Free Book Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.

Free Book Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.


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First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.
First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.

Free Book Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.

Free Book Proposal Template

Fully editable with custom branding and templated offering.

Bonsai has helped create 1,023,928 documents and counting.

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Date: March 8th 2023



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.

This Contract is between Client (the "Client") and Acme LLC, a California limited liability company (the "Coach").

The Contract is dated January 23, 2023.


1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Coach to develop a coaching relationship between the Client and Coach in order to cultivate the Client's personal, professional, or business goals and create a plan to achieve those goals through stimulating and creative interactions with the ultimate result of maximizing the Client's personal or professional potential.

1.2 Schedule. The Coach will begin work on February 1, 2023 and will continue until the work is completed. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Coach at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 4, Term and Termination.

The Coach and Client will meet by video conference, 4 days per month for 2 hours.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Coach an hourly rate of $150. Of this, the Client will pay the Coach $500.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Coach's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Coach will invoice the Client in accordance with the milestones in Section 1.3. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Coach will not be available by telephone, or email in between scheduled sessions.


- A coaching relationship is a partnership between two or more individuals or entities, like a teacher-student or coach-athlete relationship. Both the Client and Coach must uphold their obligations for the relationship to be successful.

- The Coach agrees to maintain the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

- The Client acknowledges and agrees that coaching is a comprehensive process that may explore different areas of the Client's life, including work, finances, health, and relationships.

- The Client is responsible for implementing the insights and techniques learned from the Coach.


3.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

3.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

3.3 Coach Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Coach promises that it owns the work product, that the Coach is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Coach uses employees or subcontractors, the Coach also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Coach giving the Coach any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Coach's background IP and work product.

3.4 Coach Will Comply With Laws. The Coach promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

3.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Coach promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights, that the Coach has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Coach has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

3.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Coach with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights.


This Contract is ongoing until it expires or the work is completed. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 9.4. The Coach must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice unless the notice says otherwise.

If either party ends this Contract before the Contract automatically ends, the Client will pay the Contractor for the work done up until when the Contract ends. The following sections don't end even after the Contract ends: 3 (Representations); 6 (Confidential Information); 7 (Limitation of Liability); 8 (Indemnity); and 9 (General).


The Client is hiring the Coach as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Coach will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.

- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Coach is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.

- The Client will not provide the Coach with any training.

- The Client and the Coach do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.

- The Coach cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.

- The Coach is not entitled to the Client's benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).

- The Coach is responsible for its own taxes.

- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Coach or any of the Coach's employees or subcontractors.


6.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Coach must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

6.2 The Client's Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Coach may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Coach promises to treat this information as if it is the Coach's own confidential information. The Coach may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Coach use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Coach cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Coach written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Coach may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Coach must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Coach promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Coach written permission first. The Coach must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Coach's responsibilities only stop if the Coach can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Coach came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Coach came across it, but not because of anything the Coach did or didn't do; (iii) the Coach already knew the information when the Coach came across it and the Coach didn't have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Coach with the information without requiring that the Coach keep it a secret; or (v) the Coach created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

6.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It's possible the Client and the Coach each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Coach each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Coach is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.


Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.


8.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Coach or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Coach did, then the Coach may promise to come to the Client's defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

8.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Coach agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Coach has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Coach of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Coach of the promises it is making in Section 3 (Representations).

8.3 Coach Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Coach (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.


9.1 Assignment​. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Coach. Neither the Client nor the Coach can assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the other's written permission.

9.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

9.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Coach must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

9.4. Noticies.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party's address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

9.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that's the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

9.6 Signatures. The Client and the Coach must sign this document using Bonsai's e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

9.7 Governing Law. The validity, interpretation, construction and performance of this document shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America.

9.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties' final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.
Table of contents
Book Proposal Template
Use this book proposal now for free

What is a Book Proposal?

A book proposal is a document freelance writers use to convince a publishing house to publish their book. Rather than including the entire book, freelancers use the proposal to paint a summary of the overall idea. A book proposal is used in either fiction or nonfiction writings, but it is a crucial part of operating your business in any case.

Note: You can sign up to Bonsai for free to start writing a professional book proposal. Our template includes all of the elements you need to set your proposal apart from others piling up on publisher desks.

What to Include in the Book Proposal  

To be successful with your book proposal, you need to include all of the critical elements. Though it is ultimately up to you to decide what to include in your fiction or nonfiction book proposal, we recommend that you at least have the following segments.

Cover Page

Some people refer to a cover page as a title page, but its purpose remains the same no matter what you call it. It’s the first page, and it declares your intent to propose a book idea. 

Your cover page should begin by stating that it is a book proposal for your writing. Not only does it include the working title, but it should also list:

  • Author’s Name
  • Contact Information
  • Copyright Notice
  • Submission Date

Executive Summary

Once you move past the introduction, it’s time to provide publishers with a brief description of your book. It’s vital that you keep the overview concise. You’ll want to leave out the fluff and anything that distracts from the main theme.

