Adult Non-Fiction Submission Guidelines

Unlike with Fiction submissions where we need a book to be finished before we submit it to publishers, Non-Fiction is almost always submitted with a proposal and a sample of the writing, so this is what we need to see from you too.

Your Non-Fiction submission can look very different from other Non-Fiction submissions depending on what sort of book you are proposing, but, regardless of that, there are some essentials to consider which we’ve laid out in more detail below.

If you are a journalist, academic or professional working on an idea in your area of expertise and would like to discuss it before you put together the full proposal, you can email us on info@thegoodliteraryagency.org.

You will find our Adult Non-Fiction submission form at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions relating to making an Adult Non-Fiction submission to us, please visit our FAQ page.

Genre Spotlight

We accept and consider Adult Non-Fiction submissions across all genres. Our agents have a current and particular interest in seeing more…

Lifestyle submissions
Women’s health submissions

The Proposal

Your Non-Fiction proposal should aim to be around 10,000 words. Most Non-Fiction is sold to publishers on the proposal alone, with the sample writing there to provide an insight into what your manuscript could eventually look like. The thing we hear most often from Non-Fiction writers is that they stress about what a proposal should contain, so we have produced these guidelines. You can vary from them if you think something different would suit your idea better, but you should be absolutely sure that the core information we need is included.

  • Elevator Pitch: This can be a short blurb or it can be a single sentence, but it should nail as briefly and compellingly as possible what the idea of your book is so that we get it and are excited by it instantly.
  • Long Synopsis: This is an expansion of the elevator pitch and should be up to a page long (though it can be shorter) giving a broader overview of the book and the idea.
  • Author Biography: Tell us about yourself, but only where it is relevant to the book. We are trying to see a narrative of why you are the right person to write this book. If you have significant socials, this helps and is useful to know. However, if you don’t have a big social media following, this doesn’t matter too much. Editors look for a strong voice, excellent writing and a solid concept, and this always out trumps your socials.
  • Outline: This needs to be as thorough as you can possibly make it. Ideally, you would be able to break it down by chapter: the chapter title/number and a short paragraph laying out what will be covered in each. If you don’t want to stick to a rigid chapter structure, you can do without and just take us steadily through the narrative / flow / progression of your book. It’s incredibly important that we get a really clear vision of how it works as a book progressing from the beginning to middle to end.
  • Market: Publishers like to know what other books you would compare yours to. Don’t worry too much if there is a similar book out there; as long as you can put forward a convincing case for why your book is different we can work from there.

Of course there are exceptions. Business books, self-help, cookbooks etc will all need a slightly different treatment but the principals still stand. We need to believe the idea is great, that you’re the right person to write it and we need to see how you would handle the material.

The Sample Chapters

While we don’t require that you have finished your manuscript to submit, we do still need to see 10,000 words / three chapters / 30-40 pages to the nearest chapter end of your manuscript as your sample chapters. If we are excited about your project, we will get in touch to discuss it further.

Preparing for your submission

Before making your submission we recommend downloading this template version of our form as a way for you to pre-prepare your answers and material. Doing this should make filling in our form quicker and easier for you.

Making your submission

Please use the button below to make your Adult Non-Fiction submission to our team.

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