The Essential Book Proposal

A Writer’s Guide to What it is, Why You Need it,
and How to Make it Awesome

 

Learn the Indispensable Secrets to Writing a Stand-Out Book Proposal that Agents and Editors Crave 

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Your Publishing Journey Starts — or Stops Dead — 

with Your Book Proposal

You’ve worked hard to develop a compelling book idea. You’ve spent hours pouring over written pages, drafts, and rewrites. Now you’ve reached an intimidating milestone: you’ve got to land an agent or get your foot in the door with an editor. And the only way to do that is to craft an exceptional book proposal.

You can scour the Internet and find every kind of advice on book proposals — but that advice is often generic, outdated, and not trustworthy. How do you make your book proposal really shine? What exactly do agents and editors want to see?

You know there’s a lot riding on your book proposal, but do you realize it is the essential tool you need to find an agent and secure a publishing contract? This is no exaggeration. Everything hinges on your book proposal.

At Yates & Yates Author Coaching, we know that this part of the publishing process can be very intimidating to authors — and for good reason! Literary agents receive between 5,000-20,000 queries or book proposals EACH YEAR. How do you stand out in that crowd? The competition is steep, and agents and editors are looking for very specific, compelling proposals that are awesome!

So how do you write a book proposal that makes agents say, “I want to represent you”? How do you craft a twenty-or thirty-page document so compelling that editors will clamor to publish your work?

As literary agency professionals who have stewarded scores of books to bestseller lists, we know exactly what your proposal needs in order to land you a contract. We’ve spent decades coaching our author clients in enhancing and optimizing their book proposals. Almost all of our proposals garner six or seven-figure deals! This is what we do. And we do it extremely well.

We’ll show you all our book proposal tips and tricks in The Essential Book Proposal, an 11-module video course developed specifically for authors just like you, on the cusp of getting published. We are going to show you what we want in a book proposal, as literary agents, and walk you through each element in a book proposal, including specific sections like Unique Selling Proposition, Comparable Titles, Short Summary Statement, and more!

After working your way through our course, you are going to have a completed first draft of your book proposal, finished and fantastic!

At Yates & Yates Author Coaching, We Believe in the Power of Books to Change Lives… and We Want to Help You Share
Your Message with the World!

Did you know that 81% of people believe they have a book in them? And yet fewer than 1% of them will actually get their book published. Why is that? Because writing a book and getting it published is hard.

Created by the team at Yates & Yates, one of the nation’s leading literary agencies, Author Coaching is ready to guide you through this scary, make-or-break moment of the publishing process. With more than 120 collective years of experience in publishing, our expertise has been honed over decades of coaching authors on everything from landing six and seven-figure contracts to growing a platform, developing content, creating marketing plans, and executing bestselling book launches. We’ve shepherded over 40 books to the New York Times bestseller list.

You shouldn’t have to “know everything” to become a successful author. That’s our job. We believe that God has uniquely equipped us to help authors use their gifts. You bring your talents and message and a teachable spirit, and we will champion you to reach your full potential as an author and creative.

What You’ll Learn in This Video Course

The Essential Book Proposal is an 11-module video course that gives you the inside scoop on every element your proposal needs to catch the attention of agents and editors. We literally walk you step-by-step through each section of a book proposal and show you what it is, why you need it, and how to make it awesome. We use examples from actual book proposals we have worked on that received significant advances as inspiration and instruction for you.

And best of all, at the end of this course, you are going to walk away with a completed first draft of your proposal!

“First impressions make a huge difference, and when it comes to book proposals, a first impression can make all the difference. When it comes to my book proposals, I’ve had the unfair advantage of a team of people that know how to make the best first impressions. My book proposals rock because Yates & Yates have it down to a science. If you want to give your book the best shot at publication, send it into the world with the best proposal. That’s what Yates & Yates can help you create.”

Jon Acuff

New York Times Bestselling Author and Motivational Speaker

Here's what each module covers:

MODULE  #1

Why Book Proposals are so Essential

Why do you need a book proposal? How will it be used and evaluated? You’ll learn the critical context that will inform how you craft your proposal so it stands out and shines! 

MODULE  #2

Start with a Bang
(Cover, Short Summary, Overview)

How do you capture the attention of an agent from the get go? It starts with a strong cover, concise and compelling short summary statement, and a sizzling overview.

MODULE  #3

Unique Selling Proposition

Learn how to develop the unique selling proposition (USP) for your book. You’ll dive into the benefits the reader is going to get from your book, and how your book will deliver on each of those benefits.

MODULE  #4

Manuscript Length & Delivery

What are the unique features of your book?  When can you deliver your manuscript to a publisher?  We’ll explore these essential must-know questions and how to communicate them to an agent or publisher.

MODULE  #5

Target Audience

How do you communicate who your audience is, where to find them, why they follow you, and how those people can be reached? This module will clarify how to identify your target audience and pique curiosity in an agent or publisher. 

MODULE  #6

Comparable Titles 

Perhaps one of the most challenging sections of a book proposal, you’ll learn how to size up your competition and demonstrate why their audience would also be interested in your book, and how to differentiate your book from theirs.

MODULE  #7

Platform

You’ll discover what makes a great author platform and how to present it in an attractive way to a potential publisher. Hint: It’s not just about listing your social media numbers.

