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Coming up with a new book idea is the fun, easy part of being an author. The challenge, however, is to create a book that is enjoyable to write and profitable once it’s published. It takes a great deal of time to write an excellent book proposal, find a publisher, and deliver a finished manuscript. To help sustain enthusiasm during this sometimes difficult and tedious period, the author needs to feel confident that a real “need” exists for this kind of book. Otherwise, it is easy to get discouraged and leave the book as an unfinished project.


Whenever I have a new book idea, I answer a standard list of questions to determine if it is a project worth pursuing. This way, I will not invest a lot of time on a book that will never see the shelves of a bookstore.


Book Proposal Services is my consulting business that helps writers improve their nonfiction book proposals. One service I offer is the Book Concept Analysis. This is my evaluation of a question-and-answer form clients complete so I can advise them on the next steps to take. For example, I assess whether a large, New York publisher would be interested in their proposed book, or if they should pursue other avenues such as a small publisher, or even self-publication. I also offer marketing suggestions and conceptual directions for the book, depending on the project.


Please see the complete Book Concept Analysis form below. Even if you feel you don’t need my specific analysis of your project, I encourage you to use the attached list of questions to evaluate every new book idea. These questions are an excellent starting point.


If you decide you would like me to evaluate your proposed book, please complete and mail the form with a check for $100. Before doing so, I would appreciate an email inquiry ( to confirm I’m not overbooked. I want to complete your analysis in a timely fashion.


Good luck!


© 2010 June Cotner, publishing consultant and author of the bestselling Graces and Dog Blessings and 24 other books. PO Box 2765, Poulsbo, WA 98370


For more information on having your book concept analyzed or your nonfiction book proposal evaluated, please go to:


For more articles on how to get published, go to and click on "Articles on Publishing."



Listed below is the Book Concept Analysis form:



by June Cotner


Please note: My primary strength is evaluating adult nonfiction book projects. For adult fiction, children's fiction and nonfiction, and poetry projects (if all poems are authored by one individual), I  recommend that you seek advice elsewhere.


Please mail this completed form along with a check for $100 to June Cotner, PO Box 2765, Poulsbo, WA 98370. As an alternative, you may email the completed document to me at As soon as I receive your payment, I will start the analysis.


Your name: _________________________________________________________


Mailing address: ______________________________________________________


Email address: _______________________________________________________


Daytime phone: ___________________  Evening phone: _____________________


Fax number (if available): _______________________________________________


Your book’s title: _____________________________________________________


Your book’s subtitle: __________________________________________________


Describe your book in 1-2 short paragraphs (this would be your back panel or jacket flap copy):





















Describe how your book is better than other competitive books on the same topic — e.g. does it offer newer information or present material in a unique way? (For more guidance in filling out this section, you can go to my website — — click on "Publishing Tips, then click on the publishing tip, “How to Research Competitive Books.”)














If your book is nonfiction, describe how you have gained expertise with your book’s subject (e.g. do you practice in this field, do you regularly teach workshops on this topic?):












Describe your book’s audience:









Describe the ways you will reach this audience once your book is published (please list the primary elements of your marketing plan):














Based upon the information you provided (assuming your research of competitive books is thorough and accurate), I believe:


___ Your book may be of interest to a major publisher. Your next step would be to develop a thorough book proposal and seek an agent’s representation.










___ Your book may be of interest to a mid-size publisher, a small publisher, or a university press. You may want to develop a thorough book proposal and query agents.










___ Your best avenue may be self-publication.






The following are some additional suggestions:














Please feel free to forward this Book Concept Analysis to other writers.