For many years, traditional publishers have required majority of authors to produce business plans for their books. These plans are most often referred to as book proposals. However, some aspiring authors don’t feel the need for such business plans. In fact, every book needs a business plan, which means every author needs to write one.
Although self-published authors don’t need a formal book proposal, because they alone make the decision to publish their work, they do need business plans. As the publishers of their own books, they alone must determine if their books are viable business propositions. Traditionally published authors rely on agents, and, ultimately, acquisitions editors, to make this determination, and these publishing professionals do so, at least initially, using the book proposal prepared by the author. That document then becomes the business plan for the book. More and more often, writers in all genres, even fiction, who seek traditional publishing deals are asked to turn in a proposal akin to a nonfiction book proposal.
I contend that no matter how you want to publish, and whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you should produce a business plan for each and every book you write and publish—before writing a word of your manuscript.
— Nina Amir, Writer’s Digest Newsletter