Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
Authors sometimes ask me, “Why do I need a book proposal? My book is finished—can’t I just send you that? I don’t see the need to write a proposal.”
So, here is a quick outline of the reasons you need a book proposal for a non-fiction book:
1. Publishers usually don’t look at manuscripts without a proposal.
2. The book proposal provides information the publisher needs in order to make a publishing decision, such as who the author is, where the book fits into the marketplace, what your platform looks like, and what books already exist on your topic.
3. The book proposal is used throughout the publishing process to help the editorial, marketing and sales teams write synopses of your book and create marketing plans and sales strategies.
4. One of the most important advantages of the proposal is that your efforts in creating it can be instrumental in your own understanding of the structure, themes, and execution of your book. It will help you understand where your own book fits into the market, and who your audience is.
5. Going through the process of writing the “competition” section of your proposal shows whether your book is needed in the marketplace and if so, where it fits. It will also show you if the market is already saturated with books on your topic. If this appears to be the case, you can search for a niche that seems to be left open.
6. If you do it right, the proposal shows the publisher that you’ve done your homework, you’re a professional, and you know what you’re talking about. Alternatively, a shoddy proposal makes it easy for an editor to quickly say “No” and toss it in the reject pile.
7. Finally… editors don’t have time to read a whole manuscript in order to make decisions. Proposals give them the information they need to get through those stacks of submissions as quickly as possible.
What’s the hardest part of writing a proposal? Do you think writing a proposal is beneficial to you, the author?
Submitting your non-fiction to publishers? Here’s why you need a book proposal. Click to Tweet.
Writing a book proposal can help you better understand your own book. Click to Tweet.