How to Write a Book Proposal

A book proposal is important in your attempt to have your book published. It is the first piece of writing that presents your book to your intending publisher. Thus, it is expected that you write this piece of writing very well. This is why we would be guiding you here on how to write a book proposal.

You should know that a book proposal is like the document marketing your book. Since it is a marketing concept, you should write your proposal like you are doing copywriting or selling that book. Imagine yourself to be a marketer for a product, your product, which you must sell. You have to put in your best in writing it.

You have to be careful to write it in a way that would convince the reader. Most times, the reader is your intending publisher. You also have to follow a clear and good format. If you don’t get it right, there is a big possibility that your book won’t be accepted for publication

How to Write a Book Proposal

Use of Active Voice: This is the most important characteristics to be found in your book proposal. There has to be the presence and use of the active voice. You cannot be trying to convince someone to get your book published when you use passive voice. It is active voice that is good enough for persuasion.

Short Sentences: You have to endeavor to use short sentences as you are writing a proposal, and not an essay. These short sentences should be good and enough to convince the readers to get your book published. You are encouraged to use more of simple sentences, and little of complex sentences.

Short Paragraphs: As you use short sentences, you should also strive to use short paragraphs. Your paragraphs in the piece of writing should not be more than four sentences, averagely three sentences. Longer paragraphs would bore and sicken the readers.

Persuasive and Conversational Tone: Your tone in the writing should be persuasive and conversational. You don’t have to go on in the book proposal just persuading the reader without being conversational. You have to be persuasive and conversational to be able to keep the reader glued to your proposal and also to be able to convince them.

Content: The content of a book proposal should be the hook storyline or concept of the book, the synopsis, why you think the book should be published, and why it would be a marketable book. The main point of the content is that you should try to convince the reader that your book is a masterpiece and it would be do well in sales when published.

The Format of a Book Proposal

You can follow this good format of a book proposal below:

  • Title of the book on top. Then just below it your name, phone number, and email address.
  • A three-sentences synopsis of your book.
  • You can also make the synopsis bigger and longer to up to three paragraphs.
  • One to three paragraphs of a brief summary of the chapters.
  • You should also write other details about the book, especially as it has to do with your personal emotion and attachment to the book.
  • The likely audience and market. You write about why the audience would love the book. You write about why the book would make great sales in the market.
  • Include a sample of a chapter (if it is demanded by the intending publisher).
  • Your biography as the author. When writing your biography, you should focus more on exploring your successes in your writing career than writing about your family, marriage, and others. Where have you been published? Do you have an MFA? What awards have you won?


How to write a book proposal is not difficult if you know the right way to go about it. It is also not difficult when you have completed your book before looking for publishers. It is important you know that you can also begin writing book proposals and looking for publishers when you have not finished the book. Once you make your book proposal elaborate, compelling, and convincing enough, you can always get a publisher.

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