The Elements of a Book Proposal – You Can Get a Book Deal!

Add an acim bookstore. Include what you have done and what you are doing right now to maintain and build your platform: your visibility and credibility that allows you to have a loyal following that will be eager to buy your book. Note any relevant writing experience you have, and any media experience. Include information about the number of followers you have thanks to your newsletter, website, blog, and social media outreach. Note where you live (no, you don’t have to live in New York City to get a book deal, but it’s good for them to know what time zone you are in and whether you live in a strong “book town”).

Include a marketing statement. Tell the publisher what you are willing to do to get the word out about the book and sell copies. Offer suggestions for easy, low-cost things the publisher can do, such as submitting to specific types of magazines (for example, they will know to send it to Parents magazine, but they might not know to send it to Adoptive Families magazine). Suggest niche media outlets. The idea is to give them a wider range of ideas and show them what you’re willing to do, too (such as research all these wonderful niche markets).

Do a short Table of Contents for the book followed by an expanded table of contents, also known as a detailed outline. Offer at least two paragraphs about what will be included in each chapter. (Also, don’t describe any chapters you are actually including in the proposal as that would be redundant. Instead, just note that the “Sample chapter is included.”)

Provide a writing sample. Some say you should include an introduction and chapter 1; I think that the overlap between the book’s actual introduction and all your descriptive material in the overview and expanded outline makes that overkill. Send in chapter 1, and a section from another place in the book if it will read quite differently from chapter 1 (for instance, if you have a recipe section in your health book, provide some recipes).

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