Elements of a Non-fiction Book Proposal

The Non-fiction Book Proposal

You don’t need to write an entire nonfiction book to get a book deal. What you need is a book proposal. A book proposal is used to pitch your book to literary agents or book editors. A proposal shows the agent or editor how your work is different from the competition, while it identifies a need in the marketplace and showcases your writing and platform.

Elements of a Book Proposal

  1. Overview
    An overview summarizes the book, the market demand, and why you’re the best person to write it.
  2. Synopsis
    This is a compelling summary of your book, typically one but no more than two pages long.
  3. The Market
    Identify your target audience, giving specific demographic information.
  4. Competitive/Comparative Books
    Identifies several books that are potential competitors of your book and explain how your book is different or better.
  5. Marketing Plan
    Explain your market, the demographic, and your platform or brand.
  6. Chapter Outline
    A chapter-by-chapter outline of your book, with chapter titles and a synopsis of each chapter.
  7. About the Author
    Details your writing and promotional background and your writing experience as it relates to your book.
  8. Sample Chapters
    For non-fiction, agents and editors usually want to see sample chapters to gauge your writing and if you can organize material.