Book Proposal Guidelines

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK PROPOSAL

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

 Cover Letter - Must include return address. Should not be longer than one page. Briefly explain why you are writing to the agent or editor in question--for instance, does he or she work with authors whose writing resembles yours?  Be sure to offer a one to two sentence description of your book.  For example: “My novel is the Latina Coldest Winter Ever.

 

Overview - In two or three paragraphs, describe your book's content and purpose. What gap does it fill in the market, if any? For nonfiction, what need does it fulfill, or what problem does it solve? Include supporting statistics, if relevant. For instance: “The fastest growing sector in the U.S. for small businesses is not only women, but Latinas.”


Author Biography - Focus on relevant information regarding your education, credentials, experience, awards, and achievements. If you write fiction, have your poems or short stories appeared in journals or won awards? Do you have an M.F.A., and if so which program did you attend? Do you know well-established writers who would give your manuscript a glowing pre-pub quote? Have you published any other books? If so, provide name of publisher, publication date, and--most importantly--sales for each previously published book, including those that were self-published. Did your past books garner positive reviews? Were book club and foreign language rights sold?

Did your past books win awards, or appear on bestseller lists? If your work has only been published outside of the U.S., indicate the country, or countries, in which it has been published. Are you an acknowledged expert on the topic on which your book is written? Does your writing regularly appear in magazines, newspapers, or online? Do you have a syndicated column? A radio or television show? Are you the creator of a popular web site, and if so how many hits on average does it receive?


How You Will Help Sell Your Book - Selling your book is not just your publisher's job--it's also yours. Do you regularly hold seminars, workshops or lectures at which the book could be sold? If you do, approximately how many speaking events do you present a year, and approximately how many people attend each event? What kind of organizations do you speak for (i.e. Fortune 500 companies, universities, non-profits, etc.) Do you have any contacts with the media--television, radio, newspaper, magazine, Internet--that would be helpful in promoting the book? Are you willing to hire a publicist at your own expense to complement the publicity efforts of your publisher? Have you ever founded or are associated with a relevant organization? Do you have a database of clients/members/fans to whom the book could be sold? Do you plan on buying a large quantity of books at a discount to resell? If you have a web site, will you promote your book on it? If not, will you create a web site to help promote your book?