Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nonfiction Proposals

This week has been an eventful one. Between attending writers' forums, discussion groups, and lectures, joining the Red Cross, and resuming my two-hour morning walks, sticking to my thousand-word minimum has proven something of a challenge. Okay, I slacked off, ya'll! I admit it. Visualize Chanctetinyea hanging her head in shame. Still, one very good thing to come from all of this was the amount of new information I amassed. Having been out of the proverbial loop for so long, learning how much has changed is a constant source of amazement for me. Most notable was the concept of the Nonfiction Proposal. At three separate events and from numerous sources, I learned about the art of writing the strong nonfiction proposal. Subsequently, I condensed my notes, which I am now sharing with you.
Components of a Nonfiction Book Proposal

1. The concept of your book 2. The contents of your book 3. The current market for your book 4. The present competition for your book (or its content) 5. Your qualifications to address the subject matter 6. Your professional (as a writer) history, and/or background 7. In what ways your book might be promoted coupled with your own "hard sell" 8. The Table of Contents for your book 9. Chapter synopses or summaries 10. Sample chapters
Writing the Nonfiction Nonfiction Proposal
1. The title of your book 2. An overview of approximately three to twelve pages, conveying your style or voice 3. Your credentials or "platform" as an author 4. Marketing information detailing other books of the same subject matter currently in print, information regarding the numbers sold, and why yours is comparable--no, superior
Manuscript data (which includes an approximate word count, estimated time of completion, and an idea of the number of charts, illustrations, or photographs it will contain) 6. The table of contents 7. Chapter outline with synopsis for each chapter 8. A sample chapter (research guidelines when possible to confirm how many the agent or publisher might prefer) 9. Additional materials which "sell" your concept--such as the names of anyone notable willing to endorse your book, current articles relative to the subject or theme, pertinent samples of your work (which demonstrate your ability to write knowledgeably about the topic, any articles about you, depictions of the front and back covers of any previously published books, etc. Wow. It wasn't quite so complicated years ago; however, knowledge is power. So...those of you working on that nonfiction book, make note. Also remember that one no does not submit the completed manuscript for a nonfiction work! Happy writing. And, if you pick up helpful tips or information, websites or links, please... SHARE!!!

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