It became very apparent to me about 4 weeks ago that I was going to write a nonfiction book. While I'll leave the topic of the book a secret for now, it's something that I would consider myself to be an expert in, and there are very few books on the market that even touch the topic in the manner I'm proposing. I have had some experience with the proposal process via my involvement in Wise Bread's 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, but because I was starting this book from scratch (i.e., not based on blog posts), I had some work ahead of me.
I picked up Publish Your Nonfiction Book: Strategies for Learning the Industry, Selling Your Book, and Buildling a Successful Career by Sharlene martin and Anthony Flacco from Amazon and had it in my hands within 2 days. Scanning through it, I could see right away that much of this was going to be a review of things I already knew from the Wise Bread book process and my perusing of writer's forums. What I didn't already have, however, was a clear-cut example of a good nonfiction proposal and some self-esteem. The book delivered both.
For those of you with no experience or knowledge of a nonfiction book proposal, this is good stuff. It starts with a pep-talk of what it takes to go from query to best-seller, and it doesn't mince words. That being said, it also gives those of us with a solid idea, an existing platform, and the ability to write well a nice "thumbs up" for having the most difficult parts of a book pitch nailed down. If you have been making a living as a writer, either online or in print, you have probably already mastered the English language and will find that you are a million steps ahead of most nonfiction book queries.
I plan on using this book as a helpful addition to my nonfiction proposal toolbox. I think the fact that it was written by a publishing house authority makes it authentic and easy to understand. (If you want a laugh, you'll also enjoy the somewhat neurotic examples of bad pitches the author has received over the years. This is, of course, assuming that you can write -- and that you don't commit the errors listed in the book in your daily writing.) I also appreciate that it's current, using tips from today's social media realm to help authors get the advantage over their competitors. (Older books are clearly lacking in this area.)
I generally like most books published by the Writer's Digest group, and this one is no exception! You can snag it on Amazon for less than $15, and the 290+ pages are packed full of great info.