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Book Proposal Accelerator questions, answered
Hi Manuscript Workers,
The 2022–2023 Book Proposal Accelerator program opens for enrollment this Monday (May 2) at 9am Pacific. That means I will soon stop talking about it in this newsletter for quite awhile, but for today, I’m going to answer some of the questions that have come up most frequently as I’ve chatted with people about the program over the past several weeks. (If you’re new here, you may want to read the full description of the Book Proposal Accelerator first.)
Why does it fill up so quickly?
The last two times I’ve offered the Book Proposal Accelerator it has filled up within about an hour. I think the program has good word-of-mouth from past participants, and I’m very grateful for that.
The reason it has an enrollment cap is that I give personalized feedback to all participants who want it. As you work through the modules of the program to generate the components of your book proposal, you are encouraged to post your work in the group platform. I respond promptly to every post, identifying the strengths I see and offering constructive suggestions for revision if necessary. Because there’s only one of me, I am only able to provide feedback to a finite number of people, hence the need for a cap.
If you are unavailable to sign yourself up at 9am Pacific on May 2, I recommend asking someone else to sign you up at that time. They will be able to enter your name and email address, and they will need your credit card details (including billing address) to complete the enrollment. I know this is not an ideal solution but I have yet to figure out a better way (other than a time-consuming application process, which I’m hesitant to institute for various reasons, but may end up doing in the future).
Do I have to post every week? What if I get busy or fall behind?
Your posting frequency and pace is completely up to you. Some people choose not to post at all and just follow along with the material and Q&As on their own. This session of the Book Proposal Accelerator will run for a full year, so even if you aren’t able to post at all during the first few months or don’t even get around to working on your proposal until early 2023, that will be just fine. On the other hand, if you want to work quickly and post a couple times a week during June and July to get a draft finished asap, I’ll support you in that too.
Do I have to commit to actively participating in the program for a full year?
No, there is no expected time commitment. I decided to extend the program for a full year in order to best accommodate these unpredictable times we’re living in. I also wanted to be available for personalized guidance—should you want it—after you submit your proposal, as you deal with editors, peer reviewers, and publishing contracts. But there is absolutely no requirement to keep posting or attending Q&As for the full year (unless you want to). If you get what you need from the program and want to bounce after a couple months, that’s 100% ok.
Will there be a lot of Zoom meetings?
I will be making myself available via Zoom quite regularly, but you only have to show up when you feel like it. The live Q&A sessions will be recorded so you can watch them on your own time (or not at all, if you don’t want to). I will also be hosting live coworking sessions in response to participant demand, but, again, these will be completely optional.
What’s the difference between the Book Proposal Accelerator and the Book Proposal Shortcut for Busy Scholars?
The Shortcut is an independent, self-paced program. Participants do not interact with each other or receive feedback from me. The core material is the same between the Accelerator and the Shortcut, but the Accelerator is a group experience where you benefit from direct feedback from me and from seeing what other people produce and how I respond to them. Past participants have found this aspect of the Accelerator incredibly valuable. That said, the Shortcut may be a better fit for people who don’t want to share their work with others or receive feedback on it from me.
Can I work with you one-on-one to edit my proposal instead of enrolling in the Accelerator?
I no longer do one-on-one editing, so the only way to get direct feedback from me on your book proposal is to participate in the Accelerator. I will read your materials very closely and give targeted suggestions for revision (just as I would if we were to work together one-on-one), but it all takes place in the group platform.
Can I work with you as my developmental editor on my book manuscript after completing my proposal?
I also no longer do developmental editing of book manuscripts, but as part of my proposal feedback in the Accelerator I often do wear my developmental editor hat to help people think about their overall book structure and argument. Past participants have found that the feedback they’ve gotten in the Accelerator has given them a viable map for writing and revising their full book manuscripts, reducing the time and suffering they’d have spent in those phases.
Do I have to read The Book Proposal Book before enrolling in the Accelerator?
The Accelerator is designed to work whether or not you’ve read The Book Proposal Book. I think some people like having the book alongside them as they work through the Accelerator program, but it’s completely up to you. The core material in the Accelerator shares the same principles as what I offer in the book, but the Accelerator curriculum is organized into the most vital “need to know” information and is presented in different formats (written, video, and audio). The Accelerator modules also highlight the most effective tips to make each section of your proposal stand out, drawing on my experience working with hundreds of scholarly authors in prior sessions of the Accelerator.
Are there any other questions I can answer as you decide whether the Book Proposal Accelerator might be a good fit for you? Let me know.
I’ll send out one more reminder email an hour before enrollment opens on Monday. Can’t wait to work with some of you in the coming year!