Writing a Great Book Proposal
Book proposals are needed for nonfiction. After your book idea has settled firmly in your mind and after you’ve got down to the basics; the structure, the chapters, the genre or category of books it will compete with, and when you’ve written three or more chapters, you may want to approach an agent or publisher so that you know whether you are on firm ground or not. This is the time to write a great book proposal.
A book proposal needs to tell the agent or publisher where all the readers for your unique book-idea can be found. In other words, what kind of market research have you done for your book? It is necessary to find out why there would be readers for the book you are working on. Have books in the category of yours sold well? And then, how is your book different from the ones already in existence? Does it actually say something that hasn’t already been the subject of an earlier book? A publisher would need to know all this before they invest their money in your book. If it is an academic book where will it be found useful? Does it delve deep into contemporary academic debates and take those debates any further? Or does it help women or men to understand a vital issue better?
The publisher also needs to know your chapter-headings. Therefore, there should be a few sentences under every chapter-heading that tell the publisher what the chapter is to be about. Rather than just tell about each chapter, it is necessary to say how the chapter will attract readers and what academic or other needs it will fulfill.
The publisher also needs to know what role you would be playing in the sale of the book. What social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. you are active on. The selling of books is not only the publisher’s job anymore. You need to speak of your platform; a blog or a website perhaps, in addition to social media could vastly help.
A book proposal, it must not be forgotten, is meant to convince a publisher that your book would be helping them in doing business, not just making them feel like losers.