View Full Version : How-To Book Proposals

08-16-2005, 09:22 PM
Normally I write fiction, but over the past couple of years I've been working on a sort of How-To book in a fairly specialized area. There are a couple of publishers that I think would be very interested in it, and I've gotten to the point where the entire book is outlined, and I'm about halfway through writing the text. It's progressing beautifully, and I imagine I'll have it completed within about three months.

So now I'm trying to figure out: at what point do I start sending out queries? How exactly does one write a book proposal for a non-fiction book? Does anyone have any suggestions or good linkage I can check otu?

Cathy C
08-16-2005, 11:39 PM
Here's a link to McGraw-Hill's Business Proposal guidelines:


They're pretty much the same as a lot of the companies use. You might also look into Adams Media for their "Street Smart" series, if it's a business how-to book.


08-17-2005, 12:15 AM
Thanks Cathy!

I just Googled "non-fiction book proposals" and look whose article popped up almost immediately!! http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/book_proposal1.htm

As always, Jenna's full of helpful ideas.

09-10-2005, 05:53 PM
Writing A Winning Book Proposal by Michael Hyatt (Thomas Nelson Publishers) is very good. It can be downloaded free from here (http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/Downloads/WritingABookProposal.pdf).

09-10-2005, 06:19 PM
I used How to Write a Book Proposal, by Michael Larsen, AAR, to create my nonfiction how-to book. I can't say enough good things about that book, based on the consistent number of positive responses I received regarding my proposal from agents and publishers that I queried. To date, I still have not landed a contract for that book, but that is because of something I need to address regarding the book's content, and not the proposal.

09-17-2005, 05:28 PM
Writing Successful Self-Help and How-To Books by Jean Marie Stine is very helpful. Includes a section on writing self-help and how-to book proposals.