The first step to getting your name in print is to prepare a proposal. The proposal is a document that acts as a thorough outline of your idea for a book. So here's what to write:

1. General Overview: The first 2 pages or so should be a general summary of the entire book. If it is a non-fiction piece, just explain what you intend to write about and what topics you will cover. If you are writing fiction, provide a very general synopsis of your plot.

2. Market: Next, write a 3-page description of the market that you intend to appeal to. Describe the age, socio-economic, and educational characteristics of the audience you think your book will draw.

3. Competition: This section is where you provide a description of the other books out there that also cover this topic. Remember, a market filled with similar books can be a very good sign that there is money to be made here.

4. Authors: This portion of the proposal is a 1-page description of yourself and your co-authors, if any. Boast all you can because your agent is going to want to think that you are a great author for this book, to convince a publishing house to pay you for your idea.

5. Chapter Summary: The bulk of the proposal will be a chapter-by-chapter outline of what you intend to cover in your book. If you are writing fiction, here is where you may have to include up to twenty pages of actual samples. If the piece is non-fiction, stick to the minimum, either outlining or briefly synopsizing the heart of each chapter.

6. Delivery: This is a 3-sentence snippet at the end of the proposal that describes how many words you think the finished book will be and how long it will take you to write it.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW publish a book?