The kick-ass book proposal

In the humanities and social sciences, writing a book can be a scholar’s most important accomplishment on the path to tenure and promotion. Indeed, for many fields, a book is no longer optional – it’s an essential part of one’s research portfolio. Given the high stakes, it pays to invest in services that can put you on track to successful publication. 

A book proposal is a rare beast. You must convince the acquisitions editor to invest in a manuscript they have yet to read. The irony of the book proposal is that it must be done right, and you rarely get a second chance – yet nobody teaches you how to write it. 

Work with an experienced editor who knows what it takes to write a successful book proposal. I’ve worked with clients on book proposals on a diverse range of topics, which have been submitted to different university presses. From explaining the main idea of the book in a compelling way to understanding the potential market for the book, I’ve assisted clients on every aspect of their proposal. With me, you will get direct support for your project.

What makes a kick-ass proposal?  It has to be persuasive, polished, well-researched, and succinct. In short, a book proposal is unlike any other document you write for scholarly consumption. It is essentially a marketing document, or a pitch. A good proposal – the kind that gets you invited to submit a manuscript – achieves the following:

Explains and summarizes the book’s main ideas and contributions. Provides an overview of the book while highlighting the most important arguments and insights.

Demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the market for your book. The proposal should include a description of the target audience and comparable books have been recently published. What makes your book stand out in comparison to books on similar topics?

Tells the editor about your previous accolades. Why are you the person to write this book? Have you published any manuscripts based on the ideas in the book, and if so, how were they received from the reading audience?

Offers a compelling articulation of how your work fits into the larger discipline or field. How will your book enter into or start an important conversation? 

Successfully navigates the tricky terrain of explaining how your book will both fit in and stand out at the press. What makes your book a worthwhile addition to this press’ collection?

What the “ Kick-Ass Book Proposal” Service Includes:

For a flat fee, I will offer a proposal assessment that includes: 

  • A close reading of your proposal 
  • A written response in which I outline the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal 
  • Targeted suggestions for improvement
  • A plan and timeline to implement the suggested revisions 
  • A list of suggested publishers and recommendations for strategies to target your proposal to individual publishers