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simons top tips  

Have a compelling idea that’s going to sell - don't make it too topical, think "Shelf Life!"

Know the market niche for your book, as long as there are not hundreds of similar books out there already

Have a USP and market research analysis to support your book proposal

Come up with a great title and sub-title

Show that YOU can market and sell the book by demonstrating you can captivate and inspire as a speaker too

Provide examples of past work, such as published articles, previous books, etc.

Select a publisher with experience in your chosen category

Don't end up writing a proposal that sounds like an article

Sell yourself as an authentic viable author



Write a winning book proposal

If this is the first time you're considering writing a book, it's essential to follow the right format, and prepare the critical information that will increase your chances of having your book accepted by a reputable literary agent and/or publisher. You don't have to write an entire manuscript before submitting it. Publishers, literary agents as well as commissioning editors usually buy non-fiction works based on a strong well thought out book proposal. So, before you even think about the proposal, do your homework to make sure there's a market out there for your book! There's no point in producing a proposal if there are hundreds of similar books out there about the same subject already. A well-structured proposal can significantly increase your chances of success!

Alternatively, you can let us help. We'll work closely with you to:

  • brain storm for that all-elusive captivating title and sub-title
  • prepare the appropriate table of contents for the proposal
  • write a one-page "wow" factor synopsis with its unique selling proposition (USP)
  • research the market opportunity, the competition, and the right sector for your book
  • define the supporting launch strategy (which is something the publisher will expect to see) - based on your ability to be your own Marketing President
  • format a stunning full-color proposal (which can even include a possible jacket design) that can be printed or sent electronically.

This part of the process is deliberately meant to be challenging. We want to ensure that you’re sure of your facts. Ultimately, your chances will be significantly increased if your proposal is superbly written, strategically organised, well researched, and above all demonstrates that it will SELL.

Our Approach

Our approach is a holistic one. We’re aware of how different people read proposals and their individual agendas. Some will want the quick overview, while others will read every word.

The following overview outlines the basics for a good book proposal

  • Introduction to set the stage  The title and sub-title. Is the title descriptive, invites inquiry, shocks or soothes – does it attract attention? Why you decided to write the book, what motivated you? It's about positioning yourself ahead of the curve.
  • Synopsis  What makes this a unique book and why people would buy it? We'll help you to explain the premise of the book, how it opens, the middle, and how it ends. What will the reader take away from this book? The synopsis will be edited down to create the marketing piece for the back-cover.
  • Market analysis  Supporting demographic statistics, such as: your intended audience, the market size, which countries is it being written for? Release date. It's USP (unique selling proposition). Why should anyone read it, what's the value, what's in it for them? In other words, why it's different! Is it timely, or timeless? This is where we will summarize some of the research that has been carried out, namely:

    - Any competitive books that you are aware of about to be

      published or in print currently (within past 5 years)

      covering a similar subject.

  • - Brief overview of the main competition: titles, the author

      (whether they are renowned in the field or not), currently in print

      or not, when they were published and by whom, the cost, etc.

  • Specification details  Size, length, tonality, imagery (photographs or illustrations), suggested price point, spin-offs, merchandising opportunities, completion date, as well as any special features.
  • Sample table of contents  Chapter headings and summary of content in each chapter. This shows that you've thought the whole book out.
  • Sample segment  Two or three of the chapters you've completed. Will there be exercises or any other unique aspects to highlight?
  • Marketing plan  This is where you outline your marketing strategy, your contacts, past experiences, such as; would you be a good guest for breakfast TV shows, radio interviews, book signings, speaking events, etc. This is where you define how much you can do as the author. Do you have a database, if so, how extensive is it? This will determine if you're thinking of email-based newsletters!
  • About you (the author). Publishers are most interested to see if you've written before, and what you've published (books and articles). They want to see that you're energetic, and come up with ideas. Are you a good prospect to offer an advance to, are they likely to get their money back, after all it's all about ROI (return on investment).


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Write a Winning Book Proposal

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