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A few quick updates
What's new and coming up at Manuscript Works
Happy October, Manuscript Workers!
I feel like my newsletters have been heavy on nuts-and-bolts book publishing advice lately. Which is good, because that’s probably the reason you’re here, but I’m also aware that you may not be able to read every newsletter every week. Sometimes the issue I’m covering is not strictly relevant to you at the moment you receive the newsletter, but you know it will be in the future. It’s fine to put these messages in a folder for later if you need to. (You can also search my blog archive, because all the good, evergreen advice eventually makes it over there!)
As a recap in case you missed anything, some recent newsletter topics have been:
Anyway, in the interest of keeping it a bit lighter on the information this week, I just want to share a few quick updates today:
An update on my book proposal programs
I’m doing some maintenance work on my Book Proposal Shortcut for Busy Scholars, meaning that I will be temporarily closing enrollment for a few weeks in November. The Book Proposal Shortcut is my self-paced online course that walks prospective authors step by step through the process of crafting an outstanding book proposal and preparing to pitch it to scholarly publishers. The course is designed to be completed at your own pace, whether that’s speeding through it in a week or two or working on one lesson at a time over the span of a semester. The course enables you to ask me any questions that come up while you work and as you navigate the submission and review process (which is the most anxiety-provoking part, in my opinion). I respond to all questions directly, typically within 1-2 business days.
If you’d like to use the Shortcut to write your book proposal this fall, I encourage signing up before November 1st so that you won’t be affected by the enrollment closure. Once enrolled you will keep access to the course continuously and indefinitely.
If you’re looking for more of a synchronous cohort experience to support you in writing your scholarly book proposal, my six-week Book Proposal Accelerator will be starting again in January 2024. You’ll be getting more information about that from me in this newsletter later in the year, but if you want to put it on your calendar now, you can mark off January 8–February 16.
A new social media home
The changes at Twitter have finally made it untenable for me to continue investing in my efforts to engage there. It’s very sad to me, because I’ve tried hard to share useful information about scholarly book publishing there over the past several years, and I really valued the network of scholars and publishing folks I was able to stay connected to. I’m now over on Bluesky (@lportwoodstacer.bsky.social), so if you’re there too, please let’s connect.
Tell me about your favorite nonfiction audiobooks
One of the best parts of Twitter was being able to ask for recommendations of various kinds and discovering some great things as a result. I’m a big audiobook enthusiast (via the Libby app), and Twitter recommendations led me toWho Killed Jane Stanford?, Say Nothing, and Louise Penny’s cozy murder mystery novels (all of which I highly recommend in turn).
I recently decided to bone up on some subject areas I’d like to have a better working knowledge of, which led me to Darren Henley’s The Story of Classical Music audiobook. After listening to it, I think it may be aimed at children, but it’s about the right level of detail for me, in that I’m not looking to become an expert or dig into monograph-level research in the field. This got me wondering, are there any other nonfiction audiobooks you would recommend as an engaging introduction to a broad topic? Please share in the comments on this post if so!
Spread the word about your own newly published book
In light of Twitter’s demise, I’ve decided to devote my first newsletter of every month to sharing newly released books by Manuscript Works clients and readers. This newsletter goes out to over 10,000 subscribers—mostly scholarly writers and people who work in scholarly publishing—so if you’d like them to hear about your own forthcoming book, please feel free to promote it here!
If you have a scholarly book coming out in November or December 2023 and would like it featured in this newsletter, send me an email with your cover jpg, link to the publisher’s webpage, and any discount codes you’d like to include. You can reply directly to any of my newsletters in your inbox, or if you’d like to make extra-sure I flag your message as a new book to share, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “NEW BOOK.”
I will be sharing a year-end round-up of all 2023 books in December, so if your book came out earlier this year and you’d like it to be included, go ahead and email me as well.
I just have one October release to share today, and it’s Owen Ware’s Indian Philosophy and Yoga in Germany (now available as an open access ebook).
From the Routledge website:
This book sheds new light on the fascinating – at times dark and at times hopeful – reception of classical Yoga philosophies in Germany during the nineteenth century.
When debates over God, religion, and morality were at a boiling point in Europe, Sanskrit translations of classical Indian thought became available for the first time. Almost overnight India became the centre of a major controversy concerning the origins of western religious and intellectual culture. Working forward from this controversy, this book examines how early translations of works such as the Bhagavad Gītā and the Yoga Sūtras were caught in the crossfire of another debate concerning the rise of pantheism, as a doctrine that identifies God and nature. It shows how these theological concerns shaped the image of Indian thought in the work of Schlegel, Günderrode, Humboldt, Hegel, Schelling, and others, lasting into the nineteenth century and beyond. Furthermore, this book explores how worries about the perceived nihilism of Yoga were addressed by key voices in the early twentieth century Indian Renaissance – notably Dasgupta, Radhakrishnan, and Bhattacharyya – who defended sophisticated counter-readings of their intellectual heritage during the colonial era.
Written for non-specialists, Indian Philosophy and Yoga in Germany will be of interest to students and scholars working on nineteenth-century philosophy, Indian philosophy, comparative philosophy, Hindu studies, intellectual history, and religious history.
Dr. Ware let me know that the material in The Book Proposal Book on writing a response to peer review reports was an especially helpful resource in the journey to getting this book published. If you too are looking for guidance in that area, do check out Chapter 13, “Keep Your Cool: Navigating Reader Reports, Contracts, and Other Decision Points.”
Thanks for reading and see you next week!