Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody can Write (Revised and Updated) [NOOK Book]


Sign the contract…then write the book. The good news is that almost every nonfiction book published is sold by a proposal. In this comprehensive yet accessible guide, you will learn exactly what a proposal is, what it must contain, and ...
See more details below
Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody can Write (Revised and Updated)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99 price


Sign the contract…then write the book. The good news is that almost every nonfiction book published is sold by a proposal. In this comprehensive yet accessible guide, you will learn exactly what a proposal is, what it must contain, and how to pull yours together into an informative, persuasive selling package. Already a favorite for thousands of aspiring writers, this book has been revised and updated by Elizabeth Lyon to feature nearly two dozen actual proposals, plus:


·         Choosing a topic based on current trends and competing titles

·         Drafting the perfect concept statement—daring agents and editors to reject you

·         Defining and targeting your readership—then connecting with them

·         Preparing a table of contents and chapter summaries

·         Submitting exciting and well-written sample chapters

·         Writing query letters

·         Devising a marketing plan that will excite agents and publishers


Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“The perfect tool with which to create a successful book proposal.”—Mary Alice Kier and Anna Cottle, Cine/Lit Representation, Literary Agency and Media Consultants
“Elizabeth Lyon knows book proposals the way a surgeon knows anatomy.”—Gary Provost, author of 22 books including 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing
“This book is pure gold! I received an offer from a large publisher who stated that my proposal was professional and well-written; even my agent said it would be the standard in the industry. I owe a debt of gratitude to Ms. Lyon.” —Mary Jeanne Menna, author of Mom to New Mom: Practical Tips and Advice for the New Mom
“Don’t try to sell your next nonfiction book without consulting it.” —Gerald Gross, author of Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do
Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write gave me the structure I needed to produce a coherent, organized proposal. Everything my agent wanted to see in my proposal was there because of Elizabeth’s book. I was able to send my proposal within a week, and three months later, my agent was responding to bids from four large publishing houses. One of them paid me an unusually high advance for a first-time author. I will always be grateful to Elizabeth.” —Sallirae Henderson, M.Div., author of A Life Complete: Emotional and Spiritual Growth for Midlife and Beyond


Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440624650
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/3/2002
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 666,221
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lyon, a regular speaker at writing conferences and retreats nationwide, has been a contributor to Writer’s Digest and is a mentor, editor, and teacher for many writers. The author of Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write and The Sell Your Novel Toolkit, she lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword xi
Preface to the New Edition xv
A Note to My Readers xvii
Chapter 1 Book Proposals: What Are They? Why Use Them? 1
Chapter 2 Evaluating and Refining Your Ideas: Preparing to Write Your Book 13
Chapter 3 Research Made Easy: What Data Will You Need? 33
Chapter 4 About the Competition: What's Already in Print? 42
Chapter 5 About the Author: Selling Yourself 63
Chapter 6 The Concept Statement: Tell Me Why I Should Buy Your Book 84
Chapter 7 About the Market: Defining Your Reader 97
Chapter 8 About the Book: Inform, Dazzle, Persuade 115
Chapter 9 Table of Contents and Chapter Summaries: Organizing Your Book 140
Chapter 10 The Heart of Your Proposal: Sample Chapters 158
Chapter 11 Production Details: If You Had Your Way 168
Chapter 12 About Promotion: Good Morning, Springfield. Good Morning, America 184
Chapter 13 Last But Not Least: The Appendix 199
Chapter 14 Marketing Strategies: Queries and Responses, Agents and Editors 205
Chapter 15 The Perfect Proposal: From Final Edit to Contract Offer 235
Proposal Writers Who Contributed to This Book and the Status of Their Books 253
Resource Directory 263
Publication Consent Agreement 280
Model Author/Agent Agreement 282
Index 287
About the Author 295
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2003

    A Must Buy for New Writers

    Elizabeth takes the foggy world of publishing and clearly describes how to write a book proposal which will get your book published. Although I have written and published dozens of business articles, I have never attempted to publish a book. I was referred to this book by a published author, and found it to be extraordinarily helpful. The format takes you through the preparation of a book proposal in the sequence in which it should be written, citing web sites, books and and other reference materials readily available. That information alone has saved me days and weeks of time searching for resources as I pull together the proposal. I highly recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2003

    Don't go without this one!

    Writing a proposal is very different from writing a book, and requires a 'selling' mindset. This book made the transition of perspective much easier as I jotted down almost a whole notebook of ideas while reading the book. There is a plethera of helpful advice and sources in these pages. This book was recommended by several friends of mine, including writing instructors and an agent. Everything about proposals is answered in this book, and if you follow the guidelines, you will be way ahead of the game, because Lyon is thorough! Stuffed with ideas on how to describe and sell your book so that the market will seem to be asolutely waiting for your book's release... the market may need my book indeed, but I needed this one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2003

    Communicating Your Story to Agents and Editors

    This book is terrific! The author makes the process of writing a book proposal manageable. Using this book I was able to produce a clear, professional proposal to send out. Even better, the questions provided in each chapter helped me better understand my story and easily explain it to agents and editors.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2003

    SUPERB guide for the non-fiction writer

    It's hard to imagine there could be anything about writing book proposals that's not in this book. Thorough, authoritative, extremely well organized, yet written with a gentle, helpful style. It's like having a colleague in the book business whispering in your ear telling you what to include, what to discard, and how to package it. Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    I Just Love How You Get Me To Write, Elizabeth!

    Great piece of work. I bought Elizabeth's book because two publishers requested a proposal from me and I did not know A THING about book proposals. Well, thanks to Elizabeth's book, I am happy to report I finished writing my proposal and sent it out two days ago. And I can honestly say I feel completely confident with it. The proposal was A LOT of work, but with Elizabeth inspiring me and evoking the best out of me, I wrote a beautiful proposal. I owe a GREAT thanks to you, Elizabeth!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)