Proposal Writing: 3

First on the list for your non-fiction book proposal: the summary.

This initial summary is your chance to sell your idea. The title of this section is misleading… it’s not actually a summary. A summary, you see, would be boring. It would include everything, it would drag with details, it would have to reach the publisher through osmosis, because said publisher would have fallen asleep.

Think of the summary as your ideal imagined catalogue copy. How would the marketing department describe your finished book? What would the back cover copy say? How will the book’s press release hook potential reviewers? There lies the genesis of your book proposal “summary.”

Here’s what it might look like:

Rock Your World!
Save the Children, the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, the Freechild Project — across North America and around the world, youth are banding together in activism. But how were these organizations born? And how can a young, would-be activist get started?

Rock Your World! is a combination workbook and guide designed to allow 10- to 13-year-old readers to plan their own world-changing activities. With short chapters on research, fundraising, writing persuasively, forming community groups, and using the media, it will give students the tools they need to start making a difference.

Each two- to three-page chapter will be followed by workbook pages on which readers can take notes, make plans, and record their activities. Interspersed amidst these pages will be short biographies of successful world-changers, interesting facts, and advice from well-known activists. For example, the chapter about persuasive writing might feature information about Simon Jackson’s campaign to have 25,000 letters delivered to the premier’s office during his initial campaign to save the spirit bear.

Rock Your World is a natural companion to Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World and Canadian Boys Who Rocked the World, but can also be sold independently, within and outside of Canada.

Previous posts on this topic:
Proposal Writing: 2 (Outlining the outline)
Proposal Writing: 1 (Why do it?)

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