How to Write and Pitch a Book Proposal

How to write and pitch a book proposalHi, friends! Today I am REALLY excited because we are opening back up our course, How to Write and Pitch a Book Proposal, written by our friend and literary agent, Lindsay Edgecombe. This course was originally launched in April 2014 and after re-evaluating, adding some new images, sprucing up the text, and just generally giving this course a few updates to make it that much better, we are excited to offer it up to you all again.

This course is designed  to help aspiring authors take their book ideas and turn them into A+ proposals that will stand out to both literary agents as well as publishers, and hopefully lead to a book deal. How to Write and Pitch a Book Proposal is not overly long—but it definitely has everything you need. I cannot tell you how much I believe in this course, but you don’t have to take just my word for it. We were super excited when Anuschka Rees, the author of The Curated Closet (a book we LOVE), agreed to share her story with you:

The curated closet“I’ve wanted to write a book ever since I can remember, but I never actively pursued a career as a writer because, ‘There are too many jobless writers already’ and, ‘It’s close to impossible to get a book deal these days’ – that’s what they say, right? It wasn’t until my blog gained some traction (after 3+ years) that I started to think, ‘Hey, this stuff that I’ve been writing about… that would actually make a pretty good book!’

I started to look around for information about how one might go about not just writing a book, but then also about finding someone to publish it. I eventually stumbled across Lindsay’s course on A Beautiful Mess, read the whole thing in one go–and felt very relieved because I now had a concrete roadmap for what I had to do next.

The course walks you through every component of a great book proposal, from your pitch letter to your chapter summaries. Two things surprised me initially: for one, that book proposals have a set structure that you need to stick to, and secondly, that a huge chunk of it should be dedicated to marketing. In other words: You need to present your potential publisher with a clear plan of who is going to buy your book and what you will do to promote it. Those chapters were definite wake-up calls because while I had already meticulously planned out each chapter of the book, I had pretty much ignored the entire business side of being an author. Thankfully, Lindsay does a great job explaining both the creative and the business components of the proposal in detail and gives you plenty of ideas for everything. There are also several examples from real authors, which I loved, and of course, lots of insider tips from Lindsay herself. I also found it very motivating that throughout the course, she emphasized that agents and publishers WANT to hear great pitches and are rooting for their authors. That little bit of extra encouragement made me feel like my proposal wasn’t going to end up in the slush pile—at least not if I gave it my best shot.

When I finished writing my proposal, I first sent it to the same literary agency Lindsay works at because I felt like I had already gotten to know her and her philosophy through her course. I was going to research more literary agents the next week, but guess what? I didn’t need to because Lindsay replied, we chatted on the phone, and just like that I had found my agent!

Within a couple of months, Lindsay had negotiated a book deal for me, and I could start writing my book! The Curated Closet came out in September 2016 in the US and Canada, and is due to be released in several more languages. Right now I am working on my next book. This time I already have an agent, but I am still going to use Lindsay’s course as a guide to fine-tune the overall concept of the book and make sure it’s well thought out from both a creative and a business perspective.”-Anuschka Rees

How to write a book proposalIf you’ve ever dreamed of writing a book, this course can help you shape your ideas and maybe even turn that dream into a reality. Here’s what you’ll learn:

•How to know if you’re ready to pitch your book
•How to write an awesome pitch letter (sometimes called a query)
•How to draft an overview of your idea
•Crafting an attention-getting biography
•How to think about your potential audience
•Growing your platform as an author
•Drafting a great chapter outline

Lindsay has packed the course with encouragement as well as industry insider knowledge from her experiences in the publishing world over the past ten years. The course also includes three sample proposals as a bonus! Giving you even more guides to follow.

How to Write and Pitch a Book Proposal is a work-at-your-own-pace e-Course, available for $30 USD.

Lindsay, Emma, ElsieLindsay has represented Elsie and I for many years. She helped us land our very first book deal, and we are currently finishing up work on our third book. Not only is Lindsay a great agent, she is also a friend, and there is no one else I would recommend learning from more.

You’re going to love her and her course. 🙂 You can read a bit more about How to Write and Pitch a Book Proposal, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments below. Thanks! -Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy, Anuschka Rees, and Emma Chapman. 

  • My concept has vibe similar to Human’s of New York. Would this course be appropriate? The project is truly in its infancy , but I’m wanting to plot my next steps. Thanks!

  • Hi– I have a question for Lindsay. If I buy this course, does she represent any publishers that publish children’s books? I have a unique children’s book idea with a very targeted –but very large–market. Since I do facebook marketing for a living, my original plan was to self-publish, run an effective PR campaign and market directly on facebook, but I’m curious about the book proposal route but wondering how much control I would be giving away. I certainly wouldn’t be interested in the typical 2% to 10% that authors get. But with the right publisher, I’d be willing to work something out.

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions or recommendations!

    • Hi Norman! Feel free to contact Lindsay with any questions at ledgecombe AT lgrliterary DOT com

  • Hi! Is this course applicable to children’s books? I see that you said non-fiction in an earlier question but know this doesn’t necessarily include children’s books! Thank you in advance!

  • My husband wrote a story about his career . I don’t want to sell it just need advise how to publish it for family members. Does your course teach that?

  • I would love to learn more about pitching articles and photography to magazine since that is something I’ve been thinking about recently. (Just in case you need any new course ideas.!)

    • It is focused on nonfiction is that is the majority of what Lindsay represents, but there is info for fiction/novel writers as well. She’s also included a little on self publishing. But the course is def geared mostly toward nonfiction.

  • The timing of your posts always hit the perfect places in my life! My mom just told my sister and me this weekend that she’s thinking of engaging a wider audience on some health information she’s been researching the past few years, and I bought her a seat in your Blog Life e-course. She’s so excited! She said she would consider blogging as an avenue toward writing a book, and… BOOM! By the end of the week, your book proposal e-course was re-launched! Never mind that my family was in town for my baby shower the same weekend Laura was celebrating with her friends and family. 🙂 I love life’s little coincidences, and I so appreciate your blog for being a bright spot in so many of my days. Thank you!

  • Hi Ashley! The course will help with any book that you’re wanting to pitch. 🙂 -Jacki

  • Oh thank you!
    I’m in the finishing artwork stages of a fun Beginner Piano book and was online this morning looking for publishing advice – lo and behold, here you are!! 🙂 Thank you so much for the advice, will check out the e-Course.

  • That sounds amazing! Would it be relevant for pitching children’s picture books?

  • This is something that has always been a mystery to me. Not looking to publish anything currently but may take it out of curiosity:)

  • If you already purchased, you should still have access through your account on the shop site. When we add to or update courses past students still get to take advantage of that—one of the ways we work to keep adding value to our e-course program.

    If you don’t see it in your account, email the customer service team for the shop site and they will get you taken care of.



  • So cool! I would love to turn my blog into a book. This would be a great start!

  • I’m not personally looking to pitch a book, but what an interesting article! Thanks for sharing such a cool skill.

  • I’m so interested! Writing a book has always been my dream!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Bookmarked the course – definitely something that will come in hafuture I think. Thanks ladies!

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