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Write Your Nonfiction Book Proposal // Webinar

Step by step with Jane Friedman

Write Your Nonfiction Book Proposal // Webinar

If you want to traditionally publish a nonfiction book, a completed manuscript usually isn’t enough to land you a book deal. You’ll also need a book proposal.

A book proposal is essentially a business plan for your book; it convincingly argues why your book is a salable product in today’s market. A book proposal requires research and thought; if properly developed, it can take weeks (or longer) to write. This webinar breaks down what can be an overwhelming process into clear, manageable steps.

In this webinar you will:

  • DISCOVER the essential elements of every book proposal and learn how agents and editors use them to make a decision about your work.
  • IDENTIFY the difference between a strong, actionable book marketing plan (necessary for every proposal) and one that agents and editors will find questionable.
  • HARNESS the power of the platform you have today and make the best of what you have.
  • UNDERSTAND the unique challenges of memoir and gain insight into the types of memoir that typically get rejected and how memoirists can set themselves apart from others.
  • LEARN how to research agents and publishers appropriate for your work.

You’ll  also receive:

  • digital access to book proposal worksheets to help you research and write the proposal—starting with the easy parts first, to build your confidence; and
  • a book proposal template (in Word) that uses industry standard formatting.

By the end of the webinar, you’ll have a sharper idea of your project’s marketability and how to evaluate other titles in your category, giving you an editor’s eye for what sells. While there is no one “right way” or formula for preparing a book proposal—just as there is no one right way to write a book—this course will lead you through every required component, as well as some optional ones.


Thursday, March 19th, 2020

1 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

Advance registration required.
Space is limited.

$15 if registered by 3/09/2020
$20 if registered after 3/09/2020

A recording of the webinar will be sent out to all registrants three business days after the event.


About the instructor: Jane Friedman spent 15 years working in traditional publishing, where she evaluated and acquired hundreds of books based solely on the proposal. She has edited nonfiction books across many different categories, including reference, how-to, sports, self-help, fine art, crafts, graphic design, and humor. She also served as editor for How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen. She is the author of The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press, 2018) and a columnist for Publishers Weekly.


Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email the director of education, Sharla Yates, at yates@creativenonfiction.org.