Sadly this is the last instalment of BubbleCow’s guide to writing a great academic book proposal.
Now, we’ve looked at pitching and writing, but what about the essential review process which forms a large part of getting your academic book in print? Well, of course, the fact is, this won’t happen until after you’ve hooked the editor with your dazzling query letter, proposal and sample chapters, but is there anything you can do at the start to help with this process?
Sure there is!
It’s highly likely that as part of your pitch, you’ll be invited to propose a selection of peer reviewers. This can be a delicate balance to strike. By all means suggest your PhD supervisor, but be prepared for the editor to reject this choice on the basis that he or she might recognise your work and or automatically give you a positive review. With that in mind, think of people who will be sympathetic to your proposed project. For example, might your book appear to give theirs added prestige or increase its sales as a companion text? Are they themselves fighting tooth and nail to get a particular field adequate recognition and would your book support the fight? Even, are their books they’ve publicly criticised that your book will be in direct competition with? It’s also worth choosing academics who are not so world-famous that they might delay the review process due to other commitments.
Much cleverer than all that though, is picking one or two reviewers who you know the editor knows. For example, you’ve likely chosen to pitch to a press with form in your particular area, and it’s also likely that one of the books on your list of comparables is one of theirs too, so now list that author as a reviewer. If the editor has already published their work, then you can bank on the fact they value his or her opinion, so now show them how that (valued opinion) relates to your work!
I hope this 6-part journey through academic book pitching has been useful, and that you’ll keep up with other BubbleCow channels of advice such as our blog and twitter feed, but before I sign off I’d like to show you a couple of other ways in which we at BubbleCow can help you make a successful book pitch
BubbleCow’s Synopsis Clinic is a fast and cost effective service designed to give writers immediate and practical feedback on their synopsis and cover letter. In essence this means that you submit your query letter and synopsis and I will guarantee to personally provide detailed feedback. This offer of my personal feedback is open ONLY to those who have read this 6-part guide.
The cost of detailed feedback for your query letter and synopsis is £50/$85/€ 56.
BubbleCow’s Submission Package offers the same great service as the Synopsis Clinic (a personal edit by me of your query letter and synopsis) PLUS a detailed line-by-line edit, and reader’s report, of your sample chapters carried out by one of our professional copy editors.
The cost of this detailed feedback of your query letter by me and synopsis plus detailed copy edit of your extract is £125/$210/€ 140.
Last but by no means least, I’d like to wish you lots of luck getting your first academic book in print!