MODULE  #8

Sales History

If you have any previous sales history, you’ll learn how to position it well in your proposal so that agents and editors have context for your past sales.  

MODULE  #9

About the Author

This is your time to shine! You’ll discover how to communicate your credibility, relevant experience, your mission, and the heart of your book in a way that dazzles an agent or publisher.

MODULE  #10

Chapter Outline & Summaries

Your outline is NOT a table of contents. We’ll unpack one of the most important parts of your book proposal, your chapter outline and summaries, AND sample chapters.  How do you reveal your book’s treasures and takeaways so that an agent cannot help but bite on your book proposal? 

MODULE  #11

Book Proposal Bonus Features

What are the above and beyond “extras” you can add to your book proposal, beyond the basic template, to make it really stand out?  We explore additional book proposal features you could add to your proposal to make it irresistible.

“I have the best team, and when it comes to proposals – Yates & Yates has been my secret weapon, seriously. They bring my game up to a whole new level. They know what works, what doesn’t, and how to take a book idea from good to great. When I began dreaming about doing a cookbook, they helped me make that dream a reality. The cookbook proposal was a wild ride, with tons of offers from publishers, that ended in a very competitive auction. I don’t know where I would be without their guidance and expertise. They make my book ideas shine!!!”

Jen Hatmaker

New York Times Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Television Presenter

Want to Get Traditionally Published? You’ve Got to Write a Show-Stopping Book Proposal! 

The Essential Book Proposal Course

$997

(Save 50% - Use code: PROPOSAL50)

Get instant access to the
entire "Essential Book Proposal" course!

  • 11 self-paced video modules
  • Downloadable PDF homework with exercises to build each element of your book proposal
  • A step-by-step proposal walkthrough
  • Essential dos and don'ts from top literary agents
  • Book Proposal Template
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Book Proposal
Critique

$1500

(Introductory Price - Limited Time!)

Wondering how to improve, sharpen or optimize your book proposal? 

The Book Proposal Critique is for people who have written and completed a non-fiction book proposal and want to query agents or publishers for a traditional publishing contract.

  • 2-hour review of up to 30 pages
  • Personal 45-minute Zoom call
  • Get feedback from expert literary agents
LEARN MORE

Package
Deal

$1697

(Very Special Limited Time Offer!)

Buy the Critique and get
the course for FREE!

  • Get instant access to the
    entire "Essential Book Proposal" course
  • PLUS you'll receive our "Book Proposal Critique" - expert, constructive, tailored feedback from top literary agents

 

BUY BOTH

“Your book proposal is everything—especially as a first time writer. You have one shot to make a great first impression and I truly believe that a good literary agent can make all the difference. The team at Yates and Yates collaborated with me to craft a book proposal that truly stood out and captured the attention of several publishers. Their vast experience, honest feedback, and coaching throughout the process resulted in multiple strong offers and ultimately, a book deal with a team that I adore.”

Natalie Franke

Author Built to Belong, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Leader of the Rising Tide Society

 

What If You Could Finally Land an Agent or Publishing Deal with a Legit Publisher? 


The key is to write a compelling, concise, awesome book proposal! 

It doesn’t matter how amazing your book idea is, you won’t be able to get your book traditionally published without an incredible book proposal! You don’t want to accidentally omit important elements of your proposal. Or inadvertently get it wrong.

Consider this:

  • How much more confident would you feel if you knew that you wrote a book proposal based on the advice of literary agents who review and evaluate proposals for a living?  
  • What would it be like if you knew exactly what to say and what to include so your proposal wouldn’t be rejected due to confusion or lack of substance?
  • What would it feel like to have agents and editors emailing and calling YOU about publishing your book — instead of fishing around for contact information or sending emails that get no response?
  • How much would it mean if you could realize your dream of becoming a published author, hold your book in your hands, and watch how it impacts others’ lives?

There are no guarantees with publishing, but if you write a poor proposal, your journey will stop dead before it even gets started. This course offers you the expert insights you need to put your very best foot forward and increase your opportunity to get published. You will know you won’t be wasting valuable time and resources on what doesn’t work. 

Say YES to discovering how to get the attention of agents and editors by writing an awesome book proposal — instead of taking a chance that may cause your hard-wrought book idea to be totally ignored.

7-Day Money-Back Guarantee

We believe you’ll see the value of The Essential Book Proposal course immediately. But if you get access and feel like the material is not right for you, just email our team within the first 7 days to get a full refund. It’s as simple as that. You’ll get 100% of your money back, no questions asked!

This Course Is Not for Everyone

The Essential Book Proposal course is not for everyone. This is for authors seeking the traditional publishing route, not self-publishing — and it isn’t for those who are simply batting around the idea of publishing a book. In an industry where 8 out of 10 people say they want to write a book, you need to have the drive to develop an idea, capture an audience, and position your book as a stand-out offering to publishers. 

This course is only for people who…

  • Are ready to learn the nuts and bolts of what it takes to write a stunning book proposal
  • Want to do their homework, make important changes, and proactively carve out their path as a promising author
  • Want to be taught, equipped, and led by publishing experts in order to get the attention of agents and editors
  • Are ready to improve their work, apply the advice, and make progress, even when it seems challenging or frustrating


This is NOT a writing course, but it will shape your writing. This course will give you insight into what it takes to put together a well-developed, clear, concise, dazzling book proposal — the kind that will get your foot in the door so that you can start your publishing journey.

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