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Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Want to publish your book?
Learn how--it's easier than you think!
Charismatic authors and literary agents Jeff Herman and Deborah Levine Herman have successfully sold nearly 1,000 titles and learned--through trial and error--how to write a flawless book proposal that publishers can't resist. Now you can benefit from their hard work and publishing savvy. In this new edition
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Turner (first published March 26th 1993)
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Fredrick Danysh
The authors discuss the purpose of book proposals and how to write effective ones using ten examples. It is useful information for the beginning or unpublished author to be. This was a free review copy from Turner Publishing.
Nelly Mosstaghimi
Excellent resource. I've read a few books on how to draft a book proposal and this one is by far the best. It includes 10 real book proposals - which was the most valuable part. No matter what type of book you are writing, you will be able to find some template language or ideas in one of the 10 proposals that apply to you. I became aware of this book through Tim Ferriss's blog ( His book recommendations for these types of resource materials are always excellent. ...more
The first half of this book is helpful for anything you are writing. The back half with the proposals would be immensely helpful if you were trying to write a nonfic book proposal. If you're a fiction writer - like me - then they are less so. I wish they would have included one Fiction Synopsis. That would have made it better. ...more
Geoffrey Szuszkiewicz
An excellent book for teaching you the setup of a book proposal, what makes for a good one, and a critical look at 10 proposals that sold. An invaluable resource for us working on our own book proposals.
Cheri Flake
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whew. Ok, here comes me! Wish me luck! :)
Glenn Hammer
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writting
A little dated but many of the ideas are still good.
May 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
The first part of the book gives a nice overview of what you need to know to write your book proposal. The second part gives samples (flaws & all) of book proposals that sold.

* I like that it quickly gets to the point (the list of elements needed in your proposal is right there on the second page -- ya can't get any quicker than that!) The information is presented clearly.
* I like that they didn't present *perfect* proposals. It's nice to learn from others' mistakes.
* It's probably a nit-picky t
Sten Vesterli
I’m not in favour of calling books a “must-read”, but if you want to get your own book commercially published, I have to say you must read “Write the Perfect Book Proposal”.

The main force of this book is that it explains the publishing industry from the inside: What a publisher is looking for. The authors honestly explain what the publisher will and will not do, and that you should plan on marketing your book yourself because the publisher won’t.

It was a surprise to me that I have to build a who
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are an aspiring writer who has a great idea for a nonfiction book, start with Herman and Adams. The authors have critiqued, in detail, 10 excellent book proposals whose writers succeeded in getting publishing contracts.
Annotated margin notes on the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal are useful. The overview material that precedes the proposals is a treasure for the beginning writer.
Rosemary Richings
As someone who just finished writing draft one of my first book, I have a lot of questions. This book is fantastic because it makes me feel like an agent is coaching me how to attract other agents. Only issue I have with it are the examples themselves. Perhaps that's a personal preference thing, but because the sample pitches fail to peak my interest, I have to really focus to read the commentary in part 2. Other than that, love this book! ...more
David Gleeson
Significantly better than the last effort I read on the subject. Still left with an aversion for all things proposal.
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Non-fiction writers
Shelves: books-on-writing
A lot of this I found helpful, even though I'm a fiction writer. I think being able to read examples of proposals helped me understand what to include in my synopsis. ...more
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
I have an older version of this book, but it's incredibly useful. The examples are great, and it's relatively easy to adapt them into templates for your own book proposals. ...more
Anthony Tenaglier
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
Helping me very much in constructing my book proposal!
Sharice Harris
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for any author who is seriously passionate about shaping and clearly expressing thier book's purpose in an objective professional manner. ...more
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Doug Page
Herman and Adams are agents.
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