This final section of a book proposal is pretty self-explanatory. You will simply attach two or three of your best chapters to the end of your book proposal. That said, aspiring authors tend to have some questions about the Sample Chapters anyway. Let me cover a few.
Which chapters should you attach?
As I said, usually your best chapters, but often this includes your first chapter since it should entice readers into the book and offer a good sense of what the book is about.
How many chapters should you include?
You should include however many pages comprise about 25 pages of content. You don’t need more than that for the proposal.
Should these chapters be numbered as part of the proposal?
Yes. They are a continuous part of the proposal, and as such, they also get a heading that says “Sample Chapters.” Also include the heading and each sample chapter in your table of contents for the proposal so an acquisitions editor can easily flip to the section or to an individual chapter.
Should I get my sample chapters edited professionally?
Yes, if you plan on having the whole book professionally edited prior to sending it off to an agent or acquisitions editor, which I recommend. This way you put your best work forward.
Get your book or proposal written in a month
Given that I am writing this post exactly one week from the start of November, I feel inclined to urge you to get moving on your sample chapters–or possibly your whole nonfiction book manuscript during the month of November. You could even take on your book proposal as a November writing project. Why November? Because it is National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), the time when nonfiction writers participate in the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) challenge. Many writers choose to write a whole book in a month, but you could write your sample chapters instead or your proposal–any work of nonfiction actually meets the challenge rules.
Although WNFIN is not a contest, this year you might actually want to participate and get your book written–and have your proposal–and pitch–ready. Those who complete a book in 30 days get the chance to win a consult with 2 agents during a post-WNFIN challenge pitch fest. You can get some of the information on the contest by reading this post, but all the winning booty has not yet been announced–including the second agent session. Watch for that intel to be released later this week.
Need a bit more inspiration or encouragement? Join Rochelle Melander, author of Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It), and me for a 1-hour FREE teleseminar on How to Write a Book in a Month on Thursday, November 1 at 5 p.m. Pacific time. To register or to get more information, click here.