Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody can Write (Revised and Updated)

Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody can Write (Revised and Updated)


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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399528279
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/2002
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,212,255
Product dimensions: 5.55(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition
A Note to My Readers
Chapter One: Book Proposals: What Are They? Why Use Them?
Chapter Two: Evaluating and Refining Your Ideas: Preparing to Write Your Book
Chapter Three: Research Made Easy: What Data Will You Need?
Chapter Four: About the Competition: What's Already in Print?
Chapter Five: About the Author: Selling Yourself
Chapter Six: The Concept Statement: Tell Me Why I Should Buy Your Book
Chapter Seven: About the Market: Defining Your Reader
Chapter Eight: About the Book: Inform, Dazzle, Persuade
Chapter Nine: Table of Contents and Chapter Summaries: Organizing Your Book
Chapter Ten: The Heart of Your Proposal: Sample Chapters
Chapter Eleven: Production Details: If You Had Your Way
Chapter Twelve: About Promotion: Good Morning, Springfield. Good Morning, America.
Chapter Thirteen: Last But Not Least: The Appendix
Chapter Fourteen: Marketing Strategies: Queries and Responses, Agents and Editors
Chapter Fifteen: The Perfect Proposal: From Final Edit to Contract Offer

Proposal Writers Who Contributed to This Book and the Status of Their Books
Resource Directory
Publication Consent Agreement
Model Author/Agent Agreement
About the Author

What People are Saying About This

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


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Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write: How to Get a Contract and Advance Before Writing Your Book 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!