What is a book proposal?

A book proposal is a 15-30 page document that tells a literary agent and/or publisher everything they need to know about you and your book.

It's your sales pitch. As such, it's critical that your proposal position you as an expert and your topic as relevant and timely. It must also persuade the reader that your manuscript is commercially viable and your voice and brand are strong and compatible with theirs.

(Genres and topics listed below.)


What does a ghostwriter do?

A ghostwriter is, first and foremost, a strategic partner. We serve as sounding boards, coaches, publishing consultants, writers, editors, and task wranglers.

We have a knack for asking questions that help to identify your ideal reader, highest goals, best ideas, personal and professional strengths, and unique selling proposition. We do all that and find your voice and replicate it in writing.

A great ghostwriting partnership is one in which you and your ideas shine without you having to work up a sweat.

Why Do People Hire Ghostwriters?

If you're an entrepreneur, executive, athlete, activist, consultant, speaker, or anyone else who has a strong vision for how your experience, expertise, and vision will improve the lives of others while allowing you to step up to opportunities that are currently just out of reach, then yes, people like you hire ghostwriters like me every day.

Who's the Author?

You are the author. The book is the visible product of your experience, expertise, and vision. I may have written it, but it reflects your voice and authority.

My name may appear with yours on the cover, but that's negotiable.

And rights? I have no claim to your rights. This is your baby.

How long does all this take?

About six months depending on length and complexity.

Book Proposals

Can you write the book proposal and ghostwrite my book?

Absolutely. In fact, if I write the proposal, I'll reduce my ghostwriting fee because we'll already be on our way to developing a strong manuscript.

Literary Matchmaking

If I believe that one of the literary agents I know is a good fit, I will discuss your project with them and make the introduction if they're interested. I will also select and provide a list of three agents who represent books in your genre and match your style and vision.

How much do you charge to write a book proposal?

I charge $5,700 to develop a standard, nonfiction book proposal and $6,200 for memoir proposals. That includes ghostwriting two sample chapters.

How does it work?

Assuming that after talking several times and getting to know each other we decide to work together, it goes like this:

1. I interview you one or two times to get the high-level concept.

2. I develop a rough outline/table of contents and chapter synopses.

3. You give me feedback. I revise accordingly, and we schedule in-person interviews.

4. Over the course of several days, we take a deep dive into the details of your concept and vision. I'll interview you and record hours upon hours of conversations. I'll bring snacks and beverages. We're gonna need 'em.

5. I send off the files for transcription and then do what I love to do: read, sort, conceptualize, research, write, revise, and send you a first draft.

6. You give me feedback (and learn how much fun editing can be).  I revise and edit accordingly, and we end up with a shiny manuscript. There is much rejoicing.

How much do you charge to ghostwrite a book?

If we're a good fit, I'll ask you to invest $27,000-44,000 depending on the length and complexity of the project and a few other details.

After 15+ years in publishing, I can say that Cristen sets the gold standard for freelance editing. She recently worked with us on a client’s memoir proposal, including an extensive amount of co-writing of sample chapters. From the start of the process, I was highly impressed with her writing, her ideas, and just how much organization and inspiration she brought to the project. Her writing was beautiful, clear, and very true to the author’s unique voice. Collaborating with her has been a joy for both author and agent. She had tremendous impact on this project, and we will look forward to working with her on many more, given our experience.
— Lilly Ghahremani, JD, MBA, literary agent and co-founder of Full Circle Literary

Genres & Topics

memoir: high-impact survivor stories, adventure sport, travel

health and wellness/science: nutrition (food as medicine; veganism), evolutionary medicine, mental health, work-life balance, work-life integration, physical fitness, adventure sport

self-help: personal and professional development, mindfulness

advocacy and social justice/social science: LGBTQ, gender equality, institutional racism

business and leadership: entrepreneurialism, work-life balance, work-life integration

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