Tuesday Tips: Nonfiction Proposal–The Format

Today I continue my series on nonfiction book proposals. Over the next several Tuesday Tips I’ll continue to cover some of the meat-and-potatoes of choosing topics, researching ideas, and putting together a winning nonfiction book proposal. While I write primarily about pets, the same ingredients for your nonfiction book stew are the same–it’s just the seasoning and presentation that may vary.

The first week discussed the IDEA TREE followed by topic choice including where to find ideas and decide if they’re viable. The third covered passionate picks and bio building–and then the holidays happened, so I took a week off. The next installment covered to query or not, what goes in a query or cover letter and how to approach an editor/agent. We’ve dissected the nonfiction proposal to find out the components and got up-close-and-personal with the nonfiction proposal OVERVIEW and the COMPETITION/MARKET SURVEY. Today the discussion is short and sweet, and focuses on the format.





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Tuesday Tips: Nonfiction Proposal–The Format — 9 Comments

  1. My pregnancy memoir is arranged in 4 parts around the timeline of the pregnancy with part four being after Baby Girl is born. I am LOVING this series. I worry that I’m not doing enough freelance/marketing stuff on the pregnancy side of things – I just do the Risky Baby Business blogs. *fretting*

    • Jenny, the blog is fantastic–and that can be a big asset to marketing especially when you’ve got a large following. That’s a built-in audience/market.

      There’s only so much we can do and the book has to come first!

      It’s just that often, a book grows out of the nonfiction articles already researched/published so the author already has those in hand.

      • Just got back here.

        I keep thinking I should go look for freelance stuff around pregnancy but I really just have my own experience and research. I’m not saying that the worry of high-risk isn’t the same, regardless of the complication but you can only do so many magazine articles on a mindset. :-)

        I guess I’m worried I don’t have enough credentials to make a go of the freelance gig for anything but computers and business – maybe writing. But then I keep hearing that the gigs help give you the credentials. OY!!!!

        • Jen, I started out writing “personal experience stories” from my days working as a vet tech. Don’t discount personal experience. And your research increases the credentialed aspect, remember, but you’d probably want to include some things like, “According to the XYZ researcher….” and suchlike. Those folks, if you can get ahold of them, are often delighted to be interviewed and quoted. You can easily find the folks willing to be interviewed/quoted by seeing their name in pub’d articles from other journalists.

          See, you probably already have more than enough material to for half a dozen articles. Heck, that’s what your BLOG is! You could see about being a guest blogger or offering a reworked blog into an article for one of the magazines (online or otherwise). You don’t do new research for the articles–you re-purpose what you’re already using for the book. See? Does that make sense?

  2. Pingback: Tuesday Tips: Nonfiction Proposal–Author Bio & Promo « Amy Shojai's Blog

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