7 basic components of a book proposal for an academic press
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7 basic components of a book proposal for an academic press

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So, you want to turn your dissertation into a book? Or, perhaps you want to write your first academic book on an entirely different subject. Unless you are famous and have publishers soliciting ...

So, you want to turn your dissertation into a book? Or, perhaps you want to write your first academic book on an entirely different subject. Unless you are famous and have publishers soliciting manuscripts from you, you likely will have to submit a formal academic book proposal to an academic press to have a hope of publishing a book with such a press.

Here Tanya Golash-Boza provides generic suggestions for what should go in an academic book proposal.

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    7 basic components of a book proposal for an academic press 7 basic components of a book proposal for an academic press Presentation Transcript

    • 7 Basic Components of a Book Proposal for an Academic Press Tips from Tanya Golash-Boza ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • #1  A one-page description of the book. The most important aspect of this one-page description is the argument you will set forth. Here is one example of how to do this:  Paragraph 1: Hook – Invite the reader into your proposal with an interesting anecdote or some surprising data.  Paragraph 2: State your central argument. Back it up with a few sentences.  Paragraph 3: State the contribution to scholarship and place in the literature.  Paragraph 4: Provide a brief roadmap to the book. ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • #2  A descriptive table of contents. Dedicate one paragraph to each chapter. Give the title of the chapter and provide a three to four sentence summary of the chapter. ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • #3  A mechanical description of the final manuscript. Here you say that the estimated length of the final manuscript will be anywhere from 70,000 to 150,000 words. More or less may raise eyebrows. You also should specify how many illustrations and/or tables you anticipate. ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • #4  A description of the audience for your book. Tell the editor who you expect to purchase your book. Will it be read only in your field, or also in other disciplines? Will undergraduates be able to understand your book? Or, is it solely directed at faculty and graduate students? Could it be used in undergraduate or graduate courses? If so, explain which ones. ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • #5  Describe the competition. What are the existing books in your field? How will your book stand out from these? Do you use a different methodology or approach? Is yours designed for a different audience? If any of the competing books you mention are quite similar to your own, spend a few sentences explaining how yours is distinct. ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • #6  How far along are you? Do you have a complete manuscript? If you do, say so. If not, say how many chapters you have completed, and provide an expected date of completion. If this is your first academic book, I discourage you from sending a proposal before you are certain you will finish the book within a year. If the publisher requires a complete manuscript, you likely want to be less than six months away from completion before sending the proposal. ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • #7  Who might review your book? You can provide the names and contact information of people who you think might be appropriate readers for your book. ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)
    • Repurposed with permission from Tanya Golash-Boza’s blog, Get a Life, PhD: Succeed in Academia and Have a Life Too ® 2014 Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)