TOC1You don’t have to write your entire book before you send out a proposal, but you do have to present an outline of it. The Table of Contents section should include not just chapter titles, but also summaries of those chapters. This is where you convince the publisher that you have a clear idea of how your book will lay out and play out.

Depending upon your type of book, you can either include a descriptive paragraph under each chapter title, or use a detailed outline format to explain your vision. A cookbook, for example, needs to include the name of every recipe.

The Table of Contents is usually anywhere from 4 to 14 pages. Here’s a sample of the Table of Contents from the Skinny Italian proposal.

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