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Video Blog: P2P Episode 5

It’s the one where I talk about how to get back out there and promote your research after finishing your PhD…

The BubbleCow Guide to Academic Book Pitching: Part V

Welcome to penultimate post in the series that is: The BubbleCow Guide to Academic Book Pitching. Let’s review where we’re at.

In Part I we looked at what a book pitch needs to do and why, and did a bit of homework. Then, in Part II we learnt how to write the query or covering letter as preview of what we’ve got to offer. In Part III we focused on how to write a synopsis of the book, and in Part IV we tackled the marketing section by identifying our book’s buyers and the books that have established its market.

A guide like this can never be comprehensive, but if you’ve worked through all the tasks, you should be well on your way to writing your proposal and query letter and getting it right. Again, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to be clear, spell everything correctly and READ THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES CAREFULLY FOR EVERY PITCH YOU MAKE AND STICK TO THEM LIKE GLUE!  Read more

Author Tips: Jussi Parikka
Digital Contagions Cover

This week we’re offering some publishing tips from Jussi Parikka, author of Digital Contagions and the forthcoming Insect Media:

1. To get published, the first thing you should get right is actually have something good to publish. In other words, write a good book. Sounds banal, I know, but when starting your PhD keep in mind the possibility that it is going to be a book one day and try to use that as motivation for your writing. In some countries (such as Finland) this is easier because your thesis needs to be published as part of the PhD process. As s a result, we already tend to think of them as books – which is also part of the reason why they are much more extensive than Anglo-American PhDs. Excitement in what you write about shows comes across to readers well! Read more

Weekly Wisdom #17

Weekly Wisdom #17

Be realistic about manuscript delivery deadlines and don’t sign a contract based on a schedule you know you can’t keep!

Guest Post: 5 ways to avoid annoying your copy-editor (and why you should care)

This is a guest post from Tim Rutherford-Johnson, a freelance academic copy-editor who has seen it all and has the scars to prove it.

If you’ve not published before – or even if you have, but only in smaller magazines and journals – then you won’t have been copy-edited before. That will change when your first book is accepted for publication.

To the unsuspecting author, copy-editing can appear both frustratingly hands-off (so, there are no changes for pages – what are you doing after all?) and surprisingly invasive (you’ve re-written my entire bibliography – what’s up with that?). The truth is, copy-editing occupies a pretty undefined, liminal space between writing and mechanical proofreading. It’s less than one and more than the other, but beyond that there are no hard boundaries. Copy-editing is, however, an absolutely essential step between getting your book off your laptop and onto the shelves in Blackwell’s. Read more

The BubbleCow Guide to Academic Book Pitching: Part IV

Well, there are just a few instalments left of BubbleCow’s nifty guide to pitching your academic book, but there’s still work to be done. We have already looked at your query letter and synopsis, so now we turn our attention to your book’s intended market.

I hope you did your homework again?!

The section of your proposal that explains the market for your book is arguably the most important. This is because it will show the publishing house straight away whether your book is viable and the degree to which you, as prospective author, recognise that publishing is about selling books.   Read more

Publisher Tips: Palgrave Macmillan
Palgrave Macmillan logo

This week we have some really useful tips on how to publish your thesis from Palgrave Macmillan Publishing.

Palgrave Macmillan is a global academic publisher, part of the Macmillan Group, with strengths in the social sciences, humanities, and business. We publish textbooks, monographs, and trade books on an international scale.

Here are some insider publishing tips for prospective authors looking to publish their PhD thesis with us:

1.) Attend major conferences in your field and meet editors in person to discuss your ideas for publishing a book and receive some first feedback. Make sure your topic fits in with current events and debates and is of interest to a broad readership. Read more

Weekly Wisdom #16

Weekly Wisdom #16

Keep redrafting your pitch documents after each rejection or new piece of advice!

The BubbleCow Guide to Academic Book Pitching: Part III

This is the third instalment of BubbleCow advice on crafting academic book proposals. So far we have looked at your query letter as a sales document and examined its structure. Now we turn our attention to the tricky subject of the pitch itself and in this post, the synopsis.

Although submission guidelines will vary from publisher to publisher, with some asking you to fill out an ‘author questionnaire’ and others asking for your CV, an indication of the intended market for the book, comparable texts and proposed peer reviewers, a tricky section of the pitch they will all want to see is the synopsis of the book.

The synopsis is perhaps one of the most commonly misunderstood sections of the book proposal. Writers who can produce pages of elegant prose often go weak at the knees at the simple mention of a synopsis.  Read more

Author Tips: Bruce Wands
ArtDigitalAge Cover

This week, Bruce Wands, author of Art of the Digital Age (Thames & Hudson) and Digital Creativity (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), offers us some of his advice on getting published for the first time.

1. Do some research on publishers that release books like the one you are planning. They generally have a section of their website for prospective authors and how to submit a proposal. Follow their directions exactly. You’ll generally need to submit some sample chapters, a bio or CV, who the target audience is and who your competition will be. You may need to rewrite the proposal a few times before the publisher accepts your project, too.

2. Position your book for the widest possible audience. Publishers want sales and having a topic that speaks to a small audience won’t go over well when you propose it. Read more

Weekly Wisdom #15

Weekly Wisdom #15

Collect course reading lists and decide whether your book would make a useful addition or even a replacement for the core texts!

The BubbleCow Guide to Academic Book Pitching: Part II

Right, here we go, the next part of our BubbleCow guide to academic book pitching! I hope you managed to complete your homework regarding the subject area(s) of your book, as it will come in very handy now.

In the last post we talked about how you need to see your query letter and synopsis as sales documents. And now we are going to look at the structure of a successful query letter.

A query letter needs to be concise and focussed. That said, it should be much more than a simple ‘please read my extract’. Last time, we highlighted the four aims of a query letter, these were to show:

  1. You understand the marketplace, Your book will fit into their current list,
  2. Your book will sell enough copies to make it worthwhile printing it in the first place, You, as an author, can support and promote your book. Read more

Weekly Wisdom #14

Weekly Wisdom #14

Bear in mind that it actually might not be quicker to publish articles than a book!

The BubbleCow Guide to Academic Book Pitching: Part I

This is the first in a guest series by Gary Smailes of BubbleCow.

At BubbleCow we work with writers on a daily basis to help prepare their books for submission to publishers and agents. As part of this process we have taken the time to talk and listen to publishers and agents to discover exactly what they are looking for in a successful book proposal. In this series of 6 blog posts guest written by myself, Gary Smailes (with Charlotte Frost), I will share what we at BubbleCow have learned and give you, the writer, all the skills and tips needed to write a great query letter and book proposal.  Read more