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You want to write a book, but are you sure it will sell? A well-crafted book proposal will ensure that a publisher will give your book the consideration
it deserves
or serve as a thorough guide to your writing process.
It will help you determine how saleable your book is.


Let us craft a first-rate proposal for you.


Book Proposals


Use your book proposal as a marketing tool.A well-designed book proposal is essentially a marketing device. Its fundamental purpose is to demonstrate to a publisher the existing demand for the book you intend to write. It should explain why you, the author, are the proper person to develop this book and describe the various ways you envision marketing the book. (For instance, besides standard distribution channels like bookstores, you may have a creative viral marketing campaign in mind or a substantial network lined up to purchase the book as soon as it's available.)


Although a book proposal can be prepared regardless of where you are in your writing process, the preparation of a proposal is recommended before you even begin writing. A book proposal is fundamental to any nonfiction book project, whether or not you will pursue a traditional publisher, because it serves as a guide to your writing process, an outline for your book, and a checklist of the marketing efforts that will give your book its best chance for success.


The book proposal is so important that the sale of many nonfiction books is based only on a proposal and the first one to three chapters of the book. If the proposal is well written and convincing, the chapters simply serve to assure the publisher that this person CAN develop a salable manuscript. At that point, some authors may receive an offer for a contract and even an advance that will enable the author to complete the remainder of the book.

 Questions a Book Proposal Should Answer

The main purpose of a book proposal is to determine how saleable the book is. Will it sell, once it's written?


  • Who is my target audience?

  • Why will people buy the book?

  • What is the competition on this subject for this market?

  • Why am I the one who should write this book?

  • What are my credentials?

  • How will I help promote and sell the book?

  • What is my marketing strategy?

 Sections of a Book Proposal

During the process of putting together your book proposal, you will find out if you truly have a book at all. So what goes into a complete nonfiction book proposal?


Cover letter

Title page


Chapter outline

Market analysis

Marketing and PR strategy

About the author, including the author's publishing history

Author's media clips

Sample chapters


Cover Letter

The purpose of a query letter is to get an agent or editor to ask to see your book proposal and sample chapters. Your goal is to get the agent to represent you or the editor to give you a contract. Write a formal letter on your letterhead that identifies your package as a book proposal. List the contents of your proposal: overview, market analysis, PR strategy, author bio, and sample chapters. Indicate your projected completion or delivery date. If you have already completed the book, mention that in your letter.


Title Page

The title page is simply the cover for your proposal. It contains the title of the book and the author's name.

You may also decide to include your projected word count at the bottom of your title page.



The overview is the essence of your book proposal. This is where you describe your book's theme and purpose. You must be able to succinctly describe your book, in one to two pages. Ideally, your overview will have an introduction, midsection, and conclusion, just like your book does. What would you say to a publisher or agent if you had the chance to meet with them face-to-face? The overview is your big chance to convince the agent or publisher why they want to take on your project.

If you have illustrations planned for your book or a specific creative idea for the interior and/or cover design, provide samples for the publisher.


Chapter Outline

This should be the easy part, because if you haven't already outlined your book, you are jumping the gun with a proposal. Give the title of each chapter, along with a brief description of the proposed content.


Market Analysis

This step is essential, not only to the success of your proposal, but to the success of your entire book project. You must perform your due diligence to get the lowdown on your competition. It is imperative that you find out what other titles have already been published in your genre, on your subject, in your specialization, and/or in your industry. Next, you must determine how yours is different. This can become challenging when you are writing in a competitive subject, but it is an essential exercise because it forces you to seriously explore your expertise and authority to write your book, as well as how much of a market there is for your work.



Many first-time authors make the mistake of believing that (a) the publisher will do all the marketing for them and/or (b) that the book will sell itself. The truth is that if you want your book to sell, you are going to have to be COMMITTED, in terms of money, time, and energy.


The Marketing and PR Strategy section of your book proposal is your opportunity to get wildly creative. Agents often want to know about your platform — which means they want to know how well-known you already are. Do you already have an established audience chomping at the bit to buy your book? Who have you teamed with and/or interviewed to write the book? Are there agencies, organizations, individuals, or Internet communities with whom you can partner to easily sell your book? Do you do a lot public speaking with the opportunity to sell books at your events? Are you a featured columnist for a local, regional, or national publication?


Have you contrived a radical viral marketing campaign that will promote your book far and wide, so that you don't have to rely solely on bookstore sales, which account for only about 60 percent of all book sales? It's never too late to get started marketing your book!


About the Author

This section is pretty self-explanatory. It includes your bio, writing experience, publishing history, and education, as well as any personal or professional involvements and/or expertise related to your proposed book subject. You will also want to include any testimonials from readers or editors who are familiar with your subject and/or work. And, it should go without saying, the more renowned the reviewers are, the better for your chances with an agent or publisher.


author's media clips

If you have received previous publicity for any activities, events, or involvements related to your book, this is the place to toot your own horn! You want to give the publisher every reason to be interested in you and to trust you as THE expert to author this book.


Sample Chapters

The book proposal almost always includes sample chapters. A publisher may specify that they want to see anywhere from one to three sample chapters of your book. Generally, you will want to send Chapter One and the chapter that you feel is most the most important or compelling.

 Getting Started
  Your investment in a well-crafted, professional book proposal will range from $3,500 to $5000. The exact cost will depend on how much research and work you are willing or able to do ahead of time. The more research and details you can provide to us, the less time the project will take and the lower your overall cost will be.  

Ready to begin? Let's Get Started NOW!


Many people who want to be writers don't really want to be writers. They want to have been writers. They wish they had a book in print.

James Michener


LAURA ORSINI | Freelance Writer | Editor | Designer | Marketer | Social Alchemist | BLOG

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