What is a Non-Fiction Book Proposal

For non-fiction books, you don’t have to write the entire manuscript before submitting your idea to AgentInbox. However, you need to prepare a comprehensive proposal that contains a number of expected elements:

A few things to keep in mind:

  • For non-fiction projects, you typically submit your book proposal with your query letter.
  • In lieu of a completed manuscript for non-fiction books, agents need to be convinced that: a) You have a great, original idea for a book; and b) You are the perfect—the only!—person to write the book.
  • For non-fiction writers, it is particularly important to convince an agent that you have a great platform.
  • Some agents prefer that you have not yet finished your non-fiction manuscript before you look for an agent, so they can work with you to shape your book to match the current market.

Here’s what you’ll need to include in your proposal:

  • A cover page with the title, subtitle (if any) and your name
  • An detailed overview or synopsis of what the book will be about
  • An analysis of the potential market for the book, including competitive books
  • A bio that explains why you are the perfect person to write this book, including your background, education, professional and writing experience.
  • A proposed table of contents for the complete book
  • One or two sample chapters
  • Clips, samples, or reviews of relevant previous publications, if any.

* Remember: Every agent is different, so if an agent specifies that he or she wants something different from the list above, follow those instructions to the letter.