Laura Portwood-Stacer, "The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors" (Princeton UP, 2021)


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In this episode you’ll hear about: what a book proposal is and isn’t, why you have to write one, the importance of seeking the right “fit” for your manuscript, how to pitch a quirky book, the difference between a book’s topic and its argument, how to summarize your project in just one sentence, and a discussion of The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors (Princeton UP, 2021)

Our guest is: Dr. Laura Portwood-Stacer, an experienced developmental editor and publishing consultant for academic authors. She is the author of The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors.

You have to write a book proposal to get published, but most scholars receive no training on how to do so, and you may have never even seen a proposal before you’re expected to produce your own. The Book Proposal Book cuts through the mystery and guides you step by step through the process of crafting a compelling proposal and pitching it to university presses and other academic publishers. Whether you’re hoping to publish your first book or you’re a seasoned author with an unfinished proposal languishing on your hard drive, The Book Proposal Book provides honest, empathetic, and invaluable advice on how to overcome common sticking points and get your book published. It also shows why a well-conceived proposal can help lead to an outstanding book.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, the co-producer of the Academic Life podcasts, and a historian of women and gender.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

  • The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors, by Laura Portwood-Stacer
  • Dr. Portwood-Stacer’s Manuscript and Editing Workshops
  • Dr. Portwood-Stacer’s website
  • Handbook for Academic Authors, by Beth Luey
  • Writing and Publishing Your Book: A Guide for Experts in Every Field, by Melody Herr
  • From Dissertation to Book, by William Germano
  • The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers
  • Story Craft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction, by Jack Hart
  • The Business of Being a Writer, by Jane Friedman

Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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