How to Write Your Best Proposal


The quality of your nonfiction book proposal determines whether or not your book will sell to a publisher and for how much; it determines if you even get represented by an agent.  A good proposal is a precise document, one that proves you are a subject matter expert, that your idea is fresh and interesting and that you are the right person to carry your book to the marketplace.  It clearly outlines the nature of your “platform” – your growing fan base – which indicates to agents and publishers how successful your book will be once it is released.


A well-crafted book proposal will make the difference in:
  • The publisher’s and the agent’s expectations for the book
  • Which publishing houses take an interest in your work
  • How much money is paid to you as an advance
  • How much marketing support the publisher will allocate to help promote your book
  • Whether or not the book even sells to your public

You have two excellent options to help you prepare a strong, salable proposal:

Option One:

If you have more money than time…

You can hire a qualified ghostwriter or collaborator to help you prepare the best document possible. A “qualified” writer is one who has sold books similar to your intended work to the level of publisher you hope to attract. Expect to pay between $5,000 and at the high end, as much as $60,000 for this assistance. Usually, you get what you pay for with ghostwriters, since their compensation is tied to the size of the book advances that their most recently written proposals attained for other authors. We can recommend several proven writers.

Option Two:

If you like writing and want to learn the craft of creating excellent book proposals…

Join our next Book Proposal Workshop. In this live, online, highly interactive program, you get access to Wendy’s wealth of knowledge and her real-time guidance on crafting your proposal. As you turn in each assignment, your work will be read, carefully reviewed and edited by one of our team of real book editors. You will get it back with their best suggestions. You’ll soon know precisely how to write the very best proposal for your book idea, one that really grabs attention. This is a skill you can use for this book and all your future ones! You’ll also know how editors think and how to play the game to increase their interest in your work, and you will have had help growing your idea bigger, stronger and better than you can even imagine right now. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!


Check out our next Book Proposal Workshop?

A well-crafted book proposal is the key to your future as a nonfiction author.

“A nonfiction book proposal is to publishers what a business plan is to venture capitalists…and for the same reason – you’re trying to get a stranger to invest money in your idea.”

Wendy Keller

Literary Agent