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Nonfiction Picture Book Proposals 101:

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shamrock838

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Nonfiction Picture Book Proposals 101:

What is the accepted way of preparing and submitting a proposal for a nonfiction picture book, say for the middle grade market?  How does it differ from a standard magazine article query?

Does one start with the standard cover letter pitch and include a dummy mockup of page spreads with text on the verso and  leaving space for illustrations on the recto sides?  If so – how so?  I use MS Word and MS PowerPoint under the MS Vista operating system.

Many thanks.
#1 - January 28, 2011, 07:49 PM

Aud

Guest
Hi there, shamrock838.

Most picture books are not for the middle grade market, so I'm a little confused by your question.

I can tell you that I'm writing an article on nonfiction books for kids right now, for which I have interviewed some editors (and writers). Most say that for a nonfiction picture book, especially for an author they have not yet worked with, they would want to see the whole book, not a proposal.

Are you planning to illustrate your own book? If so, I have no idea how you submit that. If not, you pretty much attend only to the text.

Sorry not to have more/better answers.... Anyone else?

#2 - January 29, 2011, 01:51 PM

ghost

Guest
Nonfiction Picture Book Proposals 101:

What is the accepted way of preparing and submitting a proposal for a nonfiction picture book, say for the middle grade market?  How does it differ from a standard magazine article query?

Does one start with the standard cover letter pitch and include a dummy mockup of page spreads with text on the verso and  leaving space for illustrations on the recto sides?  If so – how so?  I use MS Word and MS PowerPoint under the MS Vista operating system.
                                                           (YOU DON'T AND SHOULDN'T DO ANY OF THIS)


Are you preparing this in hope of landing an agent or for direct submission to book publishers? Are you doing the illustration or are you leaving that up to a publisher?

It's not all that difficult. Just follow the submission guidelines for each agent or publisher. They will differ. Before you start submitting have finished copies of eveyting you may need -- cover letter, synopsis, sample chaters (in order, starting wth chater one), proposal, manuscript (although many beleve you only need the first few chapters with non-fiction -- obviously I disagree), if applicble, endorsements from experts in the field. Beyond the manuscript I beleve that the proposal is, in the end, the most important element.  

#3 - March 20, 2011, 11:37 AM

Member
Poster Plus
Hi Shamrock838,

When I submitted the proposal for my middle grade non-fic Cryptic Canada, I sent a cover letter explaining the focus/slant of my book, the projected word count and my writing credentials.  I also had a one-page overview which included other similar books already in the marketplace and how mine was different.  Next came the outline where I briefly explained what each chapter and spread would cover.  Lastly I included two sample chapters; no pictures or artwork directions, simply text.

The editors commented that it was an excellent proposal that gave them all the information they needed to understand the project and how it fit into their publishing plan.   :moose

Nat
#4 - March 20, 2011, 01:45 PM
Saving Armpit, F&W
I Owe You One, Orca
Cryptic Canada, Owlkids
Hockey Girl, F&W
Glow-in-the-dark Creatures, F&W
Stay Strong F&W
www.nataliehyde.com

Here's a link to a Nonfiction Book Proposal Cheat Sheet from Full Circle Literary that you might find helpful: http://www.fullcircleliterary.com/Nonfiction_Book_Proposal.pdf
#5 - March 21, 2011, 11:04 AM
UNICORN AND YETI: SPARKLY NEW FRIENDS, A GOOD TEAM, & FRIENDS ROCK! Coming 2019 from Scholastic Acorn

ghost

Guest
Here's a link to a Nonfiction Book Proposal Cheat Sheet from Full Circle Literary that you might find helpful: http://www.fullcircleliterary.com/Nonfiction_Book_Proposal.pdf

I think Full Circle put together an excellent format for a proposal. I guess that has something to do with the fact that my own proposal is almost idenical and has served me well. My proposal runs about 20 pages and contains a few things not mentioned by Full Circle, alhtough what they do suggest is certainly predominent.
#6 - March 21, 2011, 12:14 PM

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