Photo by Debra Lopez
Don't Sell the Book → Sell the Proposal This page will direct you to some examples of book proposal sections so that you can put together a winning book proposal. As mentioned in my discussion on how to get published, if you're interested in writing a book-length work of nonfiction, you don't need to write the entire manuscript before you make the sale; indeed, most professional writers, and most beginners as well, use a book proposal to close the deal. Writing a book proposal is often the most fun part of writing a book because at this stage everything is open to change and you can use your full creativity to structure and organize the book however you wish. There are, however, certain things a book proposal must contain if it is to do its job for you — and that job is to sell your idea first to a literary agent and then to an acquiring editor. The basic parts of a book proposal include the following sections:
Once you complete your book proposal you'll be smiling just like Flannery O'Connor in this photo. Now you're poised to sell that proposal for an advance which can range anywhere from around $10,000 to . . . well, the sky's the limit these days — depending on how good your idea is, a six-figure advance for a first book isn't out of the question.
By William Cane
April Yvette Thompson