What Are Book Proposals?

A book proposal is what a writer prepares when he or she wants to convince publishers into publishing their work. Basically, the book proposal contains the book’s synopsis, its target audience, and other essential details even if the whole manuscript isn’t finished yet. This proposal’s intention is to see if a proposed book could be economically viable in being published. Hence, publishers or agents will evaluate if the book idea is worth paying for or not.

According to MasterClass, a book proposal’s structure contains the title page, overview, author platform, table of contents, sample chapter, competitive titles analysis, target audience, marketing plan, and additional info.

What Should a Book Proposal Cover?

With plenty of book proposals submitted to publishers regularly, some might not make it to the cut because of failing to cover the important components of a book proposal. So for your book proposal, be sure to cover the following elements:

Book Synopsis: The first thing a publisher wants to learn is what the book is about. But it doesn’t have to be as detailed as a complete book report since you only deal with the summary or gist of the book. You can divide the synopsis into chapters as well for organization.Author Platform: The next important part is all about the author. Who are you as a writer and besides being a writer? And why are you the right person to write the book in the first place? State a brief background or bibliography that best captures you.Target Audience: Identify who is the target market for the book. This part shows if you know your expected audience really well since they are supposed to be the ones who will buy your book anyway. And a quick audience analysis can help you answer this section.Writing Purpose: Don’t forget about your overall purpose for writing the book. The same goes for how you are going to display your message to the public. Whether you create the book for academic use, personal use, or any other function, jot down your purpose clearly.

How to Make a Book Proposal

Now that your knowledge of book proposals has been enlightened, take it to the next page by learning how to create the book proposal itself. It is very easy, particularly when you are guided with samples. Those sample book proposals listed above aren’t there for nothing. They are your best source to create book proposals quickly and effectively. You can edit, print, and download templates anytime. Also, you can perfect the proposal by following the steps below.

Step 1: Take Time to Research

A good writer should also be a good researcher. That is the only way you can identify the book’s target audience, marketing plan, competitive titles, and other important questions to answer for your book proposal. Hence, don’t simply guess your book’s purpose, audience, and other elements or publishers may not take you seriously. Even if it takes some time, the results will be worth it.

Step 2: Create a Solid Author Platform

You already know that an author platform is one of the crucial elements in a book proposal. So be sure to make it solid enough where publishers and agents would be interested in having your work published. You can even talk about your inspiring personal life rather than focusing on being a writer only. And the more experiences and accomplishments you have, the better your resume will look.

Step 3: Organize Your Book into Chapters

Book proposals could be shut down immediately when the whole content is hard to follow. An easy way to fix that is to organize the whole work into chapters. A chapter outline and a sample chapter are even essential to a book proposal. Hence, propose a detailed chapter-per-chapter plan by categorizing them into the beginning, middle, until the end. Also, your book proposal’s summary should be sequenced appropriately.

Step 4: Finalize Your Proposal’s Format

Formatting is still crucial to show publishers that you are actually aware of how book proposals are supposed to be made. For example, you don’t only send a one-page document since standard book proposals may reach 50 to 80 pages. Also, the general format is to use a double-spaced 12-point serif font. And whether you use the first or third-person point of view, that depends on the appropriate tone for your book or whether you have a fiction or nonfiction book. Conduct final reviews until you are ready to launch your proposal.


What is the standard structure of a book proposal?

It is said that a book proposal contains nine parts for its structure. And they consist of the cover or title page, overview, author platform, table of contents, sample chapter, competitive titles analysis, target audience, marketing plan, and additional information.

How much is the ghostwriting fee for book proposals?

Generally, ghostwriting fees for book proposals range between $10,000 and $18,000. And that would already cover the sample chapter, chapter outline, synopsis, and marketing plan.

How much do first-time authors earn?

To be realistic, first-time authors can’t earn millions yet. But if they want to publish the conventional way, they can earn up to $10,000, which is good for a new author. But for some situations, a new author may not get any royalty yet until all books have sold.

They say that writing book proposals are more challenging than writing the actual book itself. That may be due to the constant reviews, rigid formatting, content organization, and planning for every single detail in general. But the good news there is that once you ace the proposal, finishing your book runs along smoothly already, particularly if praised by your publishers. Start creating a winning book proposal now!