Adler & Robin Books, Inc.
3000 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Adler & Robin Books, Inc. All rights reserved.

How to Write a Computer Book Proposal

(How to write a nonfiction book proposal is below.)

Back to Main Page
A sample computer book proposal. (ActiveX)
Another sample computer book proposal (Linux)
A new book of time travel stories
Read about how to outwit squirrels
 
We have a great book about getting published and writing book proposals. Click here to find out more about The Literary Agent's Guide to Getting Published.

The elements of a computer book proposal include:

SUMMARY

After your proposal is approved by the editor, it will be sent to the editorial board. To expedite the process, and to help ensure both approval and the highest possible advance, it is helpful to have a SUMMARY at the beginning of the proposal. This enables the editorial board to quickly absorb the features of the book -- and it also inspires confidence about your ability to put together a book. You will have a chance to amplify this information later in the proposal. The summary should be approximately one to two pages long.

Include here:

OVERVIEW

A one or two paragraph summary of what will be in the book. This should read like the blurb on the back of the book. It tells the publisher in a concise form what the book is about, who the market is, and mentions a little about the author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This section provides detailed information about you. Why you are qualified to write this book? What is your education? Have you been published before? Do you work in the computer industry?

THE MARKET

Whom you see as the audience for the book? Why would somebody buy this book? How is this audience reached? For example, are there some magazines aimed at the same audience that your book is written for? Are there special conferences on this subject (when and where)? In this section you should be as numerical as possible. If you're talking about a computer application, for example, mention how many units were shipped last year, or how many users there are.

THE COMPETITION

What other books are in print on the same subject? How is your book different and better?

ANNOTATED TABLE OF CONTENTS

This is a detailed chapter outline, with a paragraph or page describing what will go in each chapter. The more detail the better.

SAMPLE MATERIAL

A sample chapter or portion of a chapter. Alternatively, a writing sample can be included here.

 

How to Write a Trade Book Proposal

We have a great book about getting published and writing book proposals. Click here to find out more about The Successful Literary Agent's Guide to Getting Published.

Summary and Overview

The summary should be approximately one page long. It should read like the back jacket copy of your book will read-exciting and concise (without exaggerating.) It tells the publisher in a succinct form what the book is about, who the market is, and mentions a little about the author.

About the Author

This section provides detailed information about you. Why you are qualified to write this book? What is your education? Have you been published before? Go ahead and brag. Include any blurbs about your previous works.

The Market

Whom you see as the audience for the book? Why would somebody buy this book? How is this audience reached? For example, are there some magazines aimed at the same audience that your book is written for? Are there special conferences on this subject (when and where)? In this section you should be as numerical as possible. Do you have any special relationships to the market? Demographic and polling information wouldn't hurt.

The Competition

What other books are in print on the same subject? How is your book different and better? There is always competition because people can always buy some other book in the same subject.

Annotated Table of Contents

This is a detailed chapter outline, with a paragraph or page describing what will go in each chapter. The more information the better: This section lets the publisher know that there's enough information to fill a book. No special format is required: Just let the publisher know what each chapter will look like. (You don't have to stick with this outline when you write the book.)

Sample Material

A sample chapter or portion of a chapter: The longer the better. This section give the publisher confidence in your writing ability. Previously published authors can sometimes get away with no sample material, but a sample chapter makes a big difference in what kind of offer you get, or whether the book is bought at all.

Proposal Length and Format

Like many things, that depends. Generally, 15 to 30 pages should be sufficient, not including the sample material. A proposal is a kind of business plan, in which you are asking a publisher to invest a sum of money in you on a unproved commodity. You have one chance to get it right.

A sample nonfiction book proposal (Tell Me a Fairy Tale)
A second sample nonfiction book proposal (Your Second Pregnancy)
A third sample nonfiction book proposal. (Bottlefeeding Without Guilt)
Main page
Most asked questions of literary agents
Our Celtic music page (because we like it!)

If you like what you've read on this website and want to make a donation to say thanks, click on one of the buttons below:


E-mail this page to a friend