How to Compose Your Selling Book Proposal
A course for writers of nonfiction material who want to market or sell their books to agents and publishers
To sell your work in the nonfiction arena, you need a powerful book proposal. In this 4-lesson course, learn how to compose and present an effective proposal for traditional publishing outlets, an e-book platform, or self-publishing. Explore the ever-changing landscape of the publishing industry and examine the elements of a successful proposal: overview/introduction, chapter summaries, author bio, marketing statement, sample chapter, and abstract.
At a glance
What: How to Compose Your Selling Book Proposal
When: Start anytime, complete within 1 year
Continuing education credit: 10 hours (1.0 CEU)
Instructor: Laurie Scheer
or register by phone at
For additional information, contact Laurie Scheer: 608-265-3972
What we cover in the 4 lessons
- The state of the publishing industry
- Book proposal sections — Overview, Target Audience, About the Author
- Book proposal sections — Competitive Titles, Marketing and Promotion
- Book proposal Sections — Detailed Table of Contents and Sample Chapters, and final submission of your completed book proposal
Each lesson includes details regarding these all-important sections of a selling book proposal. Also included with each lesson are sample pages from a book proposal that sold a book, along with references to many outside resources for the writer to access. This course also features a text written by agents Marilyn Allen and Coleen O’Shea, Principles of the Allen O’Shea Literary Agency in New York City. The text is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Book Proposals & Query Letters, Alpha Publishing, 2011.
You will have access to the important advice of these two agents along with the guidance of your instructor.
How the course works
You can start this writing course anytime, and there are no required hours to participate. Work at your own pace and take up to a year to finish the course. It’s all done with one-on-one correspondence with the instructor using email. We have writers from around the world participating in our workshops. A lot of great writing gets accomplished via email. Because of the one-on-one nature of our workshops, you’ll find them an excellent “coaching” or mentoring situation that will keep you going. And if you want to just work on your own — hey, that’s fine too. Of course you can do the suggested exercises on your own without the feedback if you’d rather do that. We’re also here throughout the year if you have questions.
Review the current technical requirements for students in Learn@UW online courses.