The Essential Tool: The Nonfiction Book Proposal

Nothing beats a good first impression.

Rosemary CarstensIf you are a nonfiction writer approaching agents and editors about your book concept, a strong, perfectly polished query letter and book proposal will make you stand out. Most writers underestimate the comprehensiveness necessary in a book proposal, which can run fifty or more pages when done thoroughly. Going through that process takes time and attention to detail and, when complete, makes you fully prepared to address the questions that will come up on your journey from book idea to publication. It will send a powerful message that you understand the marketplace, your readership, and your role in making your book a success.

My personalized workshop provides you with the essential elements you need, coaching you each step of the way with tips, editing, and important resources. I want us to have fun and for you to feel supported along the way–

Book an introductory telephone consultation. The cost is $99 and includes:

  • A discussion about your project to be sure you are ready to tackle your book proposal or, if not, how to get ready.
  • A review and evaluation of your one-page query letter.
  • A copy of my article “Essential Book Proposal Components,” which explains the important sections your proposal needs.
  • Setting a budget and working schedule.

Once I receive your consultation payment, I will send you an email to confirm and to schedule our call. If you have questions, please use my contact form.

We will begin with a more detailed list of the book proposal components and set a weekly schedule that best meets your needs. Usually this means you will draft one section per week and submit it to me via email. I then review, edit, and return it to you prior to a weekly half-hour telephone consultation where we can discuss any concerns or questions you have. Some sections may require more than one rewrite to reach its final stage. Since each project has different requirements, taking more or less time to become highly polished, your cost will depend upon how your individualized program is set up.

A Top Manhattan Literary agent recently shared with me his views about strong book proposals:

Jeff Kleinman - Folio Lit


A thoughtfully prepared nonfiction book proposal can really make an author stand out: it demonstrates that you are a professional, that you understand the marketplace, and delineates your own effectiveness at making your book a success.

— Jeff Kleinman, Founding Partner of Folio Literary Management