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  1. #1
    Jill Gurr
    Guest

    How long should a non-fiction book proposal be?

    Hello:

    I'm putting together my first book proposal and I think this book could potentially reach a mass audience. My "About the Market" section of the proposal is 4 pages long. Is that too long?

    Also, is it better to call it "Market Analysis?" And is there a recommended number of pages for "About the Book" or the whole proposal in general?

    Thanks for your help!

    Jill

    jillgurr@earthlink.net



  2. #2
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: How long should a non-fiction book proposal be

    Hmmm, I don't have my copies handy, but I think my nonfiction book proposals typically ran about eight or nine pages plus a sample chapter or two.

    "Market Analysis" has some specific connotations to people in the industry, so it may not be the best heading. I think I used something like "Market Information and Demographics."

    I think my "About the Book" section ran about three pages.

    Four pages devoted to the market information sounds about right Jill. I believe mine were about that length and the publishers didn't request any changes--they seemed happy.

    Good luck with your proposal.

    --- Mya Bell

  3. #3
    Iris
    Guest

    Re: How long should a non-fiction book proposal be

    My proposals generally run about 20 pages......there's no "set" number of pages for any of this. What matters is that you present a clear, cogent picture of the proposed project.

  4. #4
    Roscoe Barnes III
    Guest

    Re: How long should a non-fiction book proposal be

    My proposals run about 50 to 60 doubled-spaced pages.

    I generally include two or three sample chapters, depending on the topic.

    My agent recently accepted my proposal for a true crime book that included only one chapter and a detailed annotated chapter outline.

    In addition to the proposal, I always include clips of my work and published bio pieces that show my coverage in the press.

    Roscoe

  5. #5
    Brittie .
    Guest

    Re: How long should a non-fiction book proposal be

    Yes, it depends if it's narrative nonfiction; I'm in Roscoe's camp on this. I was told by an author just to drop my 'who it's for' section because it was obviously trying to reach a general audience, and that was fine.

    But I did put in a marketing plan, which the agents liked. But in the end, when/if they take it, they'll do their own marketing section, drawing on what you gave them. So just tell them all you can do, in an ideal (real) world, and that should be fine.

  6. #6
    Johnny Appleseed
    Guest

    Re: How long should a non-fiction book proposal be

    proposal presently being circulated to editors/publishers throughout New York City this week is 52 pages, which includes one sample chapter of about 25 pages and one page summary/outline of every other chapter plus the usual stuff... agent also has in his possession one copy of an old 8 minute television interview on DVD to show my media-savvy, as needed.

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