It may require some time as you slowly work on narrowing down the theme of your fiction or nonfiction book. However, your agent or publisher should leave your proposal with a clear understanding of your idea.

Though you might have other ideas and concepts that you want to include, you should remain focused on the core of your book. The process of writing your summary would be similar to writing back cover copy, so keep that in mind as you go along.

About Us

In this next section, it’s time to go into more detail about yourself. Most often, this section is referred to as an author bio. As a freelance writer, you must be able to explain any of your past experiences or if you have a book published. The “about” section of your book proposal should prioritize the qualities that make you the right person to write the book.

Chapter Outline

You don’t need to have every chapter figured out right away, but a good book proposal should include a general chapter overview. The chapter list gives the publisher a better idea of what they can expect the book to cover.

How should you organize your chapter outline?

We suggest that you use bullet points listing the titles of each chapter. You should also include a brief description, and each chapter description should be no longer than a few sentences. 

Sample Chapters

Instead of including a complete book, a proposal only requires a sample chapter. The chapter should be as close to finished as possible. It will give literary agents and publishers an idea of your writing style. 

If you don’t have any previously published books, a sample chapter is all the more important. This section of your book proposal shows publishers that you deserve a book deal.

Competitive Titles Analysis

Since you cannot provide the final manuscript, a list of comparable titles can continue to paint a complete picture of your book idea. It’s critical that you carefully select a list of five to ten competing books that cover similar subject matter. This will help to establish your target audience and ideal reader.

To make the connection clear, we recommend that you follow each book with a few sentences to explain your selection. Your competitive title analysis should explain how your manuscript appeals to the competing book’s audience. 

You also need to explain what factors set your particular book apart from your competition. Is it your writing style? Does your plot take a unique twist? If so, this is the area of your proposal where you would communicate that.

We strongly urge all freelancers to include specific information to avoid confusion with the titles on your list. That means you need to list each book’s:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Year of Publication
  • ISBN
  • Number of Pages
  • Retail Price 

Note: You don’t need to worry about sales history for any of these books. It’s something that most authors wouldn’t be able to look up without the help of an agent. If your publisher is curious, they will look it up for themselves. 

How to Write a Book Proposal  

Now that you know more about what to include, you need to know how to write a killer book proposal. While you can find a basic template online, you need to understand what details make your own book proposal different. 

Traditional publishing houses get countless book proposals every day. More often than not, they’ll even come across many that have the same book idea. 

In order to get a publisher’s attention, you need to write a nonfiction book proposal that shows commercial potential. You can do so by following these tips.

Think of Book Proposals as a Business Plan

While we would all love to think that publishing is all about the art of writing, the truth is that it is all a business. A publisher invests time and money into a manuscript, so they don’t want to choose a book that will fail.

Your book proposal should include elements that you would often find in a business plan. These include focusing on the market and target audience as much as your writing skills. 

When you treat your writing as a business, it also shows publishers that you take your work seriously. Why does that matter? Plain and simple: Serious authors are more likely to get a book deal.

Find out Exactly What the Client Wants

Every publisher is looking for something different in a manuscript and a writer. Though they all want to make sure that the book is successful, they all have unique wants and needs.

For that reason, you need to do your research to understand exactly what your client wants. Once you’ve identified those wants, you should write a book proposal that shows your ability to meet those wants and needs. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should lie about who you are and what you can do. It’s more important to show you can achieve their goals by writing as yourself. Doing so will ensure you match with the right publisher.

Highlight What Sets You Apart 

As we mentioned, there is a lot of competition in the writing world, and they each have a great idea. Therefore, it makes sense that you would need to set yourself apart from other authors with an outstanding proposal. 

Fortunately, there is only one you, so it should be easy to differentiate yourself if you focus on your specific strengths. That doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot of time focusing on your personal experience with a subject. 

Instead, you should prioritize your unique writing style or describe the audience you’ve already built. While highlighting your advantages, your proposal should show how those strengths stand to benefit your publisher specifically.

Create a Marketing Plan 

Publishers want to work with freelancers who understand the writing business and how it works. If you don’t know where to start with a marketing plan, they will pass over you for the next author. 

Do you know how media appearances can help increase book sales? Do you have a plan to get social media attention before the book is released? If so, you want to make sure you work that information into your proposal to show your book’s commercial appeal.

You don’t have to be a marketing major or one of those famous people with a million social media followers to have commercial appeal. Publishing companies simply want your proposal to show your understanding of the industry’s unique market. 

Demonstrate Your Storytelling Abilities

While publishing focuses a lot on the business side of things, you still need to be a good writer. More specifically, you need to be a storyteller. 

As you finetune your chapter sample, you should make sure your proposal demonstrates your wordsmith skills. Your publisher should be able to see how you keep the reader entertained and invested in the subject–regardless of whether you write for a fiction or nonfiction audience.

