My all-time-favorite advice for writing non-fiction!
Craft something specifically to meet the felt-need of your audience.
Just as if you wouldn’t knit a sweater that fits YOU and sent it out to others trying to sell it, so you don’t craft an article or book proposal with your fit in mind. Or a one-size-fits-all. Who really believes that?
I think “package” when I create a proposal. For example, when I wrote a parenting book for Gen Xers (Generation NeXt Parenting), I thought about their fit. I use 80s song titles, short chapters, lots of input from Gen-Xers as side quotes, and I write about topics that fit them.
When I wrote for teen girls (My Life, Unscripted), I centered everything on the drama of their lives. The book is about writing their own script for their lives. I crafted actual scripts from my teen years … ones for them NOT to follow. I use screen writing themes and carried these over for my chapters. And I describe the Bible as God’s drama. I also included comments from real-life drama from girls. Teen girls LOVE this book. Gen Xers love the parenting book … because it fits them. They think, “Finally, something just for me!”