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Youth Specialties' Guidelines for Product Proposals

Youth Specialties publishes books, curricula, and other products. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll use the word product to refer to whatever it is you’re proposing. As you prepare your proposal please fill out all sections completely. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Section 1: Author Information

A. Your name

Type it exactly as you would like it to appear. (This would be on the cover and title page, if it’s a book)

B. Information about yourself

Prepare an extended bio, including the following:

  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone (indicate if texting is an option)
  • Social media activity (e.g. How would you describe your Facebook presence? What are your Twitter and Instagram usernames? How many followers do you have on these and other sites?)
  • Personal blog and/or website
  • Current employment position
  • Educational and Ministry background
  • Biographical information
  • Previous publications
  • Previous writing for websites/magazines/other media
  • Life-to-date sales (when appropriate)

C. Your qualifications for this product

D. Your Marketing Opportunities

A description of potential marketing channels to which you have access, e.g. contacts you have in key organizations, groups you speak to regularly, your speaking schedule, key people you know who might endorse your product, etc.

Section 2: Product Description

A. Description of the product

A one-three paragraph description of the product. Be sure to include:

  • Tentative title
  • Subtitle, if applicable
  • Possible alternative titles
  • Please indicate if it is part of a series.

B. One Sentence Hook

Give us one sentence that sells the product, i.e. why would anyone want to put down money to buy this product? This is your one sentence pitch to the sales and marketing team.

C. One-Two Page Synopsis (if you’re proposing a book or curriculum)

Include the following:

  • The focus/purpose
  • Clarify the focus, purpose, and argument of the book. What’s your thesis?
  • What are you advocating, defending, or otherwise trying to achieve in the book?
  • The rationale for writing this book i.e., why is the book needed?

D. Target Market

  • Who is the intended buyer of this product?
  • Who makes up the secondary audience?
  • Is the intended end-user of the product different than the buyer?  

E. Format

Please check the appropriate format for your product:

  • Print publication
  • E-book
  • Curriculum
  • App
  • Video
  • Other:

E. Deadline

If this is a book or curriculum proposal: Include projected word length and anticipated completion date of the manuscript.

If this is another product, include size or scope and anticipated completion.

Section 3: Table of contents (book or curriculum)

At this stage, of course, your table of contents is tentative. But there should be a firm idea where the book is going. So give us—

A. Tentative chapter titles

B. Paragraph synopsis

A few paragraphs that explain the focus and development of each chapter.

C. Sample chapters

Please include one or two sample chapters. (Do not send any more than three chapters.)  

Tips: Pick your favorite/strongest chapter and submit it. If you have an overall introduction worked out, include it.

Section 4: Competitive Analysis

A. What are the other competing titles or products?

B. How will your product be superior to or different from them?

C. Academic products

  • Does the book have realistic potential for textbook adoption or as a required supplemental text in either undergraduate or graduate level youth ministry, or other courses?
  • If so, what courses?

D. What will be the product’s unique contribution?

As you write, remember that you’re trying to sell us on your idea. Make a strong case for why the product must be created and published or produced. Give us a realistic, but positive description of what you propose.  (Use of short bullet points is fine.)

Please note that incomplete proposals will be returned to sender.  Responses to completed proposals will be generated within two months of receiving the proposal.

Please email the proposal as an attached document to: Publishing@youthspecialties.com.