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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