Book Proposals

Book proposal evaluation, editing, and development consultation

Ready to shop your nonfiction book idea to agents and editors? Or perhaps you already have, and their generic rejections aren’t telling you what it is about your project that’s turning them off? Regardless of your nonfiction topic or category, a well-crafted book proposal is usually an essential part of the journey toward publication. Yet for many authors, writing or perfecting a 10–20 page proposal can be more intimidating or baffling than crafting a 200-page manuscript.

The Editorial Department’s book proposal specialists have hands-on agenting and publishing acquisitions experience and are available to provide as much or as little help as needed to develop a strong proposal and prepare it for agents and publishers.

Development of New Book Proposals

Authors needing help developing a book proposal from scratch or distilling one from an existing nonfiction manuscript should contact Ross Browne at the Tucson office. Fees will be calculated at $.004 per word for review of the source material and $75 per hour for feedback and consultation provided.

Evaluation of Existing Book Proposals

The Editorial Department’s nonfiction book proposal evaluation connects writers with editors experienced in the acquisitions process. We will evaluate your proposal, paying attention to whether it answers the three major questions that agents, editors, and publishing sales teams want to know:

  • Is this a good idea? (Content)
  • Are you the right person to write this book? (Author)
  • Is this the right time for a book on this subject? (Market)

We’ll provide a candid critique of your material and, if necessary, offer clear recommendations to improve your pitch, so you can make the best impression possible. While we obviously can’t anticipate every reviewer’s subjective tastes and preferences, we can help you avoid many of the mistakes writers often make with their submission materials, giving you a competitive edge in a crowded publishing marketplace.

With the nonfiction proposal evaluation, an editor experienced with the ways that agents and publishers acquire new work will review your proposal and first three sample chapters and provide feedback in two forms:

  • an editorial memo evaluating the overall literary and commercial effectiveness of your proposal in providing compelling copy that describes the content,  author, and market for your book
  • annotations within your proposal itself that highlight areas for constructive feedback and suggestions for specific improvements

In cases where a project’s premise or conceptual or stylistic weaknesses significantly limit the likelihood of successful placement, the report will explore and explain the challenges in further detail, with suggestions for how you might go about rethinking the project and get it on a better track.

A book proposal evaluation costs $325 for most book proposals, including up to three sample chapters (maximum of 6,000 words). There will be an extra fee for longer sample chapters.

Editing of Existing Book Proposals

Authors seeking correction or polishing of an existing proposal should refer to our Line Editing & Copy Editing Services for options and rates.

Getting Started

Please visit our online welcome center or call us at (520) 546-9992.

“The writer must get into touch with his reader by putting before him something which he recognizes, which therefore stimulates his imagination, and makes him willing to cooperate in the far more difficult business of intimacy. And it is of the highest importance that this common meeting-place should be reached easily, almost instinctively, in the dark, with one’s eyes shut.”

Virginia Woolf