How to make a better book proposal

As a non-fiction book publisher I have seen many submissions. Here are 4 things that can make a difference, and help your book project get interest from a book publisher.

Choose the right publisher

That does not seem to be obvious to everyone, a publisher is not any publisher, he is a publisher in certain fields, for certain types of book. Try to answer this question: would my book fit in this catalogue?

Author’s biography

This is the first part of your proposal. It doesn’t need to be long. Try to answer the WHO question. Who is the author, what is his background, what are his experiences. And probably more important: who are you already connected with? It can be your online presence but it can be also interesting to know that you are a speaker, president of a club or if you are frequently interviewed in the media.

Book synopsis

This is the WHAT question. What is it about and most important, what problem is it going to solve.

Try to be as clear as possible. You already have done your market research because you know the niche.

Table of content

A detailed table of content is a must have. We need to know the HOW. The table of content is the good indicator of the method. It also shows the maturity of the author and the project.

If you send a manuscript without a table of content, chances that it will not be opened is close to 100%.

Get some help

Of course you can contact a publisher directly, cold call but having a third party who will advocate you is a good idea. Agents can be important in some cases but are often not relevant for non fiction, especially in France.

A good way to get publishers’ eyes and ears is to be introduced by another author of the house. Try to meet one and ask for advice. That’s probably the best tip.

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