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Elements of a Successful Nonfiction Book Proposal

Part of the Getting Your Book Published For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To get your nonfiction book published, put together a strong proposal. Use the proposal to "sell" your book to potential literary agents, editors, and publishers. Make sure your proposal is as polished as possible by including the following:

  • Cover page: Contains the title, author byline, and contact information

  • Proposal contents: Gives an overview of the entire proposal

  • The hook: Offers a brief, tantalizing look at what's unique about the book

  • The market: Identifies the book's specific audience and how to reach it

  • About the book: Gives a detailed description of the book including special features and benefits

  • The competition: Shows how your book fills a void in the market

  • About the author: Presents you in the best possible light

  • Table of contents: Is the blueprint of your book

  • Chapter summaries and sample chapter: Highlight important components and showcase your writing

  • Production specifications: Details the length, format, illustrations, and delivery date

  • Promotion and marketing: Outlines a plan for selling your book

  • Attachments: Includes newspaper and magazine clippings on you or your book's topic

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