The Book Proposal Outline
When it comes to writing a book proposal, there is a certain outline that you should follow. Not every successful book proposal follows this exact outline, but a pretty big percentage of them do. More importantly, most of the rejected book proposals have outlines that are very different from this one. If you want your book proposal to be successful, then you may want to look at this outline and consider using it for your own proposal. Your goal is to get published, and this proposal outline can definitely help you get there.
The first thing you need is an overview of your book. In a small paragraph, let a publisher or agent know why they should consider your book for publication. An overview usually consists of 3-4 sentences and includes only the most important information.
Next, you need to think about who your target audience is. Make sure that you know who your book is most likely to be read by and that you are familiar with the demographics of that target audience. If you can show your publisher that you know who to target, they will have a much easier time approving your book for publication.
About the Author
You also want to make sure that you include information about yourself – especially if you have already published books in the same genre or if you have expertise that specifically lends itself to book marketing. For example, if you are a doctor with expertise in health care, then that would be relevant information to include if you have written a book on health care. However, it would not be relevant if you have written a mystery novel (unless it is a medical mystery).
You should also come up with a marketing plan that demonstrates what ideas you have for marketing the book and shows publishers just how far you are willing to go to make your book sell. Remember, they are looking to make a profit, so if your book is good, and you are willing to promote it, they will be more willing to publish it.
You will also need to include other books that you think could compete with yours – but even more importantly, you should include reasons why your book totally blows them out of the water. Make sure that your publishers know that even if your book has competition; that you are able to present the ideas better than other books.
A chapter outline will give your publisher a chance to see the finished book (even if it isn’t fully complete yet). You simply list your chapters, and then you list a short summary of each one. This allows your publishers to see exactly what your book is about in an easy-to-read overview.
Finally, make sure that you are including at least one sample chapter. Some agents and publishers may actually let you know how many sample chapters to send.
For more information on how to do a book proposal, check out Reedsy