Creating a Proposal
Be creative. But be careful. Check your title against any existing similar titles (Amazon is a good resource) and adjust yours to steer clear of confusion.
Include a two- to three-sentence description that summarizes your book. For tips on how to develop your concept look here. Or try this exercise:
Imagine yourself going to a bookstore and pulling the finished book off the shelf as though it were someone else's and then answering these questions:
What is the book’s focus?
What makes this book unique?
What do you like about this book?
What do you think other people will like about this book?
Now write the summary of your book.
The overview should begin with a dramatic anecdote or statement about the subject matter. Also called the “hook,” it can be a personal revelation, a sensational tale about the topic, or a historical fact.
You should include a description of the book as a whole, including how many chapters there will be, how they will be organized, what types of sidebars or other information will be included, what the physical composition will be and all relevant details, such as the number of recipes. Ancillary stories or anecdotes that build a personal connection to the subject can also be included.
Table of Contents
Developing the table of contents will give your book its shape. This is where you take all of the information you want to include and then organize it into manageable parts.
All of the chapters that will be in the book should be listed. Each chapter should be described in one to three paragraphs that describe its contents. Following the description, list the recipes, sidebars, and any other text that will be included in that chapter.
Be as inclusive as possible. List every section of the book you will include, from a foreword to a glossary. These can be described in a brief paragraph or bullet point form.
Demonstrate your knowledge on your book’s subject, your writing style, and the voice of the book by including sample text.
Sample text should include:
A portion of the introduction
A sample chapter
One to two sidebars
Five to ten examples from a glossary, directory, and/or resource section
If you are writing a cookbook, the proposal should include a list of all the recipes you plan to include in the book and 10 to 15 complete and thoroughly tested recipes (for a mini-ecookbook please include two to three recipes).
The sample recipes should reflect the originality and diversity of the entire list of recipes that will make up the book. They should be your original recipes. (If your book includes recipes from other people, they should be previously unpublished, they should offer a value to your book, and you must secure permission to use these recipes.)
Each recipe should include a compelling and descriptive title, a comprehensive and useful headnote, a complete ingredient list, and thorough directions. They should be all-inclusive, from where to find ingredients to special notes within the directions. And most importantly, they should be well written and easy to follow
It seems obvious, nonetheless I will say it: Recipes must taste good. And they must work.
Please include one to two photos for each recipe. Your photos should be professional quality for digital reproduction with good lighting, appetizing food, and attractive composition. Please include photos that represent your personal style and that of the overall look you would like for your book.
Sales and Marketing Support
You have to prove that there is an audience for your book and that you have what it takes to sell it.
This section should show that an audience exists for your book. Can you show that the topic is popular or that you have an existing audience that your book will appeal to.
Also tell us:
If you have previously published books. Include how many copies you sold.
If you have a blog. Include your traffic stats.
If you have a regular writing gig. Include how many people you reach.
This section should list all relevant books that are similar to your book, including the titles, authors, prices, date of publication, physical appearance, etc.
Provide a brief synopsis for each, followed by a comparison or contrast to your book that explain why your book is better or different to such an extent that your book will distinguish itself on the shelf.
Media Attention and Experience
Explain why your book will generate publicity.
List any relationships that you have with people in the media.
If you have had past media exposure, include clips of print materials and/or a list of all publications, broadcasts, and other materials that you or your work was featured in.
This section should clearly outline why YOU should be writing this book. Prove it with your past experience, your expertise on the subject, your passion for the topic, and your ability to convey the book’s message. You must clearly convey your personal connection to the subject.
Do not add any formatting to your proposal
Use double space
Add a header or footer that includes your name, working title of the book, and page number