Planning Ahead

Hi Manuscript Workers,

I know it seems impossible to plan anything without knowing what the world will be like in 2021. My personal strategy has been to just keep going as if things will continue as they are (or possibly improve slightly??) and plan my commitments for next year accordingly. That means that I’m committing to plenty of things but also that I’m making a conscious effort not to overcommit myself, and I’m only planning to take on new things that fit with my mission and long-term goals.

One of the commitments I’m making is to attempt to send out this newsletter once a week for the entirety of 2021. If childcare goes away again, that schedule might need to be adjusted, but I’m really going to try. I’ve got possible topics mapped out through about March at this point; watch this space to see if I can keep it up beyond that. If you have a question about scholarly book publishing that you’d like me to answer in the newsletter, do feel free to send it my way. This newsletter is also where I’ll be posting regular updates about my forthcoming book, The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors (now available for pre-order). If you’re still here in 2021, I’ll just assume you want to keep hearing about it!

Running my online Book Proposal Accelerator workshop is another commitment I’ve made for the year ahead. The next session starts in January—you can sign up for it here—and will guide participants in producing a pitchable, professional book proposal to take to academic publishers. If January is too soon for your ahead-planning, I’ll be running the Accelerator again in June and July, with a few upgrades to the curriculum if I can pull them together this spring. I’ve got something Accelerator-ish planned for the fall as well, but I’ll wait to share details until they’re more solid.

I’m also going to be offering a webinar and course on developmental editing for academics in 2021. These will be for working editors and for academics who are contemplating a career shift to self-employed editing. I’ve offered the webinar and the course twice before through the Editorial Freelancers Association, but I’ll be running them myself this time around. I’ve got a few reasons for that. For the webinar, I’d like to explore a pay-what-you-can model so that it’s more accessible to people who don’t yet have the funds to invest in that kind of professional development. The tentative date and time for the webinar will March 4th, 2021 at 10am PST. For the course, I want to run it over a much longer span of time than I’ve been able to in the past, probably over six months from April to October rather than 6–8 weeks in the fall. My hope is that this longer span will allow all participants enough time to really dig into the curriculum and assignments and ideally get experience working with actual academic clients while having me as a resource/mentor to provide feedback on their work. It’ll be self-paced, so if anyone wants to just power through the material in a few weeks, they’ll also be welcome to do that. Since this is the first time I’ll be running the course in this format, I’m only going to open it up to a small number of participants and there will probably be a (not too intensive) application process. If you think you might be interested in participating, send me an email at laura@manuscriptworks.com (or reply to this newsletter) and I’ll put you on my list to notify when I start accepting applications.

On top of the things I’ve mentioned so far, I’ll be working with a handful of authors on book manuscripts and offering Quick Proposal Evals whenever I can fit them in. I feel very lucky that I’ve been healthy and able to keep my business running during the past nine months. I appreciate you for sticking around with this newsletter during that time too. And I hope you are planning some things you can look forward to in 2021!