Affiliate Program

Writing the Non-Fiction Book Proposal

Deborah Bouziden

Course ID: LC019

Current Openings: Yes

Did you know that you could sell a non-fiction book before it is written? All you need is a well-thought out, well-put together book proposal. In this five-week course, you'll learn the following:

  • The best non-fiction book ideas for you
  • How-to do market analysis
  • How-to put together outlines and sample chapters
  • How-to sell yourself and your idea to an editor.

It doesn't matter if you've been thinking about writing a non-fiction book proposal for a long time or the thought occurred to you last week. By the time you have completed this course, if you have kept up with assignments, made necessary adjustments, and paid attention to feedback, you will have the key ingredients for your non-fiction book proposal and be ready to submit it to an editor.

This will be an intense "working" class and participants are warned not to sign up for class if not prepared to spend time working on a project. Through this course, the instructor will do the following:

  • Lecture
  • Provide handouts as warranted
  • Give assignments
  • Evaluate student's work.

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Course Type:

Private mentoring.


To complete a non-fiction book proposal and get it in the mail to an editor.

Learner Prerequisites

For maximum benefit, student should have a topic in mind.

Start Date Ongoing, open enrollment.
Duration 5 lessons at your pace.
Limit N/A
Class Materials N/A
Cost $150
Tutorial Option Yes - Review of Completed Proposal (Not Completed with Class) $150

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Does Your Idea Have What It Takes to Get Noticed in New York?
In this class the instructor will share:

  • Eight items a good non-fiction book must have
  • 17 different non-fiction categories where students can mine for ideas,
  • The difference between a synopsis and proposal
  • The reasons an author may choose and benefit from writing non-fiction over fiction.
As an assignment, students will make lists of what they do, know, and have experienced in their lives. They will then compare them to the non-fiction categories. They will also write down the reasons they are qualified to write about this topic and why it will benefit readers. From their list, they will then choose ONE topic to work with over the next four lessons.

Lesson 2: Checking Out the Competition
In this session, instructor will discuss the importance of doing market research before moving into the next phase of writing the proposal. Instructor will share where to go, what to look for, and why. Student assignment will be to not only put together a marketing strategy of where they'd like to sell their book, but write a paragraph about other books available on their subject. They will be required to list title, author, publisher, and copyright. They will then choose three or four of the available titles and write a paragraph on why and how their book is different and why and how their book is similar.

Lesson 3: Putting Together an Impressive Outline
Instructor will cover table of contents in relation to the outline and what goes into the outline, like:

  • How long a descriptive paragraph in your outline should be
  • Format
  • How to keep control of your book's theme.
Instructor will share why students must know what material will go into each chapter and be able to express their ideas to an editor. Student's assignment will be to turn in a table of contents and chapter outline with outline description.

Lesson 4: Writing the Sample Chapters
Lecture will include different forms and methods of writing the sample chapters and marketing strategies for using them to impress an editor. Session will also cover:

  • The definition of a sample chapter,
  • What chapters should be sent to an editor
  • What editors look for in those chapters.

Lesson 5: All the Extras
Instructor will share what else is needed to complete proposal like:

  • An Introduction
  • Bio
  • Personal marketing strategy (what student can and is willing to do to sell his book)
  • An overview of how to package the book proposal.
Instructor will provide a non-fiction book proposal checklist for students, and a book and website list where they can learn more about non-fiction book proposals. Student assignment will be to complete sample chapters and required elements.

Instructor Bio

Deborah Bouziden has been writing and publishing since 1985. She has won numerous writing awards and has had hundreds of articles published in such magazines as:

  • Woman's Day
  • Writer's Digest
  • The Writer
  • Network Marketing Lifestyles
  • Sunday Digest
  • Capper's
  • Woman's Touch
  • ParentLife
  • The Sunday Oklahoman

Deborah has spoken at writer's conferences, monthly meetings and workshops, held classes for local colleges, and served as Vice President of the Oklahoma Writer's Federation in 1995 and President of the organization for the 2000-2001 calendar year.

She has seven books to her credit including The Journal Wheel and Guidebook, Yankee Surrender, and Oklahoma: Off The Beaten Path. She has written several non-fiction book proposals and is working on one, even now, for her writer's motivational series. To learn more about Deborah, visit her website at

Please find her and her stories on the web at