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Non-fiction Proposal Guidance 


We accept submissions of non-fiction as full manuscripts and as proposals. A proposal should set out clearly what the book is you want to write and answer the following questions:


  • What is the book about?


  • What is the book’s thesis or argument, and what’s new about it?


  • Why are you the right person to write the book?


  • Why is now the right time to publish the book?


  • Who makes up the core audience for the proposed book, and why will they find it appealing?


How to structure your proposal:


A proposal can be up to 30 pages long and should include:


  • An introductory pitch: written in the style of the book (similar to an introduction) and which gets across the core idea of the book and why it is important/original/controversial and timely


  • A biography: highlighting your personal and professional background and how this makes you best placed to write this book


  • A section on market and competition: who might buy this book and what other books it could be compared to 


  • Publishing details: wordcount (an average general nonfiction book contains 70,000–90,000 words) and how long you realistically need to write the whole  manuscript 


  • One or two sample chapters: most commonly the early chapters of the book, but not the introduction


  • Chapter outlines: usually a sizeable chunk of text (up to a page) written in the style of the book, for each chapter of the book, giving a good idea of what each chapter is about. 

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