Writing the Book Proposal

A basic book proposal consists of four elements:

  • A one-page query letter
  • A two- to four-page synopsis of the book
  • A chapter-by-chapter outline
  • A one-page author’s bio

Those are the elements you’ll need when querying literary agents and commercial publishers. Most require that you submit the query letter and brief synopsis first. If they like what they see, then they’ll ask for a more detailed chapter-by-chapter outline of the book, and either sample chapters of the book or the entire manuscript.

Here’s what you’ll get when you enroll in the Writing the Book Proposal workshop.

  • A Guidebook giving you the information you need to write an effective, compelling book proposal. You’ll find out how to hook the literary agent or publisher with the query letter, how to sink the hook with the synopsis, and how to reel him or her in with the chapter outline.
  • Sample book proposal for you to use as a model in creating your own.
  • A critique of your book proposal. You’ll need a compelling book proposal when you query literary agents and publishers. The model in the Guidebook will show you how to write your book proposal, and my critique will show you how to fix any problems with it. An effective book proposal is essential.
  • A list of literary agents who will be right for your novel. Most major commercial publishers no longer accept submissions directly from authors. In order to get your manuscript to the right publisher, you first have to find the right agent and convince him or her that you’ve got a marketable novel. I’ll help you do that.
  • My 30-Day No Risk Guarantee.

Please note: You must successfully complete the Fundamentals of Novel Writing and Advanced Novel Writing workshops before enrolling in the Writing the Book Proposal workshop.


Send me an email or call me at (505) 401-1021. I’m usually in my office weekdays from 9 to 6 (U.S. Mountain time zone).

Ready to get started?

Enroll in the Greenleaf Online Writing Workshops. Payment can be made via personal check, credit card, or PayPal. I’ll send you the workshop materials as MS Word or PDF files, and you’ll be on your way! Don’t forget about my 30-Day No Risk Guarantee.

William Greenleaf
Greenleaf Online Writing Workshops
6003 Redondo Sierra Vista NE
Rio Rancho, NM 87144

Phone: (505) 401-1021
Fax: (505) 435-9001
Email: william@wgreenleaf.com

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