My 7 Most Helpful Newsletter Posts

Hello Manuscript Workers,

Let me begin by saying that today is my birthday. I’m not a huge birthday person (I’m not the type to stretch it out into a month-long party, for example, and having people wish me happy birthday on Facebook always makes me feel slightly embarrassed for some reason), but I’m not above writing a newsletter post themed around it, apparently.

As I’ve said before, my mission as a self-employed academic editor is—beyond helping scholars get their books published—making sure that prospective authors have the knowledge to navigate the publishing and writing processes confidently, resulting in their feeling proud and satisfied with the outcomes when their books finally come out. That mission drives my one-on-one work with clients and my online courses; it also drives this newsletter. This newsletter is how I reach people when my editing and consulting schedule is full, and it’s also the way I reach people who don’t presently have the funds for hiring someone like me. So I see keeping it up as an important part of both my day-to-day work and my long-term goals.

For my birthday, I’m hoping that if you’ve been reading this newsletter and finding it useful, you’ll help me with my mission to reach more scholars by sharing this post with someone else who will find it useful too, whether that’s a student, a colleague, a friend, or a nemesis. (A participant in my Book Proposal Accelerator once tweeted that he’d recommend it to his academic friends and his academic enemies and that might be my favorite testimonial to date.) To make sharing worth your while, I’m including a round-up of a few posts from the past couple years that I think may be the most helpful ones. They cover various aspects of the scholarly book publishing process and they’re the ones I’ve linked to repeatedly when people come looking for guidance on one of these topics. Here they are:

The 8 Key Elements of an Academic Book Proposal

My Standard Template for Book Introduction Chapters

How Long Should Your Book Be? (also has guidelines for chapter length)

A Template for Your Response to Reader Reports

Should You Pitch Your Book Proposal Before You Finish the Manuscript?

Is Finishing Your Book Worth It Right Now? (for pandemic times or any other times tbh)

10 Quick Ways to Work on Your Book Proposal (also for pandemic times or any other times)

There’s other good stuff in the archive of course, so if you’re new here, don’t feel like you have to stop reading after these seven posts. :)

Other than sending out this newsletter, I’m celebrating turning 38 today by driving 37 miles to my county’s board of elections to drop off my absentee ballot in person. Fortunately, it’s a nice drive and there’s a cider mill with donuts nearby. I’ll also be making some donations to good causes—I share a birthday with Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture on Twitter) who always tweets out organizations to donate to on October 19th and I plan on following her recommendations. Join me in doing that if you’d like to!


Coming up
The Winter session of the Manuscript Works Book Proposal Accelerator starts on January 8th. It’s a structured, self-paced program that will help you craft a scholarly book proposal that you can pitch to acquisitions editors within seven weeks. There are also optional interactive components like discussion boards where you can share your work for feedback and live Q&As to cover anything you want to know about the proposal and publishing process. I’m pleased that for two of the live Q&A sessions we’ll be joined by two editorial directors at scholarly publishers—Gita Manaktala of the MIT Press and Jason Weidemann of the University of Minnesota Press will each be joining for a session. There’s more information here and you can enroll at that link as well. Any questions? Reply to this email or hit me up on Twitter.