This month, I return to reflecting on the academic book proposal process. In previous posts, I provided a bibliography of all the advice out there on this process, as well as how to identify a book series as a means of narrowing your target lists. Now that I have several presses committed to reading the manuscript in full in the next year, I wanted to pause and reflect on the actuality of the process, as well as what things have changed in recent years with shifts in the academic publishing industry.
As I look forward to all the new projects and possibilities that 2018 holds, one of the big things that I plan to commit myself to this year is the book proposal. I’ve given it more than a year to incubate. After conferencing more pieces of it, sharing the idea with colleague-friends, and finding success and positive feedback in those venues and publication, I’m going to reconceive the thesis into a monograph.
In the few weeks of calm between the end of term and the break for actual merry-making with family in Idaho, I’ve repeated what I did for the job market process: read and researched. If I am good at anything, it is finding, collating, analyzing, and synthesizing data about words and writing processes. While there are indeed whole books on the subject, there seems to be a great deal of good advice, samples, templates, and personal narratives from the trenches on the Internet broadly.
Therefore, this month I give you a synthesized list of the blogs and websites I found instructive in this process, as well as other resources to support any research you may be doing on how this whole book proposing process works. The one thing nearly all of them fail to mention is the annual AAUP Subject Area Grid and Directory, indicating the subject ares in which each member press has a strong interest.