How to write an outline for a book proposal
The truth is the nonfiction book proposal is an entirely different beast. Fortunately, this format gives you a chance to get to know your book even better than you already do. Focusing on and organizing your project will enhance your confidence and show you areas where you may still need to edit. As usual, your title page should list your name and1. What will it contribute. How does it compare with extant literature on the subject. An annotated, chapter-by-chapter outline (tentative, of course) of the book, including estimates for numbers of text pages and pages of illustrations.
It should be more hook than description.Brief overview: This should read similar to back-cover copy. It should be exciting, informative, and make someone want to read your book. It tells the publisher in a succinct form what the book is about and who the market is. Three to four paragraphs.Felt need: What needs will your book fulfill that your audience is already aware of.
What questions are they asking that your book will answer. OverviewDescribe your book in two or three paragraphs (500 words or less). What is the title and subtitle. Who is the target audience and what makes your book unique and worthwhile for them. How big is that market. About the AuthorYour credentials and experience.
What makes you uniquely qualified to write and promote this book. Competitive TitlesList and summarize the major competitive titles and explain why yours is different from each. This post is a companion to Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published. My expertise on this topic comes from more than a decade of acquisitions experience at a traditional publisher, where I reviewed thousands of proposals.
Writing a book proposal is often the most fun partof writing a book because at this stage everything is open to change and you can use your full creativityto structure and organize the book however you wish. There are, however, certain things a bookproposal must contain if it is to do its job for you — and that job is to sell your ideafirst to a literary agent and then to an acquiring editor. Many were great, but super lengthy and time consuming to read.
I followed her points and I landed a literary agent. Never claim that anyone or everyone can benefit from your book. There, he explains that the basic parts of a book proposal include the following sections:OverviewMarketingPromotionCompeting BooksAbout the AuthorList of ChaptersChapter-by-Chapter SummarySample ChaptersSAMPLE NEW BOOK PROPOSALBelow is a sample of a complete and exhaustive book proposal for a Christian non-fiction manuscript.
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. (Used by permission). There are sections in this sample proposal that you may or may not want to include, or cannot include, but this will give you a good idea of how.