Nonfiction Book Proposal

Complete a full proposal that wins an agent and a contract

  • sections:
  • Thursdays 6:45-9:45pm ET, 8 sessions full schedule

Nonfiction books -- a market easier to break into than fiction -- are the backbone of publishing. Whether self-help, travel, health, memoir, business, current affairs, or any other number of categories, there's no shortage of readers for nonfiction that teaches, transforms, and captivates readers interested in a particular subject.

In this class, you'll learn how to convey your idea in a winning book proposal and why taking the time to do so will make or break your chances of getting it noticed and sold. You'll also learn what is appropriate for writers who have an idea for a book, but would like to know the complete and correct execution of this vital marketing product.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Identify whether your idea is a good one
  • Think through the essential ingredients of a book proposal
  • Format the proposal
  • Write your proposal letter
  • Understand the nuts and bolts of the nonfiction publishing industry

By the end of class, you will have:

A marketable nonfiction book proposal package ready to send out to agents, including a query letter and sample chapter.

Ryan D. Harbage is a literary agent at The Fischer-Harbage Agency, Inc, where his clients include Ethan Brown, Courtney Eldridge, Bill Eppridge, Aliya King, Amy Sullivan, and Jackson Taylor. Previously, Ryan edited several bestselling books for Little, Brown & Company, the Penguin Group, and Simon Spotlight Entertainment, which he helped create and launch. His opinions on books and writing have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Poets & Writers, and Publisher's Weekly.

  • "Ryan Fischer-Harbage is an amazing mentor. With the proper amount of encouragement, gentility, and critique, he helps you shape your proposal and find your voice. Plus, he brings real world experience that prepares us for the business side of being an author."

    David Krell

  • "Ryan was savvy, focused, knowledgeable, and provided a great template for a winning proposal. My proposal sealed a deal with Penguin to publish my first solo book!"

    Bruce Frankel

  • "I went home from Ryan's class feeling pumped, polished my proposal, and by morning, all the agents had responded. I now have a book deal and the perfect editor who completely gets my vision."

    Kate Torgovnick

  • "Any aspiring writer should sign up for this class. RYan gives great insight into the do's and don'ts in dealing with agents and editors in all genres."

    Mercedes Vizcaino

  • "I came away enthused about the industry, about my prospects as a future author, and jazzed to have been surrounded by so many bright, creative peers."

    Emma Johnson

  • "Ryan offers an insider's view of the publishing industry and, as an agent, provides a useful step-by-step guide. His classes are peppered with tips you won't find in a manual."

    Marissa Charles

  • "Ryan is very experienced and knowledgeable. I left feeling much clearer about what I need to do to complete my proposal and get it to agents."

    Lisa Zamosky

  • "With the help of Ryan and this class I was able to finish my nonfiction book proposal and signed with a fantastic agent!"

    Katie Sweeney

  • "Ryan is clear, logical, bright, and very knowledgeable. He communicated openly and explained a vast range of information about what makes a good book proposal. He also offered meaningful insights into the publishing industry."

    Deborah Everett