You have a fantastic idea for a nonfiction book (or perhaps you’ve already written one), and because you want to publish traditionally, your next step is to write a proposal to sell agents and/or editors on your idea.
When I was an acquisitions editor for a traditional publisher, I read hundreds of nonfiction book proposals. Like every other publishing professional does, I read those proposals in a certain order—but not necessarily in the order the author presented the material. (Find a list of the other sections of a nonfiction book proposal here.) When I write a book proposal, I begin with the author’s bio because this is the section I think of as the hub of the wheel; all the other sections are spokes on that hub.
In fact, there is no “right” way to order the sections of your proposal, so I’m going to present the remainder of this ten-part series the way I actually read and write book proposals.