Guide: How to write a Book Proposal

book proposal
What is a book proposal?

A book proposal is a sample of the structure and description of the book. It is an important part of the sales pitch, usually for established writers. It is highly unusual for a first-time writer to sell on the strength of the proposal.

The uses of writing a book proposal
  • Describes the book you want to write
  • Provides facts and figures to convince others with
  • Help the writer focus and organize an idea
  • Help the writer become what is expected
The Proposal Structure
  1. A cover letter
  2. Title page
  3. 1 paragraph nutshell description of the idea
  4. 1 or 2 pages of overview in narrative style
  5. A market analysis (half a page) explaining the target audience
  6. Description of competing books and why your book compliments the existing books
  7. Biography of the writer and his experience
  8. Table of contents: chapters and subheadings of the book
  9. 1 page narritive description of each chapter listed in the table of content
  10. A sample chapter or two from the book

In total, about 20 to 40 pages. Always include a self addressed stamped envelope.

The questions your proposal should answer
  • Why is there a need for this book? What need does it fill?
  • How does it meet the needs?
  • How is it different from other books?
  • Why are you the best person to write this story?
  • How long will it take you to write it?
  • How long will the book be in the end?
  • What are the merits of the book?