Does the idea spark enthusiasm not just in yourself but others in your field, friends, or prospective readers? Possible audiences are as variable as publishers.
Pre-writing strategies As John Boswell cited in: State your central argument. They may consult with outside reviewers—and they will certainly confer with other editors writing a book proposal academic members of the Press staff—before making any formal commitment.
Do you have a complete manuscript? Finally, you will end with a strong, concise Conclusion. In general, you do not submit a complete dissertation manuscript to a press.
Dissertations are written to prove your legitimacy and to demonstrate mastery and to satisfy an impossible set of mutually contradictory demands set up by your advisor and committee. Many university press websites have guidelines that can help you through this process. When you get stuck, turn to the other, easier parts of the proposal.
UC Press has a good set of guidelines as does Harvard. In the Conclusion you end with a broad and expansive gesture toward the wider import and significance of your work. Once you have those done, you can begin to work on the introductory first page. Here is one example of how to do this: If you are writing a specialized monograph, it is not especially illuminating to compare it to a popularized treatment of the same subject.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. Hear, hear, Gary of Bubblecow and be sure and check out Bubblecow for more information—albeit UK-focused— on book proposals!
OK, having established the necessity of writing a book proposal from early, early stages in your career, we now turn to the proposal itself. How Should a Proposal Be Submitted?
Many university press websites have guidelines that can help you through this process. Yeah, when I got the reader reports back, they made sense to me and I knew I could easily incorporate their feedback into my revision of the manuscript.
This is true even if it won awards at your university and got passed with distinction, etc. If any of the competing books you mention are quite similar to your own, spend a few sentences explaining how yours is distinct. Will it be read only in your field, or also in other disciplines?
Tell the editor who you expect to purchase your book. The most important aspect of this one-page description is the argument you will set forth. You will engage with the press as a full-fledged professional who is confident in your abilities and excited to work with them on this next stage in your professional development.
You can certainly mention graduate seminars, but seriously—how much good are 10 graduate seminars annually, enrollment 8 students each, going to do the press? Writing a book proposal academic of your top priorities should be to ensure that your book manuscript is within the acceptable word count of standard books recently published by that press in your field.
Describe the audience; list the reviewers; say how far along you are. A descriptive table of contents. State your argument concisely and clearly.
This mistake is very low on the list because obviously it all turned out fine, but had I been more prepared I could have saved everyone a step and myself some momentary embarrassment. Publishers recoil in horror from over-long manuscripts because more pages mean more costs. You should always include information regarding your proposed deadlines for the project and how you will execute this plan, especially in the sciences.
Book publishers are in the business of making money — even not-for-profit academic publishers need to keep themselves afloat. Nowadays presses will not accept a book unless they are sure that it will make a profit or at least make back the expenses of publication.Before you write an academic book proposal you must first identify presses that publish books like yours.
Then, you must rank them by prestige in your field. This article tells you what to ask colleagues and mentors to rank university presses. Before you can write a good proposal, you must have a good book for material.
Caleb A. Scharf, in his article in Scientific American, provides some insights from his publishing experience on what to do before writing your book. While there’s no single “best” way to write and assemble a book proposal—it will depend on the category, the author, and the publishers’ submission guidelines—the following sections appear.
book proposals can be sent to multiple presses as long as you disclose it in the cover letter. But you should be aware that book proposals to academic presses take at least months for a response – the proposal and chapters go out to external reviewers and they are given several months for a response usually.
This cannot be rushed. You all know that the book proposal is the cornerstone to a successful tenure track career in most areas of the humanities and social sciences. Writing a Book Proposal. January 24, Image I have talked to many people who have been reluctant to begin writing their book proposals because they think the entire manuscript needs to be revised, polished, and ready for scrutiny.
It doesn’t. In fact, academic-press editors rarely ask to see more than one or two sample chapters in.Download