Why SWOT when you can SOAR? Read More

Hi Agile Faculty! It’s Worksheet Wednesday, and as promised, here is a short video walk-through of the team assessment rubric worksheet and how I use it. Read More

Our November theme is assessing group projects, which can be challenging no matter how complex the project. Do you assign a group grade for the final product? Assign individual students a grade based on how their peers say they contributed to the project? Read More

Why don’t my students know how to collaborate? Why do they only ever divide and conquer? I realized over time that this was the wrong question, a classic “it’s me, not you” scenario. Read More

Here’s a video of me talking through the Creating Strong Teams worksheet, sharing where the idea came from, how it might be useful for both you in thinking about setting up your student teams for success and for the students themselves to establish ground rules and early group cohesion. Read More

Dealing with Proposal Rejection

So I sent my Professor Burnout proposal to the publisher I thought most likely to appreciate the potential of the book. After about six weeks of waiting to hear back, I found out they had decided to pass. Read More

Regardless of how you decide to create student teams, an oft-neglected aspect of this process is what happens immediately after you put the students into their groups – giving the students an opportunity to create conditions for success immediately. Read More

Actually Writing the Proposal

So when writing your proposal, do what works for you. But if you feel strongly about the project, write however makes the most sense to you and think about the advice you would give your students on writing. Here are a few of my tips… Read More

So because I love nothing better than a good worksheet, Agile Faculty, I’m declaring every Wednesday Worksheet Wednesday! Read More

Book Proposal Elements

While different publishers will ask for different things in different forms, there are certainly common elements that will show up in most proposal. The proposal I’m working on is for a faculty development book, rather than a traditional dissertation-turned-monograph or a textbook, but the presses I reference below show examples of various manuscript types.s your thinking about these proposal elements, I recommend reading Rachel Toor’s excellent Chronicle article on book proposals as well.

Here are some of the main elements you will find:

  • Proposed and alternative titles – What words would both summarize the theme of the book and attract readers?
  • Purpose and scope – Why do you want to publish this book? Why is it important? What will it cover and why?
  • Intended readers – Who will buy the book, and why? How big is this audience? Might there we secondary or tertiary audience who might be interested, such as departments and programs rather than individuals? If you writing a textbook, what types of courses might it serve?
  • Statement of need – Why is this book important? What gap does it address in the literature or market? What will readers be able to do after reading your book that they can’t do without it?
  • Competitors – What books are already on the market that you might be competing with? How is your book different?
  • You – Why are you the one to write this book? Why would readers trust you? How does the publisher know you will be successful?
  • Proposed Table of Contents – What will you cover in the book in what order? What special features might the book have (graphics, images, activities, homework questions, etc.

Most publishers will also expect a sample chapter, usually the introduction or key example of how the book will work. This allows the publisher and review to see your writing style and judge how well the text will fulfill what you promise in the proposal. Some publishers will expect to see the entire manuscript, but most would rather work with you to shape the book during the writing process.

Other pieces of information you might be asked to include are estimated word count and image or figure count, a marketing plan for how you will help to support and sell the book when published, ideas for e-books or electronic resources to accompany the print version, a timeline for how you plan to finish the book.

Here are four examples of publisher guidelines for proposals as examples. You can find guidelines on most publisher websites.

University of Chicago Press


Johns Hopkins University Press

Stylus Press