What to Include in Your Book Proposal: A Quick Guide

A book proposal is a document to persuade publishers to publish a particular book. Although a book proposal does not include the entire book, it makes an effort to offer a synopsis of the main idea.

In order to persuade a publisher that your project is economically beneficial for their publishing firm, you must submit a book proposal. It must convince the reader that your concept has sufficient commercial potential to justify the publisher taking the chance of investing time and money in your book.

An overview of your book, your author profile, comparable works, potential marketing tactics, a chapter plan, some sample chapters, and a table of contents are all included in a book proposal. It’s an opportunity to pique a publisher’s curiosity about your novel.



Along with your name or the writers’ names, your header should include the complete title of  your book.


The overview should provide a high-level overview of your book’s content and goals. It should be concise. Both nonfiction and fiction authors should consider their summary as the proposal’s “hook,” drawing in potential publishers to read on. This will effectively serve as your elevator pitch, so be sure to give a clear and convincing summary of your book.


A brief author profile, a list of any prior publications, and any other relevant experience should all be included in this area. This section of the book proposal should persuade the book publishing company that you are the ideal candidate to create this book. All this information should be evident in your author bio and show that you are engaged and well in your industry. 


The publisher should now be supportive of your idea; all they need to know is if your plans for actually writing the book are feasible. List potential chapters, their headings, and a description of the content each chapter will include. A chapter summary shouldn’t be longer than a few sentences or paragraphs.


It is not a surprise for a publisher to ask for a sample chapter or sample work because this will entail to them that you have not only the ideas but also skills.

In most cases, a finished chapter from your upcoming book is included in a book proposal. This chapter should demonstrate your general writing style and fulfill the book’s promise. This is especially crucial if you’re writing your first book because you’ll need to persuade potential publishers that your work is good enough to warrant a book deal. For example, if your book is meant to be humorous, you should include the chapter with the most comedy. A self-help book should consist of the chapter that most effectively explains your theories or analysis. In that context, showcasing the chapter that shouts the most that your book is worth its investment is best.


In this aspect, you must tell the publisher which target market your book is most suitable for. Who is the book’s target audience, and why would they buy it? In this paragraph, you should be as explicit as possible about the kinds of readers you believe will be interested in buying your book and how many of them there are.


A section of your proposal should include a marketing plan wherein all your goals regarding its business side should be there.

The particular actions you’ll take to promote the book should be laid out in your marketing strategy. Any connections you may have in the literary community, previous public appearances in the media that you believe may happen again after the book is published, or previous speaking engagements that may have broadened your audience are all appropriate to include. The number of individuals who subscribe to their newsletter, the regularity with which people visit their website, or the number of clicks a specific post receives are all ways for new writers without that established reach to measure their success. The intention is to demonstrate how getting your book published will provide you access to a common author platform, increasing the possibility that the book will be a success.

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