Book Proposal Masterclass: Live Feb 2023

How to write a deal-winning non-fiction book proposal!

£679.00 Price excluding VAT




This live online masterclass will help you turn your non-fiction book idea into a cOMMERCIALLY-COMPELLING proposal, to wow publishers and launch your professional writing career!

Taught by me, Beth Kempton, in partnership with my literary agency Hardman & Swainson and a host of invited industry experts. My books have been translated into 26 languages, selected by TIME Magazine as a recommended read, called ‘truly transformational’ by Sunday Times Style, been an Indie Healthy Living Top 20 bestseller (based on sales in all independent bookstores across America) and chosen by Apple USA as a ‘Must Listen’ on iTunes.

My six book proposals have secured more than 45 individual book deals with publishers all over the world including three of ‘the Big Five’. This used to be my dream. Now it’s my job. And it could be yours too.

In this four week LIVE class I will take you by the hand and lead you step-by-step towards a compelling proposal for YOUR book idea. It doesn’t matter if right now all you have is a deep yearning to write a book, or just the vaguest of ideas. The course will show you how to shape that into a book that a publisher wants to invest in, and readers will want to read.

The course includes:

– A carefully constructed four week curriculum of lessons with interactive worksheets that will help you crystallise your idea, outline your book, plan your chapters, and nail your marketing plan (Note: These are released daily at 7am UK time but you do not need to be online at that time, you can access each lesson whenever suits you)

– Weekly live sessions (idea workshopping, live Q&As and more) and the chance to ask questions to my own agent

– Direct access to me every weekday in our private Facebook group to answer any questions you have along the way, and offer my input and insight as you shape your proposal

– Interviews with industry specialists (including literary agents, PR & Marketing professionals, and authors)

– Visualisations and meditations to help with confidence and connecting to your book

– Secret Diary of a Book Deal – a money-can’t-buy inside track showing the evolution of my book The Way of the Fearless Writer from idea to proposal in four weeks plus what happened next (the book deal!)

Designed specifically for non-fiction (including memoir), this course is everything you need to bring your book dream to life, with a whole lot of support and encouragement.

Don’t miss out on realising your book dream.


An extraordinary proportion of course graduates who have pitched their finished proposals have secured agents and book deals, and we are proud to support a diverse range of students from all sorts of backgrounds, with a huge variety of book ideas. A number of people prefer to remain anonymous, and of course we respect their wishes, but among those happy to share, here are examples of recent publications from our graduates:


Imagine holding a finished book proposal in your hand, and having the confidence to pitch it to your dream agent or publisher.

Imagine getting an email back from them, saying they love your idea (and by the way, your proposal was one of the best they have ever seen).

Imagine having multiple publishers fighting over your book in a multi-way auction, and landing a tasty advance before you have even written your book.

Imagine publishers all over the world buying the rights to translate and publish your book in their territories.

And then imagine people knocking on your door offering you speaking gigs, and sponsorship deals, and podcast opportunities and partnerships and all sorts of things you had never even dreamed of.

All that is absolutely possible – it has happened to me time and again, and I still marvel at it all. But then, imagine getting letters and emails and gifts in the post from readers who have told you that your book has changed their life, helped them heal from a major life incident, helped them transition to something new, inspired them, brought beauty into their life, made them think differently or opened their eyes to all the good in their life? That has happened to me too, and it is amazing.

But perhaps the best part is that you get to write a book and get paid for it. I promise you, there is NOTHING like that! And I want to help you make that possible, which is why I have poured all my experience – and the help of a host of publishing industry insiders – into this Book Proposal Masterclass.

Your idea matters. Your writing matters. And your time is precious. So let’s do this together, and do it right.

This course includes:

  • Everything you need to know to turn your non-fiction idea into a compelling, commercial pitch for agents and publishers. I do not believe in formulas for creative work, but I do have a process for developing book proposals that land book deals (and have had multiple publishers bidding for them in auctions), and it is that process that I share in this course.
  • Industry insight from a host of experts (see below) so you understand where your book idea will land, how it will be viewed, and how the key decision makers decide whether to bid for or reject a proposal, along with detailed explanations of how rights and advances work. Want to hear exactly what goes on at a Commissioning Meeting at a major publishing house? Want to know what happens at book fairs? Want to know whether or not you need a big social media platform? It’s all in here!
  • Behind-the-scenes details of my own experience, with details that are very difficult to find out on your own, including specific examples of the pitch to publication timelines for my books, an example of the actual pitch email and press release used to land coverage in a major national magazine, an insight into creating an awesome book marketing plan and more.
  • Visualisations and meditations to help you blast through your blocks and connect with your book
  • Encouragement and support for your writing journey, including advice on coping with self-doubt, fear and rejection.
  • All your questions answered LIVE by me (and you can put questions to my literary agent too, if there is something specific you want to know about rights, contracts and so on)
  • Tips for building a flexible and sustainable writing career with multiple streams of income.
  • Advice for taking care of yourself as a writer, so you can be in it for the long term.
  • And a little sprinkling of magic…


