Structuring a Fiction Proposal

Guidelines for Your Fiction Proposal


Your fiction proposal should include the following items and should be attached as a single file to an email with “submission: title, authors name and word count” in the subject line:


  1. Proposal Cover letter

Addressed to the appropriate agent with title/genre/word count and appropriate contact information in the letter, this letter should interest us in reading your proposal. In an email the attached file name should be descriptive – author name / fiction or nonfiction proposal / logline.


  1. One-page sell sheet
  • The first line of a one page is: The title, genre and word count
  • tagline- one line pitch of your book
  • back book cover paragraph
  • abbreviated bio with author photo
  • all must fit on a single page


  1. Biographical sketch

List your writing experience, your education, your achievements, and your prior publishing history.


  1. Story Synopsis

Prepare a one to three page synopsis of your story.


  1. Market analysis

Identify your novel’s audience (the specific categories of readers your book is aimed at)


  1. Competitive analysis

Identify novels published within the past five years that are similar to your proposed work. Tell us why your book should be published, and explain how your book is superior and/or provides a new slant on your topic.


  1. Marketing strategies (what will you do to sell your book in cooperation with the publisher?)

Increasingly, fiction and non-fiction authors are encouraged to promote their novels themselves through writers’ conferences, book signings, and web sites. We suggest you establish a web site, and you’ll need to create promotional giveaways, arrange your own book signings, or attend writers’ conferences. Think outside of the box.


  1. History of the manuscript

Please tell us if the manuscript has been submitted to editors and/or publishers by yourself or another agent.


  1. The first three chapters

For fiction send the first three chapters. Non-fiction can be your choice of the first three or what you feel best showcases your book.