How to Submit Your Book Proposal
Most publishing houses want to receive a book proposal rather than an entire manuscript. Some publishers prefer a query letter. To determine the submission format for each publishing house, check the latest edition of The Christian Writer’s Market Guide or the publishing house’s website. Your book proposal should not exceed 40 pages.
A BOOK PROPOSAL
is comprised of five parts:
- A cover letter
- A detailed chapter outline or synopsis
- A comparative analysis
- Two or three sample chapters
- A marketing plan
THE COVER LETTER
should answer four questions:
- Why are you qualified to write this book?
- What is it about (told in one paragraph)?
- Who is your audience?
- Why will this book be marketable?
This letter should be only one typewritten page. Make sure the publisher realizes you are familiar with the house and that your book will fit into one of the book lines of that publishing house.
THE CHAPTER OUTLINE
should be brief. Write a short paragraph summarizing each chapter to give the editor an overview of your book. This can be a vital tool for understanding the entire manuscript if the book proposal reaches the stage where it is considered by a publishing house committee.
For novels, most publishing houses prefer a running synopsis of the book rather than a chapter outline. This should be three to six pages and should be in the present tense.
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
should be included. Check with http://www.christianbooks.com and http://www.Amazon.com to see what other books on the market are similar to yours. Write an analysis, showing how your book compares to these other books, how your book is similar and different, and why you think your book will sell.
TWO OR THREE SAMPLE CHAPTERS
are normally included in a book proposal. Usually the first two or three chapters are sent to give the sense of continuity. Some authors prefer to send the first, middle, and last chapter; others include a chapter with specific significance.
Double-space your manuscript. Use 12-point Times New Roman font and the set margins on your computer.
A MARKETING PLAN
How do you plan to market your book? Do you have a website? Will you blog? What social media do you use? How many followers do you have?