Publish Your Nonfiction Book

Strategies for learning the industry, selling your book, and building a successful career.
Publish date:

Publish Your Nonfiction Book
Strategies for Learning the Industry, Selling Your Book, and Building a Successful Career
by Sharlene Martin and Anthony Flacco
Writer's Digest Books, 2009
ISBN 978-1-58297-578-8
$17.99, paperback, 304 pages

book proposal | publish a nonfiction book

Buy the Book

Buy the Digital Download

Read an Exclusive Q&A
Martin and Flacco discuss changes in the publishing industry, advice for writers, writing groups and more.

Watch the Book Trailer

Read an Excerpt:

Why You Should Include Book Comparisons In Your Book Proposal

How to Build an Internet Presence

About the Book

Demystify the publishing process with this insider’s guide to beating rejection!

In Publish Your Nonfiction Book, successful literary agent Sharlene Martin and noted novelist and nonfiction author Anthony Flacco draw on their years of experience to provide you with an in-depth understanding of what the publishing industry is really like and how to successfully navigate it in order to ensure a long-term career. You’ll learn:

• Techniques for writing a strong query letter that hooks agents and editors right from the start
• Strategies for putting together a stellar proposal package that successfully pitches you and your book
• Methods for creating a respectable author platform—before you start pitching your book
• Tips for getting an agent and building a lasting working relationship
• And much, much more!

Plus, the authors examine actual query letters and proposals that worked, so you can see firsthand exactly what catches an agent’s attention and why.

Publish Your Nonfiction Book is the one-on-one agent consultation you need—but seldom get—to learn the ropes and seal the deal.

About the Authors

Sharlene Martin and Anthony Flacco have used their considerable experience as a successful literary agent and widely published writer, respectively, to demystify the publishing process for nonfiction books in a way that any writer will find to be informative and enlightening. …

—William Shinker, President & Publisher, Gotham and Avery Books

In Publish Your Nonfiction Book, Martin and Flacco have used their years of experience and their insiders’ understanding to provide an easy-to-follow path to building a successful career in a volatile and competitive marketplace. It will become an invaluable classic on any writer's bookshelf. …

—Roger Cooper, Vice-President, Publisher, Vanguard Press

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1: How to Surf the Tidal Wave in Today’s
Nonfiction Book Market 5
Chapter 2: The Many Forms of Nonfiction 15
Chapter 3: The Platform Dance 37
Chapter 4: Getting the Rights Right 55
Chapter 5: The Nine Essential Elements of a Book Proposal 64
Chapter 6: Three Proposals That Sold—and Why They Did 82
Chapter 7: The Tao of the Query Letter—and Beyond 104
Chapter 8: Crazy Queries: How Not to Do it 116
Chapter 9: Why Your Query Will Work 133
Chapter 10: Submitting Your Query 150
Chapter 11: From Agent to Deal (or Not): Tactics for Presenting Yourself 162
Chapter 12: Demystifying the Process: How Your Sale Is Made 174
Chapter 13: High Fives: The Book Contract 190
Chapter 14: The Self-Publishing Option 208
Chapter 15: Discipline Is Your Friend:
Follow This Schedule to Finish Your Book 223
Chapter 16: A Targeted Public Relations Campaign:
Your Ticket to the Top 245
Chapter 17: The Nonfiction Writer’s Life and You: What’s Next? 268
Appendix: Resources 282
Index 292

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson discusses how she never gave up on her story, how she worked through internal doubts, and how research lead her out of romance and into historical fiction.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Seven New Courses, Writing Prompts, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new courses, our Editorial Calendar, and more!

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson discusses how each project has its own process and the difference between writing fiction and her new memoir, Perfect Black.

From Script

Approaching Comedy from a Personal Perspective and Tapping into Your Unique Writer’s Voice (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by, interviews with masters of comedy, screenwriter Tim Long ('The Simpsons') and writer-director Dan Mazer (Borat Subsequent Movie) about their collaboration on their film 'The Exchange', and filmmaker Trent O’Donnell on his new film 'Ride the Eagle' co-written with actor Jake Johnson ('New Girl'). Plus, tips on how to tap into your unique voice and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not accepting feedback on your writing.

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Here are the top creativity websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Proest Dalgron: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn proest dalgron, a Welsh quatrain form.

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a palindrome is when it comes to writing, including several examples of palindromes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.