How to write a non-fiction book proposal in a nutshell

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After writing and publishing 18 books with traditional trade-publishers (16 of the books are non-fiction), here is the short answer to a question I get often. ¿How to write a book proposal?

  • Pick your subject and a few tentative titles (don’t be married to the title) and subtitles.
  • Include your bio and social media platform (in this day and age that matters, sorry 🤪). Find competing and complementary titles and explain why yours is different. If there is nothing similar out there, oddly, they will assume there is no interest.
  • Explain your marketing strategy. (Even with top of the line publishers they still expect the author to do his or her part).
  • Write an outline of the chapters and a summary.
  • Write a sample chapter (not necessarily the first one).
  • State length of book (over 60,000 words usually) and how long it will take to write (between 6 months and a year).
  • Query agents who rep the kind of book you want to publish.
  • Find these agents at Writer’s Market or in the acknowledgments of books you have read that are the same genre as yours.
  • Be persistent. One, two, even 100 rejections is nothing.

If after a few rejections there is similar feedback you may want to go back and consider it. Otherwise, carry on. It’s truly a numbers game. Good luck and don’t stop trying!

After writing and publishing 18 books with traditional trade-publishers (16 of them are non-fiction), here is the short answer to a question I get often. ¿How to write a book proposal? #books #writing #publishing #bookproposal
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