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LloydBrown
06-12-2005, 08:47 PM
I'd like opinions on a full non-fiction proposal, but 15 pages is a little long for a post. It's too long to attach, too. Would anyone care to review it in e-mail and comment here?

Cathy C
06-13-2005, 08:47 PM
It's also too long to send to a publisher or agent, Lloyd. Unless you're specifically following instructions given in guidelines on a publisher's or agent's website, you need to pare that puppy down to about 5 pages max., not including a sample chapter.

SnowOwl
06-13-2005, 10:40 PM
Cathy, that doesn't sound quite right. Maybe you're mixing up fiction proposals with non-fiction ones?

I think it was the Writer's Market that recommends a NF proposal be 35-70 pages. Most online sources (including a few I've read from agency's sites) say the same. One agency I'm querying suggests the proposal be 20-30 pages long (excluding sample chapters). The length really can vary, though, I've seen many NF proposals that were only 10 or 15 pages long. You should definitely check with your specific agent's guidelines.

I'd be happy to read the OP's proposal. Just email me: hope.butler(at)gmail(dot)com replacing the words with the standard symbols.

LloydBrown
06-13-2005, 11:00 PM
It's also too long to send to a publisher or agent, Lloyd. Unless you're specifically following instructions given in guidelines on a publisher's or agent's website, you need to pare that puppy down to about 5 pages max., not including a sample chapter.

I am counting the sample chapters there.

The proposal itself, including the front page, is six. It includes very strong marketing information.

I've gone over at least a dozen articles that break down a proposal, including the sticky points that get rejections. I'm feeling pretty positive at this point. I feel that my writing history and credentials work in my favor. It's obvious that I can deliver the text, since it's nearly done already. My proposal answers all of the publisher's questions, maintains a realistically positive attitude that it can back up with evidence, doesn't make outrageous claims, and compares very favorably to the competition. I'd want to publish it.


It's on the way to you, Snow Owl. Thanks for the offer.