Nonfiction Book Proposal

Perhaps you’re near completion of a nonfiction book. Or perhaps you’ve just hatched an idea or begun roughing out a draft. Before you proceed further, you should know…
Most nonfiction books are sold to publishing houses on the basis of a proposal—a 20 to 40-page document that pitches the book’s content and marketability and is supplemented by sample chapters. Agents and editors don’t want to see the finished book. They want to see the proposal.
Here you will learn everything you need to know about nonfiction book proposals and, to focus your concept, you’ll write (and refine) your book’s catalogue copy—a brief description that reveals the book’s essence. All under the guidance of an industry insider—an agent, editor, or nonfiction author.


This course deals with all kinds of nonfiction books. (Memoirs, however, 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.)

After this course, you can get one-on-one help through Nonfiction Book Proposal Doctoring.
You might also consider How to Get Published, but Nonfiction Book Proposal is a good place to start for nonfiction writers.

The course demystifies the whole book proposal: the elements and then how to craft each of the elements.
Wanda Little Fenimore
assistant professor

Nonfiction Book Proposal | Level I

4-Week Selling Seminar

Place & Price

  • Online: anytime, week-long sessions  info
    tuition: $175

Registration fee $25, paid once per term

One-on-One tuition: $595  Request consultation

This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of creating a nonfiction book proposal, and helps you focus a concept for a nonfiction book. Course components:

  • Lectures
  • Writing and receiving feedback on catalogue copy for your book (each student presenting work two times)

Nonfiction Book Proposal is open to writers of any level. Students must be 18 years or older.

View Syllabus