proposal. You can see this played out in the rejections received by award-winner Rebecca Skloot. Would you, as a reader, trust a health book by an author with no medical experience or degrees? But this is a mistake. Why does it matter?
What need does it fulfill?
Submission guidelines vary tremendously when it comes to pitching memoir. Professional, published writers can typically sell a memoir based on the proposal alone, if they clearly have writing chops or publication credits to back up the proposal. This section analyzes competing book titles and why yours is different or needed. You might be okay discussing just Professional Blog Post Ghostwriter Website For University few titles if your book is on a specialized topic or for a very narrow audience.
For each entry in your competitive title analysis, begin by listing the title, subtitle, author, publisher, year of publication, go here count, price, format, and the ISBN.
If it has a specific edition number, include that, too. Resist trashing the competition; it will come back to bite you. Keep in mind that for some nonfiction topics and categories, the availability of online information can immediately kill the potential for a print book. Travel is a good example—its print sales have declined by 50 percent since Why will it sell? Avoid generically describing the book buying audience in the United States, or—for example—broadly discussing how many memoirs sold last year.
It can be very tempting to make a broad statement about who your audience is, to make it sound like anyone and everyone is a potential reader.
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Avoid generic statements like these:. What can you specifically do to market and promote the book? Never discuss what you hope to do, only what you can and will do without publisher assistancegiven your current resources.
This is deadly language. Make it concrete, realistic, and attach numbers to everything. Weak I plan to register a domain and start a blog for my book. Strong Within 6 months of launch, my blog on [book topic] already attracts 5, unique visits per month. Weak I plan to contact bloggers for guest blogging opportunities. Strong I have also guest blogged every month for the past year to reach anothervisitors, at sites such as [include examples of most well-known blogs].
Weak I plan to contact conferences and speak on [book topic]. Strong I am in contact with organizers at XYZ Professional Blog Post Ghostwriter Website For University, and have spoken at 3 events within the past year reaching 5, people in my target audience.
You need to show that your ideas are not just pie in the sky, but real action steps that will lead to concrete results and a connection to an existing readership.
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It can be helpful to begin with a bio you already use at your website or at LinkedIn. Show how your expertise and experience give you the perfect platform from which to address your target audience. If this is a weak area for you, look for other strengths that might give you credibility with readers or http://uht.me/essay-help/sba-international-business-plan.php sell books—such as connections to experts or authorities in the field, a solid online following, and previous success in marketing yourself and your work.
This comes at the very beginning of your proposal; think of it as the executive summary, around two to three pages. I suggest you write it last. It needs to sing and present a water-tight business case. For each chapter, you write a brief summary of the idea, information, or story presented, usually words per chapter.
The most important thing is to show how your book concept will play out from beginning to end, and strongly convey the scope and range of material covered. Is there a smaller publisher that would be interested because they have a lower threshold of sales to meet? Big houses may want to sell as many as 20, copies in the first year to justify publication; smaller presses may be this web page with a few thousand copies.
A sizable platform and expertise is typically required to successfully sell a nonfiction book to a major publisher, especially for competitive categories such as health, self-help, or parenting.
An agent or editor is going to evaluate your visibility in the market, and will want to know the following: Traditional houses are pickier than ever; producing anything in print is a significant investment and risk. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheetthe essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.
Professional Blog Post Ghostwriter Website For University to Write a Book Proposal". You must write a book proposal basically like a business plan for your book that will convince a publisher to contract and pay you to write the book. For more information on book proposals and what they entail, click here. Wrt expertise, Malcolm Gladwell has no subject matter credentials and he seems to use that as an advantage. Could you address expertise counter examples like this and how to leverage expertise between fields?
Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist who worked 10 years covering business and science for the Washington Post before he ever published a book.
Then he got a gig at the New Yorker that led to his first book deal. If he had tried to get a book deal first—before his years of experience as a proven journalist—he probably would not have succeeded.
This is an in-depth look, lots of insight and resource links — recommended read. As usual, a wealth of great information. Well organized, articulate, easy to understand. How to Write a Book Proposal. Rachelle Gardner has the formula for writing a one sentence summary for fiction, while Jane Friedman shows how to write a non-fiction book proposal.
This is great info for me. Jane, lots of good info here. Hi Jane, Very useful information… I am looking more info writing about cyberbullying but am struggling to find publishing houses within the south pacfic region that I live in. Is it ok to approach US publishers when I am so far away? Also should I be looking at ebooks as a form of publishing given the content I am writing Professional Blog Post Ghostwriter Website For University Hi Jane, great and useful advice, but I have a couple of questions: Also I feel my platform is not very strong.
I was a magazine journalist for seven years, writing occasional travel pieces and wrote a blog while in India but otherwise nothing else. Should I be concerned about this? I am here in the process of completing my four book series on a crime fiction novel about gone wrong.
Do you have any advice or tips?
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Just about everything you need to know can be found here: Thank you so much for responding. I guess every writer has that problem. Memoir is a very competitive market, but if you have a strong platform, you might be able to interest an agent. You should either try pitching at a conference where agents attendor start work on a book this web page. Great advice Jane, thanks for all of this!
I am hoping to find some more information about how to format the author qualifications portion of a proposal. Does it need to read more like the dust jacket bio or can it be more in depth than that? Thanks again for your insights.
It needs to be as in-depth as necessary to convey your authority, credibility or platform on the topic in question—though first-person or third-person is a judgment call. It explains the difference in proposals between traditional non-fiction and narrative non-fiction, helps you write a strong proposal, and gives a very thorough overview of the book proposal.
A friend referred me to this post. Thanks for laying it all out—this is helpful, as I have several projects in mind. One involves a collection of humorous anecdotes some involving parenting, some involving my childhood, some involving ridiculous people previously published on an old blog that is no longer accessible.
Would you suggest a book proposal and sample chapters for that project? Professional Blog Post Ghostwriter Website For University do you prevent from your material being copied or stolen during the initial phase of seeking feed back and when should you have it copyright protected?
Thanks for the post, super helpful! I have a question…I have read that it is helpful to Professional Blog Post Ghostwriter Website For University the cover letter of book proposals to a specific person.
Ive tried calling the editorial departments of a few publishing houses to find out who I should be writing to but more often than not, usually the bigger ones, they say addressing the letter to the Editorial Dept is fine. Is it better to address it to no one in specific or pick one of the editors or publishers off the website and use their name? For some help in this aspect, check out this article on how to write a book proposal. Ask yourself the 3 questions and understand the need for competitive analysis of your niche […].
Hi Jane, a great post, thanks for taking the time to lay this out there. Could I ask, what criteria would you consider when deciding if the book should be published in the traditional method above VS self publishing an eBook? Just ran a post on that very check this out Less pithy industry vets say that you need to be able to explain what your book is about and why […].