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job to convince publishers that your book has what it takes to make it in the marketplace that that publisher specialises. An estimate of the probable length of the book, the illustrations (if any) that you wish to include, the time it will take you to write it, and any possible complicating factors. Harvard University Press publishes thoughtful books for both scholars and educated general readers in history, philosophy, literature, classics, religion, law, economics, public policy, physical and life sciences, technology, history of science, behavioral sciences, and education, along with reference works in a wide range of fields. So in summary, the book proposal proves that you have valid ideas, that those ideas have a market, and that those ideas are presented in a marketable way. Book publishers are in the business of making money even not-for-profit academic publishers need to keep themselves afloat. The primary way that academic presses make money is through the sale of books for use in large undergraduate classes. Dissertations are written to prove your legitimacy and to demonstrate mastery and to satisfy an impossible set of mutually contradictory demands set up by your advisor and committee. You strongly imply that your work is going to radically change the state of your field/fields, and have a major impact on scholarship and public discourse for years to come, and that the press would be foolish to miss the opportunity to be the publisher. Whatever your answer, consider carefully the kind of approach, terminology, level of explanation, and scholarly apparatus that your book will need to make it most compelling for your ideal reader. And if your work spans several small markets, then you most definitely want to communicate that.
It is entirely dedicated to showing that your book has a market and will sell. How is this book different from all other books? The book appeared in print just eight months later (less than a year after I first submitted the proposal.) I have no doubt that this was because I took that time to develop the project. The Conclusion is where you drive home this tone.
The more you can envision your book as a core text for use in large undergraduate classes, the better off youll. Sure, some parts of psychology and economics and other fields are not book-based, but basically, the law of the land is: write a book. Now the proportions are reversed and books make up only a small percentage of a librarys budget. This differs from refereed journal articles. The Book Proposal, the book proposal is a sales document. This is an often neglected element to many genres of proposal, and one that I feel is indispensable.
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Editors may decline to pursue a proposed book. The sad fact is that university presses are dropping like flies in this economic downturn, and can no longer publish small, obscure specialized monographs the way they used to when our disciplines were younger. Two reasons: Because editors at presses are as overworked and overwhelmed as the rest of us and dont have the time to wade through 300 pages of unknown quality. You submit the following: an 6-8 page proposal (shorter if so specified by the press) an annotated table of contents for still water saints essay the book 2 sample chapters.v. For more advice, we recommend: Who Reads a Proposal? You should also note whether any chapters, or substantive sections of chapters, have been previously published. This is the section in which you explicitly discuss how well you expect the book to sell, who it will sell to, and how the press should best market. They may consult with outside reviewersand they will certainly confer with other editors and members of the Press staffbefore making any formal commitment. State your argument concisely and clearly. So what do you submit to presses?
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