Can You Help Me With Something?

Hello Manuscript Workers!

It’s kind of a big week over here — yesterday was the official release date of The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors and I’m in full launch mode. If you don’t know yet, The Book Proposal Book is a step-by-step guide to crafting a scholarly book proposal and seeing your book through to successful publication. It pulls together over two years’ worth of advice I’ve given in this newsletter (plus stuff I haven’t shared here) and presents it in what I hope is an accessible package for scholars everywhere. It also has templates and sample prospectuses plus a letter of inquiry and response to peer reviews that you can use as models.

The book is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, and I’ve made a free set of worksheets to help readers implement the steps laid out in the text (you can download the worksheets at

I stand behind this book so strongly because I believe it offers value far beyond its cost. It can save a prospective author months or years of guesswork, help them navigate the acquisitions pipeline more effectively and with more confidence, and even assist in writing the manuscript itself.

While publishing a book won’t solve all your problems or fix the broken system of academia, it can make a huge difference to your career and your life if you have a positive publishing experience. The reason I’ve felt able to promote this book ad nauseam is that I really do think people will be better off after reading it, whether they’re first time authors who are feeling lost or stuck or experienced authors who want a greater sense of control over the process this time around.

Not everyone wants to read a book to help them publish their own book, but my goal is that everyone who does want a guide like this will know about The Book Proposal Book. That’s where I need your help. I reach a lot of people through this newsletter and my Twitter account, but I know the book can reach and help exponentially more people if everyone who has used it and found it valuable spreads the word. To that end, I’m offering a little incentive to anyone who posts about the book on Twitter or Instagram for their networks to see.

Everyone who posts about The Book Proposal Book on Twitter or Instagram between now and August 1st, 2021 will get entered into a drawing. During the week of August 1st, I’ll randomly select six people, who will each get to choose from one of the giveaways below. The first person drawn will get first pick, and whatever they select will be removed from the available giveaway list. Then the second person will get to pick from the remaining five options, and so on until the giveaways are all spoken for. Any of the giveaways can be transferred to someone else, so if you end up winning but don’t particularly want or need any of the things I’m offering, you could gift something to a friend, colleague, or advisee.

To be eligible, your post must include a photo of your copy of the book — it can be the physical book or a screenshot if you have the ebook or audiobook, but be sure it’s clear that you’ve purchased the book in whatever format — and it must tag me so that I’m sure to see it (I’m @lportwoodstacer on Twitter and @manuscriptworks on Instagram). If you say something brief to tell people what you’re finding valuable in the book, so much the better. Include a link to Amazing (but not required).

Here are the giveaways:

-Free registration for my Outstanding Academic Book Proposals workshop happening on August 20, 2021.

-Free registration for my Set Up for Publishing Success workshop happening on September 24, 2021.

-Free enrollment in my self-paced Book Proposal Shortcut for Busy Scholars online program which will be launching in late August.

-Free enrollment and a reserved spot in my Book Proposal Accelerator running January–February 2022. (The June–July 2021 session filled up 40 minutes after enrollment opened, so the reserved spot is a good get.)

-A private one hour Q&A session with me for you and up to 5 of your friends. You can ask me anything you want to know about book proposals, book publishing, developmental editing, knitting, what it’s like behind the scenes at Jeopardy!—whatever you want. (The only limitation is that the session will have to take place on a weekday between 9am and 4pm Pacific US time.)

-A bespoke knitted object to coordinate with your favorite book cover. It can be your own book or any other book cover you pick. I get to decide the object and pattern, but I’ll do my best to match your colors and make the object something fun. If you pick this prize, you just need to be able to receive the object at a US mailing address and let me know what cover you pick by the end of 2021.

If you’ve already posted a photo of your copy of The Book Proposal Book and tagged me in your post, I’m going ahead and retroactively entering you into the drawing. A special thank you to Duncan, Amy, Emma, Stefania, Betty, Ryan, Katie, A.J., Travis, Rine, Togzhan, Kris, Nandini, Julie, Douglas, William, Amanda, Soundarya, Dominique, Luis, Jonathan, Mols, Cara, and Lauren for your posts!

To get your own copy of The Book Proposal Book, follow the purchase links on this page or just click the button below to buy directly from Princeton University Press. You can use code LPS21 to get 30% off the paperback!

Get The Book Proposal Book

I can’t wait to see your photos and hear how the book ends up helping people achieve their publishing goals!