Review our guidelines for writing a full proposal. Also download and study the Model Proposal from the Proposal Guidelines page. However, before you undertake the arduous process of fashioning a complete proposal, which can run 60 or more pages with a sample chapter, you might first tackle this easier homework assignment. The agent’s feedback to the Pre-Proposal, perhaps by phone, can save both you and the agent a lot of time in the long run.
1. One page Cover Design with Title and Subtitle (your unique brand). Try for a short, catchy, evocative title and a clear, concise, descriptive subtitle. For instance: THE ART OF WOO: Using Strategic Persuasion To Sell Your Ideas.
2. One to one-and-a-half page Pitch for the book, stressing its mission and the benefits/solutions it delivers to your target audience. Emulate the descriptions of published books that appear on their back covers or jacket flaps. Do not write an outline of the book but, rather, an enticement that captures the reader’s imagination.
3. One page discussing your book’s Competition and your target Audience Compare your book to four to six other books on the subject your intended readers have bought. Why they will either buy your book instead of those alternatives or add your book to their library?
4. Several pages presenting your credentials for writing the book (Author’s Bio), and a detailed list of your past and current promotional accomplishments (your Promotional Platform) and how you will extend your efforts to promote and sell your book (your Promotional Plan).
5. One page Book Table of Contents, with a couple of sentences describing each chapter’s content. Make sure you use a consistent format for each chapter. Consider using the same format you used for the book’s title and subtitle. For Example: THE SCARY STUFF: Processing Fear and Negativity.
You may wish to download this Model Pre-Proposal: