Publishing Mentor Tip: Use the Nonfiction Book Proposal as a Process

Many aspiring nonfiction authors see a book proposal as a necessary evil. It’s a means to an end. They must write one so their agent can present it to publishers or so they can do so themselves.

In fact, both nonfiction writers who plan to become independent publishers (to self-publish their books) and those who seek traditional publishing deals should consider composing the nonfiction book proposal as a necessarily process. By going through all the sections of a nonfiction book proposal and at least composing a draft document, writers not only hone their ideas, they figure out if their proposed book has any market potential, if it needs to be recrafted or reangled, or if it needs to be dropped altogether. Additionally, they get a handle on the market, the competition, and on what they need to do not as writers but as book promoters to help sell their books and make themselves and their books successful.

Once finished with the proposal process, aspiring authors know if they have a book  idea with any potential of becoming successful in the marketplace and if they have what it takes to make that book successful.  Armed with that knowledge, they then can begin writing a book that will succeed.

If you are thinking of writing a nonfiction book, begin by going through the book proposal process before you write one word. You won’t regret it. In fact, you’ll be grateful, because in addition to giving you clarity on what your book is about the process also will offer you the chance to detail the contents of every chapter. When you’ve gone through all the steps of creating a proposal, you’ll be ready to write a book that sells to publishers and readers.

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