Non-Fiction

While preparing your non-fiction proposal, please incorporate my Writing Tips and check my Submission Guidelines.

Once you are ready to submit your proposal, please send the proposal and the three chapters as ONE DOCUMENT through this contact form or as an e-mail attachment to Les at lhstobbe123 at gmail dot com.

I only represent fiction and non-fiction books for adults. YA and children’s book proposals should be submitted to my associate agent, Sally Apokedak.

Outline for a Non-Fiction Proposal

  1. Title page with your name and address upper left, Word Count upper right. Below that in the middle: Non-Fiction Proposal, then title, sub-title (if there is one), name of author.
  2. Starting on page 2, the following:
    • Hook: I call it the selling hook–of 35 or so words. Extremely important summary of why a reader will want to buy the book that an editor can use if the president asks, “Why should we publish this book?”
    • Synopsis: A minimum of half a page single-spaced and up to one and a half pages. This is a survey of the book–not why you wrote it, how you wrote it, just the contents. Walk the editor through the book so she/he can get familiar with the approach you use and the content you provide—and the editor can photocopy only this section for the executive team and be assured they know what is in the book.  It is important that the editorial team get a feel for whether it is story-oriented or idea upon idea.
    • Uniqueness: What makes this different from other similar books out there? Are you a fresh voice? What might be a close competitor?
    • Author Credentials: What qualifies you to write this book: education/training/experience?
    • Market: Who will buy and how can you contribute to the marketing process?
    • Table of Contents: Provide a very brief summary for each chapter.
  1. The first three chapters, even if you have an introduction (from my perspective, an introduction is a waste of time and space because very few will read it—better to turn it into a first chapter). Your first chapter has to be a slam dunk—absolutely the best reader-grabbing writing the editor has seen on the theme. No chapters beyond the third chapter because if you have not grabbed/convinced the editor by then, it’s a lost cause.

Note: What you send me should be edited to eliminate misspellings, wrong words, missing words, punctuation errors, faulty grammar. After sending me your proposal, please do NOT send a series of corrected proposals. Reserve those for a hoped for publisher.