Monday, November 16, 2009

Side Trip: How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Proposal – Part 11

About the Author / Credentials

This is where you list your writing credentials.

This is not where you list the credentials you have for writing the book—your education, experience, or expertise on the topic. We did that in Part 9: “Why should you write this book?”

Instead, this part of your book proposal tells your writing experience. Mention:
  • Your periodical publications. State how many you have. List a few of your best publications or the ones directly related to the topic of your book.
  • Your book contributions, if any.
  • Your own published books.
  • Any awards you’ve won.
  • Special mentions of your work.

This is where you “show off” your writing experience (but, of course, don’t look like you’re showing off). Don’t be shy. Just help the editor or agent know how experienced you are as a writer.

If you don’t yet have any writing credentials, you don’t have to say that or call attention to it. Just leave this part out of your book proposal and don’t mention it. (In the mean time, you might want to try getting some publishing credits. Print magazines count for a lot. Online magazines will do. Your own blog probably doesn’t count, unless you have an extraordinary readership.)

Consider this your resume. You’re looking for a job, and you’re hoping this agent or publisher will “hire” you to write your book. In order to make that decision, they need to know what writing experience you have.

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