That’s not all.

Publishers want to find someone who can tell an interesting story about their subject. That doesn’t mean that you have to have a professional background in that subject, however. You simply must be able to write about it with authority.

Focus on Why Your Book Matters

Lastly, you will want to make sure that your book proposal shows why your book matters. If there are thousands of other books written on the same topic, then explaining your idea won’t get you anywhere with a publisher. Instead, they want to know how your book is going to make a difference.

As you write your book proposal, you should ask:

  • Does My Book Address an Urgent Need?
  • Does it Matter Right Now?
  • What Will Make it Resonate with the Reader?
  • How is it Different from Similar Books?

Answering these questions will help you to write better book proposals. Not only will you be able to discuss how your book meets the audience’s needs, but you’ll also be able to write about why it matters at this time. 

While some topics may trend for a while, some maintain relevancy over longer periods of time. In this case, you will really want publishers to see that your book still has market relevance. That means focusing on how your topic interest’s today’s audience rather than readers from 50 years ago.

Creating a Nonfiction Book Proposal is Simple with Bonsai 

Are you starting to feel overwhelmed by the idea of writing a book proposal? At Bonsai, we know how difficult it can be especially when it’s your first time submitting to a publisher.

That’s precisely why we have created a sample book proposal that you can customize with details of your very own book idea. In fact, a Bonsai sample proposal makes the process simple and efficient with the following benefits:

Read Receipt Notifications

After you’ve sent out your book proposals, you won’t have to wonder if any publishers have read them. Instead, we will send you a read receipt notification to let you know that they opened it.


You no longer have to send a physical copy of your actual proposal or publishing contracts to sign them. With our e-approval function, you and your clients can sign everything virtually to expedite the process.

Branding Customization

Publishers love working with writers who treat themselves as a business. When you use branding elements to customize your example book proposal, you can give yourself a more professional appearance.

Book Proposal FAQs

It takes more than good luck to be a successful writer, so we know that you have more questions about proposals. To learn more about submitting proposals, read on to and you’ll find answers to some commonly asked questions. 

What makes a book proposal different from a query letter?

A query letter is typically sent out to attract attention from a literary agent after a book has already been written. You can also send it to publishers to see if they are interested in your work. On the other hand, book proposals are usually written before working on your idea.

Do I Need a Literary Agent to Publish?

If you plan to submit your fiction or nonfiction book to one of the big publishing houses in New York, the answer is yes. However, most authors can bypass a literary agent if they only seek to be published by an independent or regional publishing company. 

Those aren’t the only exceptions. You don’t need an agent to reach a publisher if you work on a niche title with limited commercial appeal. Writers can also avoid working with an agent if they are publishing scholarly work through a university.

How Do I Identify Potential Publishers?

Before you can personalize your proposal, you need to research publishers. Not all publishing houses will be a good fit for you. Instead, you should look into similar books and see who published them. If you already have a favorite publisher, you’ll want to make sure they align with your genre and style.

That’s not the only way to find publishers for your book. When you have an agent, they can take care of the leg work. It’s their job to help you identify which companies would be best suited for your book and audience.

Once you have made a list of a few potential publishers, you’ll want to find a way to connect. If you happen to have an agent, they can take care of this for you with their industry connections. Without an agent, you’ll have to do more research to see if you can connect personally with someone at the company.

Social media, colleagues, and friends can all be valuable assets to help get your proposal into the right hands. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a deal, but it can certainly improve your chances.

How Does a Self Publish Project Differ from Traditional Publishing?

In recent years, self-publishing has become more and more popular. A quick google search will provide you with a blog post that walks you through the process. While publishing tools have become more accessible, it isn’t always the best option to reach your readers.

The biggest distinction between a book traditionally published or self-published is the royalties. In the case of self-published books, the book's author retains all of the rights and royalties. Therefore, you get all of the earnings on whatever you write.

If you choose to go through a traditional publishing house, it is much harder to get your book published. If you manage to get your book published, your deal typically gives the rights and royalties to the publishing house. The royalties help cover the cost of bringing your book to market.

While you may make a larger percentage with self-publishing, you should consider that you may not have a large market. Since publishing houses have better promotion and marketing tools, they can often get your book to more readers.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to self-publish or submit a proposal to a publisher.

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.

How do you structure a book proposal?

A typical format for a book proposal is a brief synopsis, sample chapter, book details, character profiles, author biography, and a detailed breakdown of the chapters.

What format should a book proposal be?

An outline, author bio, audience analysis, comparative and competitor titles, marketing, publicity, and promotion are all included in a book proposal.

How long is a typical book proposal?

The average book proposal is 15 - 30 pages long. The proposal length depends on the sample chapters and overview of the book. try Bonsai's proposal template for free so you can get the exact structure and length of a proposal.