Sastrugi Press LLC
PO Box 1297, Jackson, WY 83001 • www.sastrugipress.com
Non-fiction Book Proposal Outline
This document provides an outline that Sastrugi Press recommends as a tool for proposing a nonfiction book to us. Without all the material in this outline, evaluating the merits of your book is difficult. Knowing the target market and potential value of the material will help us greatly in understanding where your book is going and what it can deliver to potential readers.
Overview – Describe the motivation and vision of the work
This is the hook. You must excite us straight away. This is where you make your writing skill shine and show
Market – Identify a SPECIFIC target market for the book
Who will buy the book? Don’t say “everyone”. Instead, say “single working mothers, all races, 20-40 years old with one or more children in school while they are working, with an average annual income of $25k-$80k.”
Competition – List 3-5 competitive and similar market titles
List 3-5 competitive and complementary titles. Include author, publisher, title, ISBN, publication date, noteworthy awards.
Author profile – Why are you qualified to write this book?
Tell us about yourself in relation to the authorship. Why are you qualified to write this book?
Promotion – How will you help sell your book?
List any direct sales experience you already have
What will you are able to commit to your book sale (time, talent)?
Chapter Outline – This is an overview of the contents of your book
Create a table of contents listing each section of the book.
Each chapter description should be 1-2 pages.
Sample Chapters – Your actual writing
This is where you actually write one of your chapters for submission! Choose the best chapter that represents your writing and the book as a whole.
Tips for nonfiction book proposals
- Paginate the entire proposal from page 1 to the very end.
- The entire proposal must be complete to be considered by an agent or publisher.
- The book proposal is different than the actual book. You are selling the book to editors, not actual readers. They need to know how your book will sell.
- Double-space proposals as described in the Purpose section of this document.
- Include references of previously published material, relevant information, speaking appearances and any other information useful to the sale of the book.
- Purchase, read, and employ tips from other Book Proposal books.
- Spell check your document. Have someone else read it for errors. Typos creep past even the best writers.
- The book proposal must be as good and ideally better than the book itself.
- Do not bind the proposal or materials.
- The book proposal is not the entire nonfiction work but rather a sales tool for it.
The opening sentence and paragraphs describing the book will be used for our marketing material. It has to sing.
Fiction Book Proposal
Complete this book proposal for a fiction book. This will help you evaluate your target audience. As you write this proposal, you might find you will need to revise the overview sentence and paragraphs.
It is important to keep the overviews updated because they will be used on the website, in the catalog, and in marketing sheets. Fill in each section. Each of these is important because they will guide us in evaluating your work for publication.
If you’re still writing your book, use the proposal to help you focus your writing.
Overview sentence (One sentence describing the 30-second pitch of your book, the “hook” to get the reader to purchase)
Overview paragraph (One paragraph describing the book. This is what you would read on Amazon as the book description. The longer version of the “hook”)
One page synopsis of book (This is the one-page essay describing the book, its value, how it targets readers, and what they will get out of it for their time)
Target Market (Who will purchase your book? Be specific, not “The US reading audience”.)
Competitive analysis (Is there a market for this genre? Books, magazines, online content that complements & competes.)
Author Biography (What other books have you published?)
Marketing plan and promotion (How will you sell this book? How will you reach your audience? Make it specific, a target value and a date)
Estimated format and size (Do you have a vision for what the book will look like?)
Pictures, illustrations, graphics (What additional media will the book need – how will your source it, what permissions are necessary?)
Estimated word count (How long is your book in number of words. Use your writing program word count report)
Chapter outline (Outline of your book with a one-paragraph description of each chapter)
Sample chapter (A mid-book chapter fully edited)