Hi Manuscript Workers,
It’s almost 2022 (ack!), which means it’s time to start talking about the next session of the Manuscript Works Book Proposal Accelerator. I will be running it again from Friday, January 7th to Friday, February 18th. Enrollment opens at 9am Pacific on Monday, January 3rd.
Last summer’s session unexpectedly filled up within an hour of enrollment opening. I don’t know if it was a summer thing or just a fluke or what, but I’m telling you this so you know to be at your computer at 9am on January 3rd if it’s very important to you to make it into this session.
What is the Book Proposal Accelerator?
The Accelerator is a 6-week program in which you receive support in writing your scholarly book proposal and pitching your project to academic publishers. Twelve modules guide you through researching presses, understanding the market for your book project, writing the components of your proposal, and communicating about it with acquiring editors.
The modules are all fairly brief and they guide you through the process step by step, so it is possible to end up with a finished proposal draft by the end of the program. Some people use the program to get started and seek initial feedback, and then continue to work on their proposal after the program ends. You’ll have access to the program modules and other resources indefinitely, so you can work at your own pace.
In addition to the modules, there are a few other features designed to support you in thinking through your book project and completing your proposal:
The modules each contain prompts for you to share your work as you draft your proposal. If you post your work in designated message boards, I will respond with personalized feedback and tips. I will also answer any questions you may have as you work on the proposal or prepare to pitch your project to publishers. You will be able to see and learn from what other participants share and the feedback I give in response.
During the first six Fridays of the Accelerator I will host a one-hour co-working session via Zoom to hold space for you to work through the modules and make progress on your proposal draft.
Following each co-working session I will host a live Q&A session. Two of these Q&A sessions will feature guest acquisitions editors from competitive university presses. These sessions will be recorded and transcribed, so you can still watch them even if you aren’t able to attend live. You can submit questions in advance if you can’t or don’t want to ask them live.
You will get access to several sample prospectuses by real academic authors who have landed contracts with university presses after working with me or completing the Accelerator themselves.
You’ll also get access to a complete set of worksheets to assist you in brainstorming and writing material for your proposal draft. The worksheets will be available as printable PDFs, as fillable Word documents, or as Google Sheets.
Who is the Book Proposal Accelerator for?
The Accelerator is a great fit for early career scholars who are working on first books and more advanced authors who are working on a second book or later. If you are looking to have greater understanding and control over your fate in the academic book publishing process (whether you’ve been through it before or not), you will benefit from the Accelerator.
You can do the Accelerator with a manuscript already written or use it to map out your project at an earlier stage.
You can be a scholar with a permanent academic position or not. I welcome independent scholars and contingently employed scholars in the Accelerator (and offer discounted enrollment for these scholars).
The Book Proposal Accelerator is less helpful for scholars who are still completing a dissertation or have just recently completed it. If you are in this position and want to know if the Accelerator is a good fit for you, please email me directly so we can figure out the best solution for you.
The Accelerator is good for people who like the accountability of a group setting, but it’s also flexible for people who prefer to work alone. While it is a cohort-based program, the degree to which you participate in the group aspects is completely up to you. You won’t be forced to collaborate or interact with other participants, though you’ll be welcome to connect with anyone you like in the message boards. The one requirement is that, if you want to receive feedback from me on your work, you must post it for other participants to see. That way everyone can benefit from seeing the work and my response. However, you are not required to post any work for feedback if you don’t want to.
More details about the Book Proposal Accelerator can be found here. That page is also where you’ll be able to enroll on January 3rd, if you want to go ahead and bookmark it now.
If you won’t be ready to work on your proposal by this January, no worries! I hope to offer the Accelerator again in June 2022.
In next week’s newsletter, I’ll share a little preview of a couple of the prompts and worksheets I use in the Accelerator. You can try them out to prep for January’s session, or just hang onto them to think over until you’re ready to fully dive into working on your proposal.
See you next week!