Posted by: nancyisanders | July 12, 2010

Q and A: Proposals

I love to encourage fellow authors to pitch ideas to publishers and ask if they would like to see a proposal for a potential book not yet written.

But what do we send them if they say, “Yes! Send me a proposal!!!”

Since proposals are as different and varied as there are genres and markets to write for, I thought we could do some questions and answers on proposals.

So, first I’ll give a quick answer. Then go ahead and ask me some questions. I’ll either try to answer them here in the comment section or in a future blog.

First of all, in my book Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career, I explain the basics about the different kinds of proposals for different kinds of children’s books. So if you have the book, look up “proposals” in the index and follow the guidelines I give. And if you don’t have my book, get it! It will really, really answer a lot of questions I simply can’t answer in the short space here in a blog.

Secondly, if a publisher asks you to submit a proposal, ASK THE PUBLISHER what exactly they would like to see in your proposal. (Be sure to check their submission guidelines first because they may already explain this in there.)

Third, I taught a teleclass on proposals for the National Writing for Children Center. You can click on the link for The Children’s Writers Coaching Club to visit that site. Once there, click on the link for TELECLASSES BY INSTRUCTOR, click on my name, and choose the class on proposals. (It’s about the 3rd or 4th one down.) You can purchase the class for just $5.97.

Now, if you’ve already done those three steps and have another specific question to ask about proposals, post comments here on my blog and ask away! I’m happy to help as much as I can.

I want you to land that next book contract ALMOST as much as you do. Smile.


  1. Hi Nancy:

    You are always a wealth of knowledge. Thank you!

    Best wishes,

  2. Hi, Nancy,
    Thanks for inviting me to post my concerns/questions on your site.

    In great anticipation to start writing the proposal, I ordered your book and can’t wait to read it. In my case, the publisher has requested to see a list of the titles for each series and a brief summary of what would be covered in each book.

    Wow – this seems self-explanatory at first and less daunting than what I initially thought. Since I am used to writing proposals for the educational trade market (i.e. teacher resources and books) I feel slightly relieved!

    My next step was to look for titles from this publisher which I am waiting for through our inter-library loan system which is excellent.

    At this point, I will probably need some tips pointers on how to do this really well so the proposal itself will SHINE!


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