Monday, February 15, 2010

How to Write a Book Proposal - Book Proposal Template

Here is an outline to use for putting a non-fiction book proposal together.  You can get ideas for fiction proposals here: Pub Rants.  If you need help with publishing or book marketing, contact me: thepublishingguru(at)




Premise: [Provide a two- or three-sentence statement of the book’s central concept. Often this is worded as a problem and the solution the book provides.]

Benefits: After completing [title], readers will: [List the benefits or takeaway value readers will derive from the book.]

Features: [Explain how the book will deliver the benefits by listing the book’s unique features.]

Overview: The book is divided into [number] sections and [number] chapters.

The Manuscript

Manuscript Status: [State how much of the manuscript is complete.]

Anticipated Length: [number] manuscript pages and word count (# pages x 300)

Anticipated Manuscript Completion Date:

The Market

Characteristics: The target audience for this book is made up of [Describe the demographic characteristics of the target readers, including age, sex, education level, etc.]

Motivations: [Describe the psychographic characteristics of the target readers, including the frustrations, desires, etc., that would motivate them to purchase and read the book.]

Affinity Groups: [List the groups of people, organizations, etc., who are likely to be attracted to the book.]

Differentiation: [Describe the main competition for the book and explain what distinguishes this book from them.]

The Author

Background: [Give a brief biographical description making sure to include information that establishes your credibility or qualifications to the write the book.]

Previous Writing: [List previously published writing, including the name of the publisher, the date of publication, and the number of units sold.]

Possible Endorsers: [List the names of people who are likely to provide a written endorsement of the book.]

Personal Marketing: [Describe what you can do to help the publisher promote the book.]

Chapter Outline: [Provide an annotated outline of the book. This outline should include section titles, chapter titles, and a two- or three-sentence description of each chapter’s content.]

Sample Chapters: [Attach two sample chapters that best represent the book.]

Use this book proposal template to tell publishers about your book and you should be in good shape.


  1. what would be nice as well is to get a list of publishers out there. I live in Canada and I am looking to get published here, the first time around I did self publishing and I feel my 2nd edition to my book should maybe be with a publisher. feel free to visit my site and see my new bookTrailer which I am proud of thanks.

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderful info you provide to new writers.

  3. Thanks for sharing this much needed information!

  4. Thanks for the sample proposal Todd! I hope you don't mind, but I made it fit for a fiction novel rather than a non-fiction one :)

  5. AWESOME!! I don't have much more than an outline at this point would that still be acceptable??

  6. Thank you Todd!! This is amazing and I know it is just what I needed to spearhead my book. I didn't know where to go to publish my book, nor did I know where to begin. You are a GOD send!

  7. Very informative. I will surely use this information. Thank you so much for information well presented.

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