Class runs for four weeks online, from Feb 27 2023, with places strictly limited to allow me to give you my full support. It is a combination of live teaching and support, and a carefully crafted pre-recorded curriculum, which means you can tailor your experience to your own schedule, The course is delivered in a private classroom, with lessons released into the classroom daily at 7am UK time from Monday to Friday. (You can then access these at whatever time suits you – you do not need to be online at 7am). The format for these lessons is a combination of pre-recorded audio and exercises plus some bonus videos to guide you step-by-step through the development of your proposal which you can access at a time that suits. You can scroll down to see the full suite of lessons at the bottom of this page.

In addition to that, there are two ‘live’ elements to the course. Firstly, I am active in the private Facebook group every week day for the four weeks of class, answering any and all questions that come up along the way, and to cheer you on. Secondly, we have a series of weekly live sessions during the course, including a titles workshop and live Q&As. The exact timing of these live sessions will be released a few weeks before class begins. We spread them out across the weeks and as far as possible cater to multiple time zones, but if you can’t join a live session you will always be able to send questions in advance and watch the replay.

We also have a private Facebook group so you can share your experience with other writers, and get support for your ideas, but this is completely optional. You can do the entire course without using Facebook if you prefer.

Once class is over you will have extended access to all the material until July 31, 2024, and most of it is downloadable anyway.

Want to know more about what’s involved with writing and releasing a book? Download my free cheatsheet of the steps here.

Who is involved?

I have designed this course to share everything I wish I had known when I was starting out, and most of the daily lessons are taught by me, speaking to you writer-to-writer, and also sharing my experience as a business owner with multiple streams of income, which support and are supported by my writing. I have also brought in the industry experts who have helped me get my books out in the world. Through a series of in-depth interviews, they offer invaluable insight into the whole process, with some fantastic tips for getting a deal.

I also share in-depth interviews with a host of other authors so you get exposure to a variety of perspectives:

Where do I sign up?

Sound like exactly what you need to bring your book dream to life and land an actual real-life book deal? Then register now via the link at the top of the page. You will instantly get access to the first part of class, so you can begin preparing right away. It all begins on Monday Feb 27, 2023.


(1) How does it work? This class is delivered in a private online classroom (through daily audio lessons and an in-depth workbook) along with weekly live sessions broadcast online (teaching/Q&A sessions + two live writing hours). There will also be a private community group where you can connect with other writers and ask me anything you like while class is live. You will also have the opportunity to put questions to my own literary agent Caroline Hardman. Scroll down to see a full list of lessons. The live sessions will be recorded so you can watch them on playback if you miss them first time round.

(2) My idea is very vague at the moment. Should I wait and take a later class? Vague is very welcome, because it means your idea is still fluid and the exercises in the class will help you shape it into a book only you could write. In fact, even if your idea feels fairly developed, I will invite you to take a step back and be open to looking at it with fresh eyes, to allow it to evolve into a truly compelling idea. The process of creating your book proposal is perhaps the most powerful way to shape your idea.

(3) My manuscript is not finished. Should I wait and take a later class? You do not need a finished manuscript to submit a non-fiction book proposal. In fact, sending in a complete non-fiction manuscript it is actively discouraged by agents and publishers*, as they often like to help you shape it to make it as commercial as possible. You will only need one or two chapter samples and a summary of what will go into the other chapters. All this is covered in the course. So the answer is don’t waste time working on a full manuscript at this point – instead you are much better off putting that time and energy into writing the best proposal you can, so you can land a book deal and get an advance before you write the book!

*Note: The exception to this is memoir, which is almost a hybrid of fiction and non-fiction in terms of how it needs to be pitched to publishers. Although this course is not specifically for memoir, we do touch on it, and the development of a proposal will make a huge difference to how you shape and tell your story, so it is still absolutely worth spending time on it at this point.

