Learn the most effective strategies for selling a nonfiction book from a publishing insider—an editor or an agent.
Whether your nonfiction book is a finished draft or only a rough idea, you need to know how nonfiction books are presented in the publishing industry. Most nonfiction books are sold to publishers on the basis of a proposal—a 20-40 page document that pitches the book’s content and marketability and is supplemented by sample chapters. You write the proposal before you actually write the book. To sell your book, however, you need a winning proposal. First, you need a clear idea of what your book is and how it will fit into the marketplace. Then you need to write a proposal that meets professional standards and entices editors into acquiring your book. This course will set you in the right direction for writing your nonfiction book proposal.
Among the parts of a book proposal covered: overview (the basic idea), market (who will buy), competition (similar books), promotion (how it will sell), author (about you), and chapter outline (summaries of each chapter).
Nonfiction books encompass such diverse types as: memoir, biography, narrative nonfiction, true crime, self-help, humor, history, science, politics, sociology, arts, and pop culture. (Memoirs are sometimes sold with proposals, and sometimes sold after the complete work is written. Often it’s best to write the complete memoir, but this course can help you discern the scope and marketability of your memoir.)
For Level I, see individual course descriptions, below.
For Level II: A student may develop a book proposal through one-on-one Nonfiction Book Proposal Doctoring.