Just like queries and cover letters and even manuscript submissions, everyone does book proposals a little bit differently, especially in the children’s book industry.   Since fiction children’s book editors rarely see full out book proposals, we don’t really have a hard and fast standard.  So, like when you are querying or submitting to an editor, you should find out what their specific book proposal guidelines are.  After all, some people might like to see a synopsis for each chapter of the book while others might be content with a one page summary.

However, on this blog we are going to discuss the most common, and in my opinion, most important parts of a book proposal.  They are:

  • Cover Letter
  • One Page Overview
  • Series Overview
  • Chapter Summaries (or Outline)
  • Potential Markets for the Book
  • Author Biography
  • Promotion/Marketing Plans/Opportunities
  • First 3 Chapters (occasionally full MS)
  • SASE (if physical submission)

    Next week I’ll do general overviews into each of these parts, and then the week after that, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty or actually working on each individual part.  (Instead of book proposals, tomorrow I’m posting a status update on the picture book submissions.)

    And, if you would like to read ahead, so to speak, everything I learned about book proposals came from this fantastic book, Author 101 Best Selling Book Proposals.  A few years ago I needed to put together a nonfiction, adult book proposal for a freelance client, and this book was a wealth of knowledge.

    © Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
    May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.