Land a Book Contract in 2022
Plus some podcast recs if you've got listening time this week
Happy last week of 2021, Manuscript Workers!
I hope you’re getting much needed and deserved rest this week before we all hurtle screaming into 2022. If you’ve decided to say f*ck goals in the new year, I fully cheer you on in that. But if you’ve set a goal to pitch your scholarly book for publication in 2022, I’m here to support you with that too.
How I can help:
If you’re looking for a group experience with accountability, weekly check-ins, and opportunities for feedback to support you in drafting your book proposal in January and February, I’d love to have you in my six-week Book Proposal Accelerator program. More details about the program are here. Enrollment opens on January 3rd at 9am PST. The program runs from January 7th to February 18th.
(Previous participants in my Accelerator or Shortcut programs get priority enrollment in the upcoming Accelerator session — reply to this email if that’s you and I’ll get you set up ahead of time!)
If you don’t want the weekly check-ins or feedback but do want a structured program to get you to a complete draft of your book proposal as efficiently as possible, the Book Proposal Shortcut for Busy Scholars will open up on January 3rd as well. This one is entirely self-paced, so you can sign up in January and access it whenever the timing is right for you.
And if you’re super self-motivated and organized, The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors might suit your needs just fine on its own. You can get it for under $20 and there are free worksheets to go with it here.
If you’re not ready to work on a book proposal now, but do expect to be ready at some point in the future, just stick around with this newsletter. I’ll keep sharing free tips and insights on academic book publishing every week, pandemic permitting.
Thank you to all who subscribed to the newsletter in 2021. I just met the subscriber goal I set for myself this year and I’m so grateful for every person who reads these messages!
If you find yourself with some multitasking time this week, maybe you’d enjoy listening me talk about my approach to academic book writing and publishing? You’ll get some practical tips on how to get your book published and get a sense of what working with me might be like (if you don’t know me personally already).
Here are three interviews I recorded in 2021. One’s short with audio only, one is short with video, and one is a longer audio recording.
In this short podcast episode of High Theory, I talk with Kim Adams (a Book Proposal Accelerator alum!) about what the heck a book proposal is, how to use one, and whether book proposals can save the world.
In this also-short video interview with Greg Britton of Johns Hopkins University Press, we cover a wide range of topics, including:
The 2 things a book proposal can do for you
The most challenging thing for me about being a developmental editor for scholarly books
Whether you should rewrite your book’s introduction after finishing the full manuscript
How my background as an academic helps me in my work with academic authors
What aspiring authors should understand about book publishing that they often don’t
When you should approach an acquisitions editor and what you can expect when you do
The biggest mistake editors make in working with first-time authors
In this longer podcast interview with Dr. Christina Gessler of New Books Network we go into more depth on:
My transition from academia to self-employed editing and consulting
What inspired me to write The Book Proposal Book and how I figured out where to publish it
Why helpful book publishing advice can be hard to come by in graduate training
What an academic book proposal is and isn’t (I love this question)
Why knowing who you want to be talking to with your book is super central to the whole process of getting the book published
How to approach publishers when your work is interdisciplinary
Why your book proposal should be full of spoiler alerts
What a one-liner is and how it helps you sell your book
Why a clear argument is important
How The Book Proposal Book changed from proposal to finished book
What you need to foreground in your book proposal if you’re revising a dissertation into a book
How to approach an editor / how to make yourself more approachable by them
What a rejection means and what you should do if you receive one
How many publishers you should send your proposal to and which ones you should start with
Exactly how to give publishers what they’re asking for in their proposal submission instructions
The importance of having people in your life who value you outside of your academic productivity
I hope you find these interviews helpful. If you know someone else who would get value out of them, please do feel free to share.
I’ll be back on January 3rd with a one-hour countdown reminder about open enrollment for the Book Proposal Accelerator. In the meantime, I’m wishing you a healthy and restful end of 2021.