(4) Is it possible to write a book proposal in four weeks? Yes it is possible, but whether or not you do of course depends on you! I tend to spend 4-5 weeks on my book proposals, from vague idea to ready-to-pitch. In this course I give you everything you need, break it down into small chunks so it is not at all intimidating, and help you pull together a brilliant proposal by the end. If it takes you a little longer than the four weeks of class that is absolutely fine. You will have access to all the content until June 30, 2024 and most of it is downloadable anyway. Want to know more about what’s involved with writing a book? Download my free cheatsheet of the steps here.

(5) I have not yet decided whether to go down the traditional publishing route or to self-publish. Will this course help me? Yes! Even if you are going to self-publish, you still need to hone your idea into a commercially-viable book (especially if it’s your own money on the line), know your audience and figure out how you are going to get your book into the hands of readers. Writing a book proposal will help you do all of those things, and will be a valuable reference document for you every step of the way. And you never know, you might discover that traditional publishing is more appealing than you thought!

(6) Does this course cover how to get an agent? Yes it does. It also includes an in-depth interview with my own agent Caroline Hardman, who shares specific advice for how to get represented, and you can send in questions for Caroline during the course if there else you want to know.

(7) If I have a question can I ask it to someone? Yes, of course. While the course is live you can ask me anything you like at any time. You will also have the opportunity to send in questions for my agent and rights director (the person who sells the foreign rights for my books) for their industry insight.

(8) I live in a different time zone to the UK. Can I still join in? Absolutely. The lessons are released daily (at 7am UK time) but you can access them anytime that is convenient for you. If you cannot make the live sessions, you can send in any questions in advance and watch a replay at your convenience.

(9) I am based in the USA (or another market other than the UK). Is the information in this course relevant for me? Absolutely. My first book Freedom Seeker was published by the world’s largest mind-body-spirit publisher, Hay House, which is headquartered in New York. Wabi Sabi is published by Harper Design in the US and was on the Indie Healthy Living Bestseller List in 2019, based on sales in independent bookstores across the US. Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year is published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and The Way of the Fearless Writer is published by St Martin’s Essentials in North America. All of those deals were based on the original proposal I wrote, for a global market. My agent and rights director act on an international stage, and the principles of what publishers want in a proposal are similar for all territories. Many of the writers signed up for this class are based in the USA, and US-based graduates have landed agents and book deals off the back of the work they did in class.

(10) I only have a small platform at the moment. Should I wait to build it up and work on a proposal later? We go into this in some depth in the course, but essentially it is worth beginning on your proposal now, regardless of the size of your platform, because then you will be building it in a way that supports your book in the long run.

(11) Do you offer individual feedback on our proposals? I am available to answer specific questions during the live element of class, but I do not offer individual feedback on individual proposals. If you want that service you will need to book separate 1-1 mentoring sessions with me.

(12) Will this course teach me how to grow my online social media platform? This course is about writing a book proposal, so marketing is covered to the extent that you need to include a solid marketing plan for your book. It includes a host of ideas for different platforms and outlets, and includes tips such as how to pitch to be on podcasts etc. However, it is not a marketing course, so please do not expect a step-by-step guide to growing your Instagram, for example.

(13) Does this course guarantee me a book deal? No it does not! Whether or not you land a book deal depends on many things beyond my control, including the quality of your idea, pitch and writing, the agents and publishers you pitch to, your authority and platform, the timing of your idea and so on. However, what I can guarantee is that if you throw yourself into this course, do all the exercises and give it everything, you will have a superb pitch, a lot more confidence and a host of insight to give you the best possible chance of making it happen. The rest is down to you!

(14) How long will I have access to the class?

You will have access to all the class content until July 31, 2024. Almost everything is downloadable anyway, so you can download and keep it. The Facebook group will remain open indefinitely so you can stay in touch and keep us posted on your progress and success!

(15) How long do I need to spend on the course each day?

It is difficult to say because it depends on how developed your idea is at the point that you start the course. What I can say is that if you spend a solid hour every day of class, you will have made substantial progress on your proposal by the end of the four weeks of class.

(16) When will the live sessions take place?

The exact dates and times will be confirmed nearer the start of class. We try to change the dates and times from week to week to accommodate different time zones. If you cannot join live don’t worry, you will get access to a replay and can send any questions in by email in advance.

Any other questions? Just drop me a line at [email protected]

Film by Matt Austin