Keller Media Blog

By Wendy Keller, Literary Agent and Chief Talent Launcher

Most of the authors whose books are going to be sold this year are already under contract with publishers.

But here’s the good news: NOW is the ideal time to prepare to be part of the January buying frenzy.

Do you have a good nonfiction book idea in mind?

What will happen to your career – or your life – when you turn into a published author?

Here’s what you’ll need to make that happen:

  1. A strong idea on a subject you are qualified to write about
  2. A well-written book proposal

That’s all. Because with those two things, you will easily find a literary agent (I know because I am one!) and your enthusiastic agent will easily find you a publisher who loves your idea and wants to publish your book.

How to write a good book proposal:

Note: Only nonfiction books need proposals – not fiction. But no nonfiction book gets sold without a proposal, so you’ll have to create one to sell your book.

“A nonfiction book proposal is to the publishing industry what a business plan is to venture capitalists…and for the same reason. You’re trying to get a stranger to invest in your idea.” — Wendy Keller

A nonfiction proposal has five (5) basic parts plus one or two sample chapters. The parts look deceptively simple, which is why so few authors get an agent or a publisher. Don’t waste time! Do it right the first time! (Here’s a little extra help)

The Parts of a Book Proposal:

  1. The Overview – where you pitch to publishers how brilliant your idea really is.
  2. Your Bio – where you prove to them your credentials on this subject matter.
  3. The Marketing Plan – where you show the publisher what a great author you are because you are highly motivated to sell lots of copies of your book.
  4. Your Chapter Summaries – where you get to show off all the knowledge you’ve got and how it will benefit the readers because people only buy nonfiction books to get some result. Typical: Education, information or knowledge they can use.
  5. The Competitive Analysis – where you prove that your book deserves what we call “its shelf space”. How it is N.D.B.M.(tm) than the competition. That is, “New, Different, Better or offers the readers something More.”

If you’ve got lots of time to spare, are highly motivated and don’t really mind if the finished book proposal doesn’t actually attract a publisher, do it yourself. You don’t need to know much more than the numbered list above. But if you take the decision to become a successful author seriously, then get a full perspective on what’s really going on here, and how you can create a proposal that will be a winner right from Word One. To get FREE help from this literary agent, just click here.

Once your book proposal is perfect, your agent will present it to very carefully selected publishers at the most reputable publishing houses in the country and nurture the sale until you get a publishing contract. It all starts with a splendid proposal!

Wendy Keller of Keller Media, Inc. is the literary agent behind +1,500 rights deals around the world, including 17 New York Times best sellers and 9 international best sellers.

To know how to write a proposal that her agency may represent, click here.

To offer your excellent, already-finished proposal to Keller Media, click here.

To see some of the splendid, intelligent authors Keller Media represents, click here.

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