18 steps to writing a book proposal for a writing grant scholarship

Having a book idea is not enough. You need more than just being audacious. Winning a writer grant scholarship or contract to write needs a well communicated selling point, and the message is send right through a well drafted book proposal. It is not just a matter of lifting a pen, and landing it on a page to publication. Even before having a well written and polished manuscript whether it is for a fiction or nonfiction, as a writer you need to think about a book proposal.

Below are eighteen steps to writing a selling book proposal.

First is Title page

It is the simplest but every important. It contains the title and subtitle, separated by colon. It can also be separated by a new line, and then a by-line. For example: A Proposal by, then name of the author.

Second is Contents

It contains a list of chapters and pages, called it a table of content, with parts and page numbers of the document. Every forthcoming section of the proposal has to have its own dedicated page(s)

Third is proposed title

It has to be followed by sub-title if any, but be a different one from the Title Page section a book proposal. Here you are at liberty to use an alternative title and subtitle.

Fourth is Author(s) name

The author(s) name(s) of the book proposed to be listed here, but titles of authors are not included, for example Dr, Mr or Miss.

Fifth a description

To be captured in a single sentence tagline. It is a hook kind of approach. What the book is entirely about. It is emphasis on qualification of the Author(s) as an educators or storytellers by nature. It is all about the book and in single sentence to be precise.

Sixth is Categories sections

For example the book falls in which category and subcategory. It is personal development, motivational, psychology, Romance historical, Romance Mystery and Suspense
Literature and Fiction, Action Adventure Mystery, Thriller Suspense or philosophy.

Seventh is Quotes

These are framing quotes. Quotes are inspirational and it will appear on every page of the book as readers open pages to read. If it is a book about leadership, it will contain quotes by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, or David Cameroon. For business books it might have a quote by Donald J Trump or Warren Buffet. It might also be a poem. What is important is inspiration to the person reading the book.

Eight is Audience

Before writing a book you must have demographic(s) in mind. Tell the read of your book proposal briefly in a paragraph or two about your target audience. Prove it by giving a testament of the public’s needs, is listed in this page.

Ninth is Purpose and necessity

It tells why readers need to read this book. Readers have a problem, define it, and then prove that by reading your book, their problems will be solved significantly. You have to prove the book fulfills the readers and its purpose.  Explain it in a page or two.

Tenth is angle: Uniqueness

How unique is your book and how it will penetrate the already flooded market with similar books. It is good to give it in a listed format or point bullet format. For easy grasp.

Eleventh is benefits to the Reader

Highlight what the reader gain from reading your book. Will the reader be entertained, be educated, or be informed?  Think of your book being attached to the reader and explain vividly.

Twelfth: what are your Potential Endorsers

This section contains a list of people to give first hand praise, and blur of the book. These are people who are willing to write a preface or an introduction of the book. For example academicians, book reviewers or media people like renowned magazine.

Thirteen is your Book format overview

This could be word count, page count, and intended date of completion, publisher and lastly a signed contract if any.

Fourteenth is author(s) Short Bio

Describe in one paragraph and in simplicity, your writing experience, previous publications credentials, awards, links to author websites and social media pages, and contact information are put in this section.

Fifteenth is Sales history of previous publications.

Many publishers will want to know your previous publications, and how it performed before considering publishing your book. If you were previous published, then give titles and date of publication with name of the publisher, in this section.

Sixteenth is Chapter outlines

In this section break down each chapter by name, and number, into a single sentence description. Then bullet point chapter contents with a short description.

Seventeenth is Marketing plan

In this section is a list of what the author and publisher will do for marketing and publicity behind publication of the book.

Lastly and not the least, is Sample chapters

Up to three minimum, and five maximum complete, well written and edited sample chapters from the upcoming manuscript is to be included in the book proposal.  Nonfiction book proposals are between 50-80 pages sample chapters excluded.



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