If you working on or planning a non-fiction book, here are some tips on how to pitch!
Unlike in fiction writing, you don’t have to have a complete manuscript to pitch your book; the important thing is your proposal. The proposal is what you will present to a potential editor, agent, or publisher. A good proposal should have the following:
The title of your work should, in many ways, speak for itself. The title needs to give the reader a sense of your work in order to inspire them to read it, it also needs to inspire your potential editor/agent/publisher to agree to work with you.
1-3 sentences about your topic:
Following the title should be a brief description of your work, highlighting its unique-ness. This should include the primary theme of the work and why it is invaluable to the reader.
Take the time to specify who the audience of your book will be. These are the demographics that your book’s topic will appeal to and why.
Slightly different than the previous section, this section is about what makes your book marketable and what you plan to do for the promotion of the book. Why will people buy your book? If you are an expert in your topic, have a platform all ready, or have connections (press, bookstores, etc.) on where to promote after it has been published, be sure to to include this information.
Comparable and competing titles:
Throw out some titles of other works that are similar to yours to give the potential editor/agent/publisher an idea of what they are getting into, but at the same explain why your novel is special and, in fact, superior to these works.
This should include the format and length of your book as well as a planned date of completion for the project.
A sample chapter:
Include a sample chapter of your work, if you have a chapter written.
Here are some resources for non-fiction editors:
Here are some resources for non-fiction agents:
Here are some resources for non-fiction publishers:
Make sure you check the submission guidelines for the editor/agent/publisher you are submitting to, because they may have other specific requirements. If these links aren’t enough, remember to check your bookshelf. The publishers of some of the books you like might be a good fit for you too. If you are having a hard time, consider revising your proposal, or even your approach to your topic. Additionally, there is always the option to self-publish.
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Kim Batchelor is a recent graduate of University of Michigan and avid consumer of media. She is the Buzz Manager at BookHive and is working on creating her own blog.