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The Book Proposal Resource Guide

Every day I meet people who want to write and publish a bestselling nonfiction book.

I always encourage them. But, I know how hard it is. The market is tighter than ever before. At the end of 2009, an agent reported that she had read and responded to 38,000 queries and signed 6 new clients. Wow.

Do you think your book proposal would stand out? Would you be one of the six this agent chose?

I’ve written ten book proposals that have sold and consulted on many more. Over the years, I’ve learned what makes a book proposal sell. At tomorrow’s  Write Now! Mastermind Class, I will be teaching the three keys that will help your book proposal sell. I will also be giving away a coaching session to someone on the call. Sign up at my site to join us!

Book Proposal Writing Resources. You can write a book proposal without ever buying a book on the topic. Plenty of websites offer free tools to help you build the perfect book proposal. In addition, most agents and publishers offer free book proposal guidelines at their websites. But, if you decide you want to have a book proposal book, here are the ones to consider purchasing.

Most Thorough: How to Write a Book Proposal (4th edition) by Michael Larsen, AAR.

This book gets my vote for the most complete and current book proposal guide. Larsen is a literary agent and author who has created a stellar new edition of his classic book. It includes:

*Short chapters, clearly marked to teach you how to write each section of the proposal. Each chapter also includes a golden rule, a clearly stated purpose for each section of the proposal so that the you know what is essential to include.

*Key points for each section of the proposal.

*Hot tips to help you prepare an even better book, book proposal, and platform.

*Examples of proposals and marketing ideas that worked.

*Additional information on the benefits of working with an agent, going the self-publishing route, and plotting your future as an author.

Best Overall Guide: Publish Your Nonfiction Book: Strategies for Learning the Industry, Selling Your Book, and Building a Successful Career by Sharlene Martin and Anthony Flacco. This book gets my vote for the most thorough guide to the whole nonfiction book writing and publishing process, from developing your idea to writing a book proposal to writing the book. Though this book’s treatment of how to write the proposal is much shorter, it offers you a quick and helpful guide to how to put together your proposal. In addition the book contains:

*A separate chapter with sample proposals.

*Three chapters that teach you how and how not to write a query letter

*Helpful information on how to write and market your book

Best Examples: Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 that Sold and Why by Jeff Herman and Deborah Levine Herman. Before I found the Larsen book, this book was my book proposal bible. Many of my early proposals—all successful—were written using this manual. Not only does this book offer a very clear guide to writing the perfect book proposal, it also provides ten proposals from a wide variety of books to help you put your proposal together. In addition to covering the basic nonfiction books, it includes a chapter on writing memoir and narrative nonfiction.

For more information. There you have it, writers—my list of the essential book proposal writing resources. For more information on how to put together a proposal, sign up for tomorrow’s Write Now! Mastermind call or contact me for a complimentary consultation.


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