Sample Book Proposal

It is a lot of work to create a good book proposal, but it is one of the most important aspects of landing a reputable publisher!

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Michael Christian (penname: William Cane) has a helpful website for writing proposals.   There, he explains that the basic parts of a book proposal include the following sections:




Competing Books

About the Author

List of Chapters

Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Sample Chapters


 Below is a sample of a complete and exhaustive book proposal for a Christian non-fiction manuscript. It is by David Sanford, a published author, editor, and literary agent for more than 300 books who now serves on the leadership team at Corban University. (Used by permission). There are sections in this sample proposal that you may or may not want to include, or cannot include, but this will give you a good idea of how your own book proposal can catch the eye of an acquisitions editor.


If God Disappears:

9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do About Them


David Sanford 


This book offers encouragement and empowers readers to re-embrace the Christian faith after drifting away from the Lord and from the church.

o show how theological study divorced from personal devotion to God can be used by Satan to rob us of faith.

Theological study alone can be disastrous to one’s understanding of God’s Word, ability to grapple with tough questions, faith in God, calling and mission in life, and one’s most important relationships.

Theological study divorced from personal devotion to God can produce the most tragic effects. Lessons from Scripture will show how to pursue theological studies and personal devotion to God.

Chapter 7: The Problem of Suffering: Unsolved Mysteries                    20 pages

This chapter will present several compelling conversations and stories to show how the problem of evil and suffering can wound our faith. The problem of evil and suffering is raised by the death of a friend or loved one, a horrible accident, acts of terrorism and war, natural disasters, famine, and other tragedies.

It is the most difficult theological and philosophical problem humanity faces, yet is inadequately addressed by various philosophies and world religions.

It is best answered by affirming what the Bible teaches. Scripture itself will show how the problem of evil and suffering can either drive us closer to God or further away from Him.

Chapter 8: “Why Me?”: Crushing Circumstances                                   20 pages

Difficult life circumstances can rob us of faith, coming in the form of prolonged family problems, chronic physical ailments, and unrelenting or cyclical depression. This chapter will show how difficult challenges have prompted many famous individuals to drift away from God.

Lessons from Scripture will explain how to thrive despite chronic difficulties to prevent or overcome walking away from the faith.

Chapter 9: Anything Goes: Moral Relativism                                          15 pages

The author will present several compelling conversations and stories to show how growing moral relativism can rob us of faith. Moral relativism is eroding our understanding of who God is, our appreciation for God’s Word, and our commitment to the church. We will show how moral relativism causes many Christians to think, “If this doesn’t work, I can always walk away,” and why this is so harmful to individuals.

Lessons from Scripture will show how, by confessing specific sins, to regain moral ground to prevent or overcome spiritual drifting.

Epilogue: To the Rescue: Helping Those Who Are Drifting                   10 pages

This last section will present several compelling conversations and stories to show how readers can help friends who are spiritually drifting away. The author will give nearly a dozen principles on helping a friend including: being unshockable, asking lots of questions, identifying your friend’s key concerns, enlisting the help of another friend, agreeing on clear-cut objectives, reading God’s Word and praying together, and staying in touch no matter what.

Correspondence                        1 page

Acknowledgments                      2 pages

About the Author                       2 pages

Recommended Resources          2 pages


Two sample chapters follow on pp. 11 to ____.