How to Write a Compelling Nonfiction Book Proposal

Richard Toye
This event will teach you the key principles of devising a successful book proposal. You will learn how to devise a clear pitch to maximise your chances of getting a publisher’s attention.
This is a single-session event.
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Richard Toye

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Past dates

Apr 17 & Apr 24
Apr 17 & Apr 24
10am PT / 1pm ET
60 min


This event will help you devise a pitch that will make your book proposal stand out from the crowd. It will cover publisher expectations, how to structure your proposal, and how to distinguish your book from competitor works. It will highlight the common mistakes that can prevent a proposal’s potential being recognised. You will learn the need to use compelling, dynamic language, without overselling. You will learn how to identify and exploit the unique strengths of your idea and to make best use of your personal background and track record. There is no way that a book proposal can be guaranteed success – but there are simple rules that can be used to maximise your chances.


The first session will comprise a talk by Richard followed by questions and an opportunity (if you wish) to introduce your book idea. You will be set the task of writing a paragraph-long pitch before the second session. The second session will be dedicated to refining your pitch and learning more about how to devise a full proposal.

Participants wishing to pitch an academic book or nonfiction book for a lay audience are both welcome.

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