book proposal

Do you want to write a thriller novel that will keep your readers on the edge of their seats? If so, you need to know how to write a book proposal that will make publishing executives sit up and take notice.

This blog post will walk you through everything you need to know about writing a book proposal for a thriller novel. We’ll discuss the information required, the characters and plot, marketing and publicity, and more.

Plus, we’ll provide examples of successful thriller book proposals to help give you an idea of what works best.

What is a book proposal, and why do you need one for a thriller novel?

A book proposal is a document that outlines the contents of a proposed book, including its premise, characters, and plot. In addition, it includes information about the author, their qualifications and writing experience, and a marketing plan for the book.

Depending on the novel’s length, the book proposal could be around five pages long, and it is typically submitted to agents and publishers to secure a publishing contract.

A book proposal is crucial for thriller novels, as they are often more complex and difficult to market than other genres. A well-written proposal can help convince an agent or publisher that your thriller is worth publishing and that there is an audience for it.

The elements of a book proposal

There are several essential elements that a book proposal for a thriller novel must include:

The Plot

Here is where you introduce yourself and your project. First, give a brief overview of your book’s plot.

The plot should be around one or two paragraphs long and grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more.


You’ll need to provide detailed information about your characters. You should include a brief bio for each character and their role in the plot.

Marketing Plan

Next, you’ll need to discuss your marketing plan. Who is your target audience? How will you promote your novel? What are some of the unique selling points that make it stand out from other thrillers?

Synopsis and Sample Chapter

Your proposal should also include a synopsis of your novel and two or three sample chapters. These chapters don’t need to be the first chapters of the book—they can be from any point in the story.

Provide information about you as an author and your writing experience and credentials. Include any notable publications or awards you have received.

Finally, it should include a section on the competition and how your book will stand out.

How to write a synopsis for your thriller


A synopsis is a brief, concise summary of a book or film. It is typically 1-3 paragraphs long and should include the following elements:

  • The protagonist’s goal or central conflict
  • The antagonist’s goal or central conflict
  • The climax of the story
  • A brief resolution

When formatting your synopsis, it’s best to use double spacing and left alignment. Headings can help organize your thoughts, but they’re not necessary.

Here is an example of a synopsis for Harry Potter:

Protagonist’s goal:

-Harry Potter must find and destroy the Horcruxes so that he can defeat Voldemort.

Antagonist’s goal:

-Voldemort wants to kill Harry Potter and take over the wizarding world.


-Harry and Voldemort face off in a final battle that determines the fate of the world.

Brief Resolution:

-Harry defeats Voldemort, and the wizarding world is saved.

Here’s an example of a synopsis for The Hunger Games:

-In a future world where the rich rule over the rest of society, young Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death televised for the entertainment of the rich.

Katniss must battle other contestants from across the country while trying to avoid being killed by the ruthless game makers.

In the end, she emerges as the winner and returns home to her loved ones.

Here’s an example of a synopsis for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

– Lisbeth Salander, a gifted computer hacker, is hired by a journalist to investigate a decades-old disappearance. She finds a web of corruption and violence that leads up to the highest levels of government.

In addition to discovering the conspiracies, she discovers that her father was part of them. Lisbeth can use her computer skills to find out what is going on and who is behind it.

She also enlists the help of her friend, Mikael Blomkvist, to investigate what is going on. Together, they uncover the truth and expose the conspiracies.

Make a note of this protagonist: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is so successful because the story has a strong, compelling protagonist that readers can root for. She is relentless in her pursuit of justice. Even though she often works alone, she’s never afraid to take on anyone or anything. She’s smart, resourceful, and above all else, she’s a survivor.

If you’re writing a thriller novel, make sure your main character is someone people will want to read about. Give them a unique personality, interesting backstory, and some major flaws.

How to write about your target audience?


Many thriller novelists make the mistake of writing only for themselves, without thinking about their target audience. While it’s important to write a story you’re passionate about; it’s also crucial to consider who you’re writing for.

What are their interests? What sort of books do they usually read? How much violence and gore are they comfortable with? Answering these questions will help you focus your story and ensure that it appeals to your target audience.

It’s also essential to keep your audience in mind when promoting your book. Use marketing channels that your target audience is likely to frequent, and avoid coming across as too sales-y or pushy. Remember, the goal is to get your audience excited about your book, not annoy them!

Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to enjoy and buy your thriller. To identify your target audience, you should consider age, gender, lifestyle, occupation, and interests.

Once you’ve figured that out, it becomes easier to picture who your competition might be.

For example, if your target audience is people who enjoy reading suspenseful murder mysteries, your competition might be books like The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl.

On the other hand, if your target audience is people who love reading action-packed adventure novels, then books like The Hunger Games or Divergent would be considered your competition.

How to compare your thriller with other successful thrillers

What makes your thriller unique? How will readers know it’s a thriller?

Once you know the competitive titles, it’s crucial to analyze what makes those books successful and why people are drawn to them. Are they funny? Inspiring? Exciting?

If you can pinpoint the elements that make your competition successful, you can work to include those same elements in your book.

But be careful not to copy them outright; instead, try to put a unique spin on them. With a bit of effort, you can create a book that stands out from the rest and attracts readers on its own merits.

Here are three examples of how to describe your thriller:

1. My thriller is different from other thrillers because it takes a more cerebral approach. It’s not just a story about good vs. evil or cops vs. robbers; it’s about the motivations and psychology of the characters.

I think my thriller is on par with the best thrillers out there. It’s exciting, suspenseful, and unpredictable. I’m sure readers will enjoy it immensely.

2. I’m always interested in what other thriller writers are doing and how my work stacks up. I think my writing is tight, and the pacing is fast. I also try to create complex characters that the reader can invest in. At the same time, I’m always learning and trying to improve, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. 🙂

3. My thriller is different than other thrillers in that it is character-driven and has a lot of suspense. I also developed a unique plot that is different from the norm. My goal was to write a page-turner that would keep readers hooked until the end. So far, it seems to be working, as many readers have told me that my thriller is one of the best they’ve read. Of course, only time will tell if it becomes truly successful, but I hope it will find its audience.

The best ways to promote your thriller novel

The best

It’s crucial to have a promotional strategy before publishing your thriller novel. First, you’ll need to identify your target audience and determine which marketing channels will work best for you.

There are several ways to promote your book, including social media, book signings, and interviews. Make sure you choose the right one for you and your book.

Make sure you market your thriller effectively once it’s published. Plan blog posts, social media campaigns, and more to generate excitement for your new release.

What are your plans for promoting the book? How will you reach your target audience? How do you plan to generate word-of-mouth buzz?

It would help to answer all of these questions in your book proposal.

A few reminders and precautions:

When writing book proposals for a thriller novel, you must ensure everything is covered, including the information needed, characters, marketing, synopsis, sample chapters, and comparisons to other successful thrillers.

To avoid making common mistakes that can doom your proposal, make sure to follow this advice:

-Make sure your proposal is well-written and error-free.

-Include a marketing plan that outlines your promotional strategy.

-Make sure your synopsis is exciting and captures the essence of the story.

-Include sample chapters to give agents a taste of your writing style.

-Compare your thriller with other successful thrillers to show that it has potential.

A well-written and error-free book proposal is the key to success when querying literary agents. Ensure you have everything covered to get your thriller novel off the ground.


Now that you understand the components of a successful book proposal and have written your own, it’s time to promote your thriller novel.

With a well-done book proposal and a little bit of luck, you could see your thriller make its way onto bookstore shelves and into the hands of eager readers across the globe. What are you waiting for? Start writing that winning proposal!

Please let me know about your successes!

Good Luck!


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