Book Proposal Kit

If you want to write a book and get it published it’s very important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve before you start out.

This complimentary Book Proposal Kit will help you:

* Answer important questions and issues you must resolve  before starting to write your book.

* Create a formal proposal which you can present to a publisher.

42 Questions Every Author Must Ask Before Writing A Book

When you want to write a book and get it published it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of all. But, before you rush ahead and start writing, it’s important to think about the practicalities of publishing a book. Here are some of the things every author should think about before writing a book:

1. What is this book about – in 250 words or less?

2. What will it be called? What other titles do I have I mind?

3. Is there already a book with the same title?

4. What similar books are there?

5. Why will my book be better?

6. Are there any weaknesses to my book, which similar books do better?

7. How well (or not) do these competing books sell?

8. If similar books are low volume sellers, do I/why do I think my book will be more successful.

9. Who do I think will buy my book? (Will anybody want to buy my book?)

10. Why will they want to buy it?

11. What benefits will my readers get from my book?

12. Why do I want to write this book? (Money? Fame? Publicity?)

13. Why am I the best person to write it?

14. What unique experiences/qualities can I bring to this book?

15. What skills/qualifications qualify me to write this book?

16. How long do I think the book will be? (Thousands of words? Pages?)

17. Should it be longer? Should it be shorter?

18. Will it be divided into chapters, and how many will it have?

19. What will each chapter cover, and approximately how long will each be?

20. Will my book require any photos or illustrations, and how many?

21. What costs might be involved in preparing/sourcing photos or illustrations?

22. What research do I need to do to help me write the book?

23. Can I easily write a 100 (approximately) word description for the jacket of the book that will help persuade people to buy it?

24. How long will it take me to write this book?

25. When do I expect it will be published?

26. Should I/can I write a sample chapter?

27. How much do I think book will it sell for?

28. How does that compare with similar books?

29. Honestly now, do I think potential readers will be happy to pay that?

30. What and where do I think will be the best places to sell my book? (Bookshops? Libraries? Academic? Online?)

31. Very approximately how many copies do I think it might sell? (How many copies have similar books sold?)

32. Will I find a publisher, or will I self publish?

33. If I want to publish through a publisher, who might want to publish my book?

34. Why will they want to publish it? What convincing arguments do I have to persuade them it’s worth considering.

35. Do they publish anything the same, or similar, already?

36. Will this be a standalone book? Will it be part of a series?

37. If self publishing, will I publish a paper book or an ebook or both?

38. What help might I need with the production – and where will I find it?

39. Do I need a distributor for my book …. and how can I find one?

40. How can my book be marketed?

41. What can I do myself to help sell my book?

42. What is self publishing my book going to cost?

If you’d like more help and advice on writing, publishing and marketing a book you might find my services for writers helpful. More details here: My Services For Writers.

What To Include In Your Book Proposal

In most cases the better your book proposal the better the chances of getting a publisher interested in your idea. So it pays to spend some time and effort making your book proposal as good as it can be.

You can write your book proposal after you’ve written your book if you like. However, it’s probably better to write it before you put pen to paper. (Creating a book proposal is also a great way of helping you collect your thoughts together, and spotting what the pros and cons of your book idea might be.)

Think of your book proposal as your ‘sales pitch’ to a publisher. Here’s, broadly what it must do:

* Be informative – giving the publisher most of the basic information they need to decide whether your book is worth considering.

* Focus on the benefits of your book – to the reader primarily, but also to the publisher:

* Be concise. As publishers get lots of proposals a concise document is more likely to be read in its entirety.

Below is the information you will normally need to include in your book proposal. If you like you can print this out and use it to create your proposal. However, if your intended publisher provides their own book proposal form, either on paper or online, always use that.


Book Proposal Form

The Book

Proposed title:




Email and Telephone:


Brief Summary. Please supply a short description, ideally in one sentence, of the book summing up its scope and content:


Description. Please provide a fuller description of the book up to approx. maximum 300 words outlining your reasons for writing this book, style/approach, main themes, objectives and any unique features of the book:




Jacket Copy. Please provide a short description that could be used as the basis for catalogue or jacket copy. This should be informative, persuasive and concise. Approx. maximum 150 words:



Features & Benefits. If you had to give three key benefits your book offers its readers, what would they be?







The Market

What is the intended readership for your book?


Outline the need for your book (why would people want or need to buy it)?


List the main, directly competing books (if any) and their strengths and weaknesses. Where relevant explain how your book is different and/or better.










Do you have any contacts that might be helpful to us when marketing such a work (eg. club or professional memberships)?



Where would you expect to see or hear about your book eg. magazines or websites where you expect to see the book reviewed, mentioned or advertised?



Endorsements. Do you have suggestions for a person to write a Foreword or to provide testimonials to use on the book?


The Content

Please provide a Chapter List and give a brief explanation as to what will be covered in each chapter.





Please give an approximate word count for the book overall, and for each chapter.


Do you plan to include any illustrations, case histories or examples where relevant? If yes, please give a brief description and state were this will be sourced from.



Manuscript Delivery

How long do you expect it will take you to produce a finished manuscript?



Author Profile

What qualifications, skills or experience do you have and which you feel make you a suitable person to write this book? (Include vocational and non-vocational qualifications and relevant work experience etc.)





Have you written for publication before? If so please give details.




Please supply a short author biography which would be suitable for the book jacket, and to use in our catalogue.

More information. If you’d like more help and advice on writing, publishing and marketing a book you might find my services for writers helpful. More details here: My Services